Wycombe 1-0 Morecambe

editorial image

Morecambe boss Jim Bentley was left with plenty to think about after his side’s opening day defeat at Adams Park.

After a solid pre season Morecambe failed to get to grips with the home side for the opening half hour of the game and it proved costly as Paris Cowan-Hall scored the only goal of the game after just seven minutes.

Despite the best efforts of Jack Sampson and Kevin Ellison the Shrimps could not find their way back into the game and had it not been for some fine saves from Barry Roche, they could well have gone down by a greater margin.

Bentley gave an honest appraisal of the game when he said: “We started the game really poorly and I have to be honest and say that if it hadn’t been for Barry Roche we could have been further behind.

“We just couldn’t get to grips with them at all early on. They had a tremendous work rate and were in your face all the time and made it difficult for us to play.

“The pitch didn’t help as the grass was long and we couldn’t zip the ball around at the pace we wanted to and we had to change our game plan which we did quite effectively in the end but it took us some time.

“When we got going we had a few chances and were really unlucky to hit the crossbar with a great Chris McCready header from a set piece and we forced their keeper into a couple of good saves as well.

“It ended up being a bit of a mad game to be honest and could have been 4-4 at the end.”

The disappointments continued for Bentley when Kevin Ellison pulled up with a hamstring injury which could leave him out of action for a fortnight while Robbie Threlfall could only sit on the bench after picking up a strain in training on Friday.

But there were positives too with debutant Jack Sampson looking particularly promising and forcing the home keeper into several decent blocks.

Cowan-Hall is a name the Shrimps’ fans will remember. He doesn’t score many but was on target for Plymouth against Morecambe last season and took just seven minutes to mark his Wycombe debut with a similar close range finish.

There were early warnings for Morecambe when Dean Morgan crashed an early free-kick over the bar and Anthony Stewart headed inches wide from Sam Wood’s centre.

But the warnings were not heeded and Wycombe took the lead after Morgan’s tantalising cross was headed in at the back post as Cowan-Hall got behind Tony Diagne.

The Shrimps briefly rallied with young striker Jack Sampson forcing a neat save from Matt Ingram after a well struck low drive.

But Wycombe took charge again with the impressive Morgan working Barry Roche with a shot from 20 yards.

Roche then had to be at his best again to save from Stuart Lewis.

The Shrimps finally threatened towards the end of the first half when McCready crashed a header against the bar from a corner and Padraig Amond forced a good save from Ingram.

Wycombe started the second half well with Roche saving well from Cowan-Hall and Morgan flashing a low strike just wide of the far post.

Sampson gave the Chairboys a fright just past the hour mark when he fired inches wide and with 15 minutes to go thought he had equalised only for Ingram to save at full length to deny the Shrimps an opening day point.

Morecambe: Roche, Wright, McCready, Diagne (Parrish 71), Hughes, Williams, Fleming, Drummond, Ellison (Mwasile 66), Sampson, Amond.

Subs not used: Arestidou, Threlfall, Kenyon, McGee.

Attendance: 3,284

Star man: Barry Roche.