Morecambe 1–1 Gillingham

Jack Redshaw
Jack Redshaw

Morecambe hot shot Jack Redshaw continued his fine form with a fifth goal in six games to help The Shrimps hold league leaders Gillingham at the Globe Arena on Saturday.

The striker’s 15th goal of the season had given Jim Bentley’s side a 42nd minute lead against The Gills, five points clear at the top of League 2.

But Bradley Dack’s goal seven minutes after the break ensured Martin Allen’s side extended their club record unbeaten away run to 12 games.

Shrimps goalkeeper Barry Roche, back from his one-game ban, was soon in the thick of the action early on.

After an eventful second 45 minutes which saw him dismissed at Barnet, the Shrimps number one was yellow carded for handling outside the area on three minutes, before a mix-up with Chris McCready nearly allowed Danny Kedwell a free run on goal shortly after.

But it was the home side that nearly took a fortunate lead on 11 minutes, Michael Richardson, the Newcastle loanee on his first start for the Gills, nearly turning Will Haining’s low cross into his own net.

Redshaw was then gifted the best early chance 18 minutes in. Matt Fish’s miss-directed header landed at the feet of The Shrimps top scorer but he could only volley over from 15 yards.

But it was a largely physical contest on a pitch that was far from conducive to free-flowing football. The visitors should have gone ahead on the half hour however, Richardson, at the right end this time, could only blaze over when one-on-one with Roche.

Redshaw then dragged a shot wide from the edge of the area before giving his side the lead three minutes before the break.

An excellent Shrimps move saw Ryan Williams release Stewart Drummond down the right and the midfielder’s centre was scuffed towards goal by Gary McDonald, but Redshaw was on hand to bundle home his 15th goal of the season from close range.

But Jim Bentley’s side weren’t ahead for long, Dack equalising on 52 minutes with a goal Nick Fenton won’t want to see again in a hurry.

The Shrimps defender failed to clear a left-wing Chris Whelpdale cross and it fell to Dack 10 yards out and the midfielder didn’t make the cleanest of contacts but his effort was well-directed enough to beat Roche and level the score.

The Gills then had the better chances to increase their lead, Antonio German curling a shot over when he perhaps should have done better on 73 minutes.

And in a half of few chances, Matt Fish’s effort was perhaps the pick of the bunch, the right back seeing a well-struck shot from 20 yards whistle over the crossbar with a quarter of an hour to play.

Roche was then thankful to see a flicked Dack header go narrowly wide 10 minutes from time with the Shrimps stopper beaten.

Morecambe: Roche 6, Haining (capt) 6 (Threlfall 43, 6), Fenton 6, McCready 7, Wright 6, Drummond 7, McDonald (Fleming 83) 6, Williams (Burrow 72) 7, Alessandra 7, Holroyd 7, Redshaw 7. Subs not used: Arestidou, Parkinson, Mwasile, Doyle.

Booked: Roche

Gillingham: Nelson, Fish, Legge, Barrett (capt), Martin, Frampton, Richardson (Allen 45), Dack, Whelpdale (Robinson 65), Kedwell, German (Burton 74). Subs not used: Forecast, Lee, Davies, Muggleton

Booked: Dack, Allen

Referee: Gary Sutton

Attendance: 1,674