Morecambe pay the price for failing to take chances at Grimsby Town

Grimsby Town 2 Morecambe 1

Sunday, 16th February 2020, 9:51 am
Adam Phillips scored Morecambe’s consolation goal (photo: Getty Images)

Morecambe suffered another narrow away defeat as two second-half goals gave Ian Holloway’s resurgent Grimsby victory at Blundell Park.

Goals from James Hanson and Josh Benson put Grimsby in control and despite a late consolation from Adam Phillips, the Shrimps went down to a 12th away defeat of the season.

Morecambe boss Derek Adams made one change to the side that beat Macclesfield in midweek with Tom Brewitt coming back into the side in place of Alex Kenyon who dropped to the bench.

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And the Shrimps looked keen to maintain that winning momentum with an excellent start to the game.

John O’Sullivan fired an early effort wide, before Cole Stockton forced James McKeown into a flying save with a shot from the edge of the area, all within the opening two minutes.

At the other end, the in-form Charles Vernam came close and Elliott Whitehouse headed a left-wing corner over from close range when he should have done better, before Christoffer Mafoumbi made good saves from Charles Vernam and Luke Hendrie. Morecambe looked to have the greater threat but, as has so often been the case this season, they failed to find the target from good openings.

Aaron Wildig drilled a right-footed effort from 20 yards inches wide and Phillips looped an effort over from the edge of the box as the Shrimps looked a real threat on the counter-attack.

Despite some good football in horrendous conditions the game remained goalless at the break but within three minutes of the restart, Vernam went close again when he saw an effort cleared off the line by Ryan Cooney.

Billy Clarke then dragged the ball inches wide from a decent opening before the Shrimps came back into it.

After surviving the early onslaught the Shrimps looked to bet getting back into the game until they gifted Grimsby an opening goal..

Clarke played the ball forward and Hanson reacted quickly to the situation as Mafoumbi hesitated.

After deciding not to come the keeper than made a rash decision to race to the ball and gifted Hanson the chance to lift it over him and into the empty net.

Grimsby then dominated the game and went close on several occasions, with the dangerous Vernam flashing one effort inches wide of the left-hand post and Matty Pollock failing to find the target with a near-post header from a dangerous left wing cross.

Benson eventually made it 2-0 with a deflected free-kick.

Referee Trevor Kettle awarded the home side a soft free-kick on the edge of the box and Benson took full advantage with a well-struck effort that took a wicked deflection off the top of the Morecambe wall before finding the net via the underside of the crossbar.

To the Shrimps’ credit they came back strongly and scored in stoppage time.

Grimsby keeper James McKeown was penalised for handing Luke Waterfall’s poor back pass and Phillips smashed home the resulting free kick past the 10 man wall on the line.

Unfortunately it was too little too late with the Shrimps’ only solace being defeats for fellow strugglers Stevenage and Macclesfield.

Grimsby: McKeown, Hendrie, Warefall, Benson, Glennon, Grandin (Clifton 80), Whitehouse (Green 68), Pollock, Vernam, Clarke (Tilley 87), Hanson. Subs not used: Ohman, Wright, Garmston, Russell.

Morecambe: Mafoumbi, Cooney, Old, Lavelle, Cranston, Brewitt, Phillips, Diagouraga (Leitch-Smith 75), O’Sullivan (Mendes-Gomes 75), Wildig (Slew 75), Stockton. Subs not used: Halstead, Mbulu, Kenyon.

Referee: Trevor Kettle.

Attendance: 4,704.