Date: 24th October 2015 at 9:50pm
Written by:

Jim Bentley complained last Tuesday after the victory over Crawley that not enough people were coming through the turnstiles to support Morecambe Football Club.

Too true.

But when I tried to book a ticket on-line the night before the clash with Leyton Orient, it would have been easier to get one for the Titanic. I selected `Book Tickets Online` on the Morecambe FC website – which seemed to make some sort of sense – and then selected `Book Now`, making sure the match I had selected was against Leyton Orient.

On Saturday.

This year.

Only to find that the page at https://venuetoolbox.com says `This area is not available online.`

I tried all the available options only to discover that the whole of the Globe Arena is therefore not available online. Not even if I was to stand, sit or masquerade as a supporter from East London.

I may be mistaken, but I don`t think it had sold-out at the time I tried – and failed – to book: if it had, an awful lot of people failed to turn-up? (Yes, this is a facetious remark for those who might doubt it?).

Conspiracy? Coincidence?

I went onto the Toolbox website and was assured that it was THE IT SOLUTIONS YOU NEED.

Really?

Maybe you have to BE a toolbox to work for these people?

Please take note Jim?

Orient have never played Morecambe before and I personally have never seen them play previously. I once lived about a mile away from Brisbane Road at Bakers Arms and thought about watching them on a Friday night right at the end of the 1973-4 season when victory would have propelled them into the First Division (er: now the Premier League.)

But I didn`t – I could blame venuetoolbox.com for this as well but the truth is that I remained in the “Three Blackbirds” up the road, drank too much and eventually staggered back to my bedsit (with the gas heater CONVERTED TO NORTH SEA GAS) on Abbots Park Road instead.

They didn`t win – I think they lost but the Internet suggests they drew against either Millwall or Aston Villa depending on where you look (whatever, Luton and Carlisle were certainly just above them in the League and the Cumbrians went up to win their first away game next season at Chelsea.)

Did this really happen?

Yes it did but it was a different world then. It really was: venuetoolbox.com didn`t exist for a start: if it did, I would have probably have missed watching Morecambe beating a club with seriously unpleasant and violent supporters now only famous for a tunnel 2-1 in the Trophy Final at Wembley very shortly afterwards?

But back to reality. There was a relatively decent crowd to watch the visit of the Londoners on Saturday – almost twice as many as the previous Tuesday to see the Shrimps beat Crawley. On this showing, though – a lot of them will not be back again in a hurry. This was a poor game and a dreadful display by Morecambe: toothless, disjointed and technically exceedingly weak. Alex Cisak in the visitors` goal wasn`t actually tested at all until six minutes from the end, when the home team belatedly threw the kitchen sink at him. Then, he made a fantastic save to push a shot from Aaron Wildig away for a corner. A minute later, Tom Barkhuizen should have done better when unmarked in the middle of the penalty area: his header went well wide. In injury time, Kevin Ellison failed to connect properly with a shot when spinning in the penalty area and Cisak was able to gather easily. But the Shrimps` tepid performance all afternoon was epitomised by substitute Lee Molyneux in the eighty-eighth minute when, following a bad foul by Adam Chicksen on Shaun Beeley, he lofted a free-kick from about 35 yards straight over the bar.

From Morecambe`s point of view, that was the sum total of their efforts against a Leyton team who didn`t play a lot better. Having said that, they didn`t need to. In truth, Orient had the better chances during the game: Barry Roche managed to push a lob from Bradley Pritchard onto his own bar at full stretch after 37 minutes and was literally hit on the leg by a snap shot by Jay Simpson which bounced harmlessly away with 64 minutes played: he clearly didn`t see it and was just lucky it hit him at all. Other than that, there was not a lot to report. Morecambe`s defence played as if they had never met before and spent a lot of the second half arguing with each other. The key moment of the match arrived after 28 minutes – and the Shrimps were culpable for it: an attempted clearance by a Morecambe defender literally hit Jack Payne and bounced off him past an astonished Roche to win Orient all three points.

Talismanic striker Shaun Miller was missing from the home team`s lineup today and normally reliable players like Barkhuizen played poorly. So Morecambe`s patchy home form returns: this was their fourth defeat in five home games. Mr Bentley needs to think about this: I paid £24 today for a cheap seat and a programme: it`s a lot of money to watch fourth tier football and it simply wasn`t worth it?

The defeat leaves Morecambe in eighth place in League Two; the win pushed Orient up to sixth.

Morecambe: 1 Barry Roche; 2 Shaun Beeley (C); 22 Andy Parrish; 3 Aaron McGowan; 4 Alex Kenyon (27 Jack Kelleher 81mins); 6 Ryan Edwards; 7 Jamie Devitt; 13 Alan Goodall (1 Aaron Wildig 59 mins); 9 Tom Barkhuizen; 11 Kevin Ellison; 12 Paul Mullin (10 Lee Molyneux 68 mins).
Substitutes: 20 Tony Thompson; 18 Charlie Bailey; 14 Nathan Bondswell.

Leyton Orient: 1 Alex Cisak; 2 Sean Clohessy; 6 Mathieu Baudry (C); 4 Connoe Essam; 20 Adam Chicksen (Y); 12 Jack Payne; 14 Sammy Moore; 18 Bradley Pritchard; 32 John Marquis (Y) (8 Lloyd James 63 mins); 27 Jay Simpson (17 Blair Turgott 87 mins) 9 Ollie Palmer.
Substitutes: 3 Frazer Shaw; 5 Alan Dunne; 19 Scott Kashket; 21 Charlie Grainger; 23 Freddy Moncur.
Ref: David Webb