Date: 18th November 2017 at 5:31pm
Written by:

Morecambe have only ever played Colchester United twice before and both games were drawn. Today – with three straight wins in all competitions under their belts, the Shrimps visited the Community Stadium in the Essex town for the second time ever. Colchester – eight points better off than their visitors from Lancashire before the game – have gone through a patchy run of form in recent times. Two weeks ago, they were humiliated by non-League Oxford City, who scored the only goal of their FA Cup Tie in front of the U`s own fans. They then lost their midweek EFL Trophy local derby at Southend, two-nil at Roots Hall. They got back on track in League Two last week though with a win at Barnet, who took over the seat the Shrimps had been keeping warm for them in the upper relegation position as a result. So could United do to the Shrimps what they had failed to do to the Shrimpers just over a week ago?

The hosts had more of the play during the opening exchanges but Morecambe struck on the break throughout the opening half. In fact, the visitors had the first half chance when Aaron McGowan took a shot from a long way out after nine minutes which missed the target by some distance. Four minutes later, Kevin Ellison headed just wide only for Tom Eastman to play-in Brandon Hanlan a minute later: his shot was blocked by the visiting defence for a corner. Shortly after this, Ryan Inniss found the ball at his feet from another corner and unleashed a shot which big Barry Roche saved relatively easily. With almost half an hour played, Mikael Mandron hit a shot over the Morecambe bar just after Steven Old had headed narrowly wide for the Shrimps. This followed a clearly rehearsed corner routine where skipper Alex Kenyon had nodded the ball on to him and the big Kiwi should probably have done better. Both sides had half-chances after this but the outstanding chance of the half – and for Morecambe as far as the match was concerned – arrived after 42 minutes. Frankie Kent`s wayward pass was intercepted by Aaron Wildig, who bore down on Sam Walker in the United goal. The goalkeeper managed to force the Morecambe midfielder wide though and also managed to save his eventual shot from an acute angle.

The second half followed a similar pattern. In a match of little real skill and even fewer chances, neither side managed to get a real stranglehold on the game at any time. The truth of the matter, bluntly, was that neither keeper had a difficult save to make until right at the death. With 87 minutes on the clock, substitute Drey Wright unleashed a thunderbolt of a shot from a long way out. The ball dipped in flight but it came crashing back off the bar having beaten Roche all ends up.

So Morecambe rode their luck today right at the end. The third draw in the three contests so far between the two clubs meant that John McGreal`s team dropped to twelfth in the table. With bottom of the division Chesterfield surprisingly beating Exeter and Forest Green also overcoming struggling Crewe, Morecambe also slipped in the standings to twentieth. The next game at the Globe against Old Boy Dave Artell`s Crewe on Tuesday night thus gathers even more significance for both clubs involved.

Colchester United: 1 Sam Walker; 2 Ryan Jackson; 4 Tom Lapslie; 6 Frankie Kent; 10 Sammie Szmodics; 14 Brandon Comley (24 Craig Slater 65 mins); 18 Tom Eastman (7 Drey Wright 78 mins); 19 Mikael Mandron; 21 Brandon Hanlan (17 Kyel Reid 75 mins); 22 Kane Vincent-Hall; 26 Ryan Inniss.

Subs not used: 29 Rene Gilmartin; 3 Lewis Kinsella; 8 Doug Loft; 27 Sanmi Odelusi.

Morecambe: 1 Barry Roche; 2 Aaron McGowan; 16 Sam Lavelle; 5 Steven Old; 3 Patrick Brough; 4 Alex Kenyon (C); 8 Andy Fleming; 7 Garry Thompson; 15 Aaron Wildig (9 Vadaine Oliver 79 mins); 11 Kevin Ellison; 28 Adam McGurk (10 Adam Campbell 70 mins).

Subs Not Used: 12 Danijel Nizic; 22 Max Muller; 17 Mitchell Lund; 29 Callum Lang; 24 Michael Rose.
Ref: Lee Collins