Rotherham United 2 Morecambe 0: Shrimps suffer defeat at League One leaders

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Two first-half goals from Freddie Ladapo saw Morecambe fall to a battling defeat at the League One leaders.

Shrimps interim boss Barry Roche made two changes to the side that drew with Gillingham as Rhys Bennett and Ousmane Fane were handed their full debuts in a 3-5-2 formation designed to match the home team.

Those hopes were soon hurt, however, as Rotherham took the lead after just four minutes. The ball broke free to Ladapo on the edge of the Morecambe box and he produced a superb finish to half-volley the ball past Trevor Carson.

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Jon Obika was denied by two saves after coming off the benchJon Obika was denied by two saves after coming off the bench
Jon Obika was denied by two saves after coming off the bench

The Shrimps hit back and were denied a quick equaliser when Cole Stockton’s volley from Shane McLoughlin’s cross forced a flying save from Josh Vickers.

Michael Ihiekwe went close to adding a second for the hosts on 18 minutes with a looping header from 10 yards that beat Carson but hit the top of the crossbar.

The home side continued to look dangerous going forward and added a second on the half-hour mark.

Dan Barlaser produced a superb defence-splitting through ball, down the middle of the Morecambe defence, and Ladapo took full advantage with a fine, low finish.

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Morecambe continued to try and break down the Rotherham defence as Jonah Ayunga was denied a goal by a superb Wes Harding goalline block.

Rotherham then showed their attacking flair again with Michael Smith played through on goal and dragging a shot wide.

The Shrimps were much better in the second half and forced Paul Warne’s team a host of problems.

Stockton had a great chance to pull a goal back on 54 minutes when the ball dropped to him at the far post but he failed to find the target.

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Jon Obika came off the bench on the hour and forced a fine save from Vickers, who also did well to tip over another effort from the striker.

The closest the Shrimps came to a goal arrived in the 90th minute.

Ryan Cooney cut in from the right-hand side and curled a left-footed effort past Vickers, only to see the ball hit the inside of the post and rebound straight into the keeper’s arms.

Rotherham United: Vickers, Harding, Wood, Ihiekwe, Barlaser (Odoffin 71), Rathbone, Wiles, Ferguson (MacDonald 83), Osei-Tutu (Ogbene 58), Ladapo, Smith. Subs not used: Johansson, Bola, Lindsay, Kayode.

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Morecambe: Carson, Cooney, O’Connor, Bennett, Bedeau, Leigh, Fane (Wildig 69), Diagouraga (Duffus 81), McLoughlin, Stockton, Ayunga (Obika 61). Subs not used: Smith, Connolly, Gibson, Phillips.

Referee: Simon Mather.

Attendance: 8,376.

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