No Late Comeback For Morecambe This Time
At 2-0 with ten minutes to go at Morecambe was there a Crewe fan who would have put money on us bring home the three points after last season's showing?
Thankfully there was no repeat of the 'drama', or shambles, that saw us throw away a 3-0 lead at Christie Park last season. That said, we didn't exactly sail home. The last ten minutes did in fact see Byron Moore 'hand' a penalty to the Shrimps, which Rhys Taylor duly saved, before a wicked deflection from a Chris Shuker shot with a minute on the clock handed Morecambe a lifeline.
Prior to that, it was all fairly comfortable. Dario has described our second half showing as the worst of the season; can't say I'd agree. We were far from dominant against a poor Morecambe side but we were hardly up against it. Morecambe seemed a bit too predictable to be of any sustained trouble, their main threat coming from the countless Craig Stanley shots, which were forever being teed up for him on the edge of the area.
It shouldn't have mattered had we done our job in the first half. We may well have taken a 2 goal lead into half time, thanks to Donaldson getting in behind their defence in the first five minutes and Byron Moore slotting home on the stroke of half time, but it should have been so much more.
The Morecambe back four were clearly not cut out for the pace of Miller, Moore and Donaldson, but with a defence consisting of sicknote mk 2, aka Chris McCready, it was hardly surprising. He was hauled off within 25 minutes as Donaldson left him dizzy. Our pace produced a host of chances as we cut through the Morecambe back line but a mixture of poor decision making, excellent goalkeeping and a great goal line clearance was our downfall.
Morecambe did Rhys Taylor at times and whilst most saves were routine, they did smash one off the post from 20 yards soon after Donaldson's opener before Taylor was forced to claw another long range shot from his top left corner.
Long range is about all Morecambe managed, however, failing to really intrude on our penalty area. Our performance in the first half really invited them onto us but still they kept their distance and, unlike last season and games such as Chesterfield this season, you never really felt they were on the verge of a great comeback.
Whilst we weren't as free flowing in the second half, we did have opportunities to finish them off with a third goal. Miller and Donaldson both breached the back four only for the Morecambe keeper to come to the rescue on almost every occasion with Miller sending it agonisingly across the face of goal on the one occasion he did beat the keeper.
Shuker's late consolation had the Morecambe fans interested again but there was no great late surge and the game was seen out with plenty of shameless time wasting from the Alex.
So three points and back up to 9th, maintaining our good record against bottom half sides. It's now time to buck the trend of regular defeats to the teams around/above us, starting with 7th placed Wycombe Wanderers at Gresty Road. A win and there's a chance we'll be back in the play-off spots, a defeat and it'll be back down to 12th!
Plug away we will.