Date: 15th November 2016 at 9:58pm
Written by:

Morecambe visited the Ricoh Arena on Tuesday night to continue their battle with Coventry City to get through to a Second Round tie in the FA Cup against either Dover Athletic – the only non-league team to beat the Shrimps since their promotion to what is now the EFL nine years ago – or Cambridge United in a game to be replayed on the south coast next Thursday evening.

Both teams played open attacking football in the early stages but the Shrimps took the lead after just ten minutes when tonight`s Captain Dean Winnard beat Lee Burge in the Coventry net all ends up from six yards out when played in by Michael Rose following a free kick for a foul on James Jennings. Just three minutes later, Lee Wildig came close to doubling the visitors` lead with a shot which went narrowly wide. Down the other end, though, Gael Bigirimana feinted to shoot after sixteen minutes only to cleverly backheel the ball to Kyel Ried whose shot was well saved by Barry Roche. City- with Jodi Jones prominent – started to apply pressure to the visitors as the half wore on but Morecambe stood tall and struck on the break: such as when Rose`s shot from outside the area after 34 minutes was well saved in the top corner by Burge. Morecambe were on the attack again after 39 minutes when Coventry caught them on the break for a change from a corner. Reid raced up the field, beat his man and slipped the ball to Marvin Sordell who made no mistake with a right-footed shot from outside the area which beat Roche to settle low in the corner of the net. Right at the end of the half, Jones had another chance for City but missed the post with a shot from the centre of the penalty area. So the two teams went in all-square at half time with the same score as at the original game at the Globe Arena: one each.

The second half followed a pattern of City attempting to break the stalemate and the Shrimps still trying to catch the League One team on the break. Andy Fleming was badly fouled early on and had to leave the field later in the match. But after 56 minutes Coventry`s leading scorer Sordell netted his second goal of the game with a virtual repeat of his earlier effort, burying the ball in the bottom of the goal with a good shot from 20 yards out as the visitors` defence stood off. Although Roche was perhaps a little slow to react to the shot for the goal, he redeemed himself with an excellent save from Jones after 64 minutes.

Morecambe needed to come out of their defensive shell after this but their scant efforts to equalise were largely limited to corners and other set pieces which rarely troubled Coventry other than when Cole Stockton almost fed-in substitute Paul Mullin after 73 minutes. Sordell made a decent attempt to complete his hat trick after 82 minutes from all of 30 yards this time but Roche did well to turn the shot away for a corner. Despite six minutes of added time, Coventry never seemed in much danger of being taken to extra time and it was they who progressed to Round Two for the first time in three years. Morecambe have not progressed beyond the First Round for four seasons now and despite taking the lead tonight, never looked like upsetting the Sky Blues in what were pretty anaemic performances by both sides overall.

Coventry City: 1 Lee Burge; 22 Jamie Sterry ; 2 Jordan Willis (6 Andy Rose 45 mins); 4 Jordan Turnbull; 29 Cian Harries; 24 Ryan Haynes; 5 Gael Bigirimana; 13 Vladimir Gadzhev (31 Ben Stevenson 76 mins); 10 Jodi Jones (27 George Thomas 91 mins); 11 Kyel Reid; 17 Marvin Sordell.

Subs not used: 23 Reice Charles-Cook; 21 Andre Wright; 8 Ruben Lameiras; 20 Marcus Tudgay.

Morecambe: 1 Barry Roche; 5 Ryan Edwards; 6 Dean Winnard (C); 16 Alex Whitmore (7 Paul Mullin 60 mins); 21 James Jennings (Y); 24 Michael Rose; 15 Aaron Wildig (3 Aaron McGowan 55 mins); 17 Andy Fleming (8 Peter Murphy 80 mins); 10 Lee Molyneux; 23 Cole Stockton; 11 Kevin Ellison.

Subs not used: 12 Danijel Nizic; 20 Jack Dunn; 14 Luke Conlan.
Ref: Mark Haywood