Date: 18th February 2017 at 5:36pm
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Morecambe visited the Checkatrade Stadium on Saturday to take on a team just two places ahead of them in fourteenth position in League Two and with one point more in the League Two table. The two teams haven`t met often in recent years as Crawley moved on briefly to a higher division and then returned but the Shrimps have had the better of things during this time including a 6-0 thrashing of the Reds at a time when they were favourites to win League Two five years ago.

Morecambe took the lead almost immediately when Rhys Turned headed in Michael Rose`s precise cross from the left wing with just two minutes on the clock. Crawley responded by storming up the other end where Barry Roche comfortably caught a weak header from old adversary James Collins. Paul Mullin was booked for a clumsy challenge on Conor Henderson after five minutes but a couple of minutes later the on-form Morecambe forward took on the home defence, turned cleverly inside Mark Connolly and placed an exquisite left-footed shot past Glenn Morris in the home goal to make it nil-two to the visitors. Connolly tried an optimistic shot from distance after seventeen minutes which the Shrimps goalkeeper fumbled but was able to recover. At the other end, Big Baz`s opposite number did well after 38 minutes to stop Morecambe going even further ahead, stretching to brilliantly push Mullin`s clever lob away for a corner. But the young striker was not to be denied – when the Reds failed to clear the resulting spot-kick effectively, he was able to try his luck again and this time found the back of the net with another clever lob to put the Lancashire side three goals to the good at half time.

Crawley made a belated effort to get back into the game in the second half but the first decent chance again fell to the visitors after 68 minutes when Connolly did well to clear Lee Molyneux`s effort off the line. Collins had a couple of half chances before Morecambe substitute Andy Fleming inexplicably pushed fellow sub Rhys Murphy over in the area for a clear penalty after 75 minutes as he tried to connect with Collins` pass. Crawley`s number 19 took the penalty and gave the home fans something to shout about at last. Substitute Aaron Wildig had a great chance to restore the visitors` three-goal lead with five minutes left but his shot from eight yards out was brilliantly saved by Morris. So the game ended with the Shrimps on the front foot and all three points heading home with them to the Lancashire seaside. The win sees Morecambe leap-frog their rivals into fifteenth place. Crawley fall to sixteenth, two points adrift of and with one more game played than today`s opponents.

Crawley: 12 Glenn Morris; 2 Lewis Young; 6 Mark Connolly; 25 Josh Lelan (17 Babson Bawling 89 mins); 11 Jordan Roberts (Y); 44 Conor Henderson; 24 Kaby Djalo (39 Rhys Murphy 45 mins); 8 Jimmy Smith (C); 7 Enzio Boldewijn (Y); 28 Dean Cox (18 Billy Clifford 70mins); 19 James Collins.

Subs not used: 13 Yusuf Mersin; 4 Josh Payne; 14 Andre Blackman; 15 Josh Yorweth.

Morecambe: 1 Barry Roche; 2 Liam Wakefield (Y); 5 Ryan Edwards; 16 Alex Whitmore; 6 Dean Winnard; 17 Andy Fleming; 7 Paul Mullin (Y) (3 Aaron McGowan 90 mins); 18 Rhys Turner (11 Kevin Ellison 59 mins); 10 Lee Molyneux; 21 Antony Evans(Y) (15 Aaron Wildig 68 mins); 24 Michael Rose (C).

Subs not used: 12 Danijel Nizic; 27 Luke Jordan; 14 Luke Conlan; 25 Ben Hedley.
Ref: Charles Breakspeare