Macclesfield 2-0 Morecambe

MORECAMBE boss Sammy McIlroy apologised to travelling fans for his side’s lacklustre display at Moss Rose.

The Shrimps lost their second successive game and went nine games without a win after two first half goals in three minutes gave a poor Macclesfield side the points.

Said McIlroy: “The first 45 minutes of the game was totally unacceptable and I will apologise to the fans who made the journey to see the game for that. We told the players in no uncertain terms that what they produced was not good enough and although we saw an improvement in the second half we didn’t make the most of the possession we had again.’’

Macclesfield looked the brighter side from the start and took the lead on 21 minutes as once again the Morecambe defence was left exposed by a quick counter attack. Morecambe lost the ball going forward and when Andy Holdsworth slipped on the halfway line they were left short of numbers.

Emile Sinclair skipped past Andy Parrish and threaded the ball through to the unmarked Matt Hamshaw who produced a superb finish from the right hand side of the box to beat Barry Roche.

Three minutes later it was 2-0 as the Shrimps conceded a freak own goal. Izak Reid flashed a cross from the right and Chris McCready saw his attempted clearance fly past the helpless Roche at his near post.

The shell-shocked Shrimps failed to provide any meaningful response until the end of the half. Stewart Drummond produced Morecambe’s first effort of any note with a 36th minutes shot that forced Jose Veiga into action before home defender Paul Morgan made a vital intervention to stop Phil Jevons’ cross reaching the unmarked Kevan Hurst as the half came to a close.

The second half saw the Shrimps take charge as they kept the ball much better but they still struggled to break down the Macclesfield defence with a shocking lack of quality in the final third.

The hard working Drummond went close at the start of the half with a curler that grazed the outside of the post and although the introduction of Jimmy Spencer and Danny Carlton gave them a sharper look they failed to forge any clear cut chances.

Andy Fleming, another who battled all night, came closest to scoring for the Shrimps with a 75th minute header from Hurst’s cross which hit the crossbar with Veiga beaten and Spencer and Carlton both fired wide.

Spencer had the chance to give Jevons a free run on goal but his final pass was over hit and the chance went begging with the Shrimps now hoping for a much better performance when they travel to leaders Chesterfield on Saturday.

Macclesfield: Veiga; Reid, Brown, Diagne, Bencherif, Morgan, Bolland, Hamshaw (rep Gray 88), Daniel, Sinclair, Barnett (rep Draper 90). Subs not used: Cudworth, Chalmers, Brisley, Lowe, Sappleton.

Booked: Morgan.

Morecambe: Roche; Holdsworth (rep Hunter 65), Parrish, McCready, Capaldi; Hurst, Drummond, Fleming, Wilson (rep Carlton 75), Brown (rep Spencer 45); Jevons. Subs not used: Walker, Wainwright, Hendrie, Charnock.

Ref: G Sutton.