Date: 9th November 2016 at 10:14pm
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Morecambe entertained Bradford City in the latest round of Northern Group C Checkatrade trophy matches on Wednesday night at the Globe Arena. Despite Stoke Academy`s win on penalties against Bury the previous evening following a 1-1 draw after normal time (which seemingly is only worth two rather than three points), the Bantams found themselves top of the table before the game even though they had played a game fewer then the teams that competed on Tuesday. Morecambe, fresh from their 1-1 home draw with Coventry City on Sunday in the FA Cup, were third in the table before the game having played the same number of matches as tonight`s opponents.

The early exchanges were fairly even on a freezing night at the Globe with visiting goalkeeper Rouven Barrelmaier the busier of the two as attempts from Andy Fleming and Lee Molyneux needed to be dealt with whereas efforts from the visitors` Haris Vuckic both missed the target.

It was goalless at half time but the visitors took the lead in the second after 52 minutes when, following excellent approach play, Vukic trapped the ball in the opponents` penalty area and then smashed the ball past Barry Roche to score with his left foot.

Virtually straight from the kick-off, substitute Paul Mullin was given far too much space on the Morecambe left and took the opportunity to squeeze his way past Tom Windle in the penalty box to curl a beautifully-judged shot low into the net past Barrelmaier to equalise. Things got even better for the Shrimps after 66 minutes when Cole Stockton put them ahead with a cool finish following a wasted City corner: Jack Dunn had made brisk progress down the wing and then played him in to score with a perfect pass. Just two minutes later, Stockton scored again when his speculative shot on the turn hit a Bradford defender and left Barrelmaier stranded. He could have made it a hat-trick on the night with seventy minutes on the clock when he had a free header in the penalty area from Aaron McGowan`s cross but he headed the ball just over the bar. Mullin had another shot well saved by the visiting goalkeeper after seventy-five minutes after being played-in with a tremendous pass from fellow substitute Michael Rose. It wasn`t all over though and Vuckic clocked-up his brace for the night with a goal direct from a free-kick struck right up into the top corner from just outside the `D` of the penalty area with eight minutes still scheduled to play. There were further chances for both sides after this but the game finished with all three points going to the Shrimps. Despite the loss, City remained top of the group but Morecambe have played themselves into second place.

Although City are in third place in League One, they have now lost two cup games in the space of four days – Morecambe`s fellow League Two team Accrington Stanley dumped them out of the FA Cup last Saturday at Valley Parade. Morecambe fared much better against League One Coventry City on Sunday and Jim Bentley must be hoping that success in cup competitions can transfer itself into the Shrimps` poor home form in League Two this season. The draw for the Second Round of the Checkatrade Trophy is due at 10.30am on Thursday 10th November.

Morecambe: 12 Danijel Nizic; 2 Liam Wakefield; 3 Aaron McGowan; 5 Ryan Edwards (Y); 8 Peter Murphy (C) (24 Michael Rose 45 mins); 10 Lee Molyneux (7 Paul Mullin 45 mins); 14 Luke Conlan; 16 Alex Whitmore; 17 Andy Fleming; 20 Jack Dunn (18 Rhys Turner 77 mins); 23 Cole Stockton.

Subs not used: 1 Barry Roche; 6 Dean Winnard; 24 Ntumba Massanka; 15 Aaron Wildig.

Bradford City: 12 Rouven Barrelmaier; 3 James Meredith (35 Sam Wright 69 mins); 5 Nathan Clarke (C); 18 Marc McNulty (Y); 19 Haris Vuckic; 20 Filip Morais; 21 James King; 23 Rory McArdle; 24 Daniel Devine; 32 Ellis Hudson (17 Vincent Rabiega 76 mins); 34 Tom Windle.

Subs not used: 30 Joe Cracknell; 25 Reece Webb-Foster; 31 Kwame Boateng.
Ref: Tony Harrington