MORECAMBE’S poor run of form at the new Globe Arena continued on Saturday with another disappointing defeat.
The game started with both sides eager to get forward. Morecambe went close on three minutes with an excellent Laurence Wilson free-kick smashing against the top of the crossbar from an acute angle. At the other end James Constable curled an effort from 18 yards inches wide of Barry Roche’s left-hand post.
Wilson tested Clarke again in the 18th minute with a low shot and Clarke again did well to catch a Stewart Drummond flick-on from a long Tony Capaldi throw-in as Morecambe looked the more threatening.
But all the good work was undone in the 29th minute as Morecambe once again conceded from a set piece.
Paul McLaren’s low free-kick was clipped on by Harry Worley into the path of Steve MacLean.
His scuffed shot fell to the unmarked Asa Hall at the far post who slotted home the loose ball.
Seven minutes later the Shrimps conceded again from another set piece.
Kieran Charnock’s tackle was judged a foul and the resulting free-kick was touched to Paul McLaren who curled the ball around the despairing dive of Roche for his first goal in two years.
Morecambe started the second half looking to get a quick goal back with Andy Fleming and Wilson firing wide but Oxford went 3-0 up with a goal of quality in the 64th minute.
Tom Craddock had a shot saved by the legs of Roche, but the rebound fell kindly for Oxford with Constable and MacLean combining well to set up Hall for a well placed shot that beat Roche low to his left.
The Shrimps’ frustrations were capped Tony Capaldi was bundled over in the box by Damien Batt, but Wilson’s spot kick was well saved by Clarke.
Jack Midson had the chance to make things worse for Morecambe when he had a golden chance on 81 minutes but was denied by a fine Roche save.
For Morecambe Wilson drove forward to the end and drilled a shot into the side netting as he looked to give the Shrimps a consolation strike.
Danny Carlton looked as though he should have had a penalty after being brought down in the box but the home side drew a blank and were left to reflect on another disappointing home date.
Morecambe: Roche 6; Holdsworth 6, Parrish 7, Charnock 6, Capaldi 6; Hurst 7, Drummond 6, Fleming 6 (Hunter 78), Wilson 7; Jevons 6 (Carlton 66), Spencer 6 (Hendrie 83). Subs not used: Walker (GK), McCready, Brown, Wainwright.
Oxford: Clarke; Batt, Tonkin, Wright; Worley; Heslop, McLaren, Hall, McLean (Potter 75), Craddock (Hackney 75), Constable (Midson 81). Subs not used: Clist, Eastwood (GK), Purkiss, Payne.
Referee: P Gibbs
Star man: Laurence Wilson.