Mansfield Town 1 Morecambe 0: First-half goal sees off below-par Shrimps
Morecambe’s hopes of adding to their thrilling victory over Salford City in midweek were dashed by defeat at Mansfield Town.
The Shrimps produced one of their poorest performances for some time as they went down to a Jordan Bowery goal just before half-time.
Morecambe boss Derek Adams was forced into one change from the side that beat Salford with Harry Davis recalled at centre-half in place of the injured Nathaniel Knight-Percival.
It was Mansfield who started the better with Bowery forcing Kyle Letheren into a good save with a shot from the edge of the area, though Kellan Gordon would have been disappointed at failing to head home the rebound.
The Stags’ pressure continued with Mal Benning’s free-kick taking a deflection off the Morecambe wall, forcing Letheren into another decent save.
Ryan Sweeney headed a corner off target before the Shrimps finally threatened with Toumani Diagouraga’s volley deflected wide by a good Mansfield block.
Yann Songo’o saw a header gathered by Mansfield keeper Aiden Stone and Carlos Mendes Gomes had an effort blocked before the home side took the lead five minutes from the break.
The experienced Stephen Quinn beat John O’Sullivan down the left and put in a dangerous cross, which Bowery turned into the bottom corner from close range.
The Shrimps were better in possession after the break but, again, struggled to break down a solid Mansfield defence.
With the home side happy to sit back on their lead, Mendes Gomes almost broke free after a nice bit of skill but the only real pressure came in the final few moments.
Three minutes from time, substitute Stephen Hendrie delivered a dangerous cross that no Morecambe player looked to get on the end of before the Shrimps created their only chance of the game in injury time.
Mendes Gomes’ smart ball over the top of the Mansfield defence presented A-Jay Leitch-Smith with a great chance, but the Shrimps’ striker totally missed his kick and the ball ran through to keeper Stone.
Mansfield Town: Stone, Gordon, Rawson, Sweeney, Benning, Quinn, Maris, O Clarke, Law (Charsley 90), Reid, Bowery. Subs not used: Stech, Perch, Sinclair, Wright, O’Keefe, J Clarke.
Morecambe: Letheren, Mellor, Lavelle, Davis, Gibson (Gibson 56), Diagouraga (Lyons 65), Songo’o (Leitch-Smith 81), O’Sullivan (McAlinden 81), Wildig, Mendes-Gomes, Stockton. Subs not used: Halstead, Cooney, Slew.
Referee: Anthony Backhouse.
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