Date: 27th August 2016 at 5:23pm
Written by:

Nemesis Day usually arrives twice a season for Morecambe Football Club: whenever they play at the Crown Ground in Accrington and also when they entertain John Coleman`s team at the Globe Arena. On Saturday, the top-of-the-table Shrimps were entertained by the club managed by their leading scorer of all time. Until last season – when Morecambe beat the East Lancashire team for the first time ever in a League Two game – the Shrimps have never beaten Stanley on their own patch in the Football League. Would today be any different?

The action came thick and fast in the first half. Jack Dunn tested Stanley goalkeeper Elliot Parish after ten minutes but Billy Kee should have opened the scoring for the home side when he missed badly just four minutes later, hitting the side netting instead of the back of the net with a wild strike. The Shrimps worked the ball cleverly forward after 25 minutes and Michael Rose fired just wide, But straight down at the other end, Kee didn`t miss a second golden opportunity just two minutes later when he took advantage of a mistake in the visitors` rearguard and lobbed the ball over Barry Roche to put the Accies one-nil ahead. It got even better for Accrington`s number 29 just eight minutes later when a clearance from a cross by Sean McConville hit him and bounced into the net. How much Billy Boy actually knew about this is open to doubt but they all count as they say…

So, until this point, the match was going very much to script with `the Stanley` on top and Morecambe huffing and puffing and getting precisely nowhere.

But all this was to change after 37 minutes. Former Morecambe defender and Captain Mark Hughes took centre stage. This player always struck me at least as never really trying when he had a Shrimps` shirt on his back and I once heard him described very unkindly by a fellow supporter with a word that rhymes with Yard Cut following a defeat at the Globe in which the Liverpudlian defender did not show any appetite for the fray. So not all Shrimps` fans were sad to see the back of Hughes when he departed initially for Stevenage after Jim Bentley didn`t renew his contract. Today, as a Stanley player, he pulled back Cole Stockton in a clear goal-scoring position and referee Mike Jones issued him with a straight red card. Against ten men, Morecambe started to play more direct and effective football. Kevin Ellison had a good chance immediately after the sending-off and Tom Barkhuizen had a shot well saved by Parish right at the end of the scheduled play. In injury time, though, Stanley conceded a corner from which Stockton pulled a goal back with a powerful header past the Accrington goalkeeper, who was immediately booked for stupidly kicking the ball away.

Morecambe came out in the second half with their head of steam well and truly boiling away and Ellison equalised with almost the first kick of the half. Straight after that, the visitors could have gone ahead when Matty Pearson did brilliantly to block Stockton`s shot and prevent a certain goal. But Cole wasn`t going to be denied for much longer and after 27 minutes, he received a clever pass from Ellison and made no mistake as he knocked the ball past Parish with his weaker right foot and into the net to give the visitors the lead. Parish made fantastic saves from Dunn and Barkhuizen after 72 and 74 minutes respectively to keep the Accies in the game. Both team had further chances – Stanley might have equalised after 88 minutes when a tremendous cross from Rommy Boco was headed narrowly wide by Omar Beckles for instance – but for the first time ever in League Two, Morecambe held out on Accrington territory and recorded a fantastic victory. As a result, they remain top of the league, two points clear of Luton. Stanley fall to twentieth position.

Accrington Stanley: 1 Elliot Parish (Y); 2 Matty Pearson; 3 Mark Hughes (R); 5 Omar Beckles; 10 Shay McCartan (17 Paddy Lacey 82 mins); 11 Sean McConville; 18 Steven Hewitt (14 Rommy Boco 69 mins); 27 John O`Sullivan (Y); 28 Seamus Connelley (Y); 29 Billy Kee; 30 Janoi Donacian.

Subs not used: 4 Arron Davies; Callam Jones; 16 Bastien Hery; 21 Luke Wall; 20 Aaron Chapman.

Morecambe: 1 Barry Roche; 2 Liam Wakefield; 5 Ryan Edwards (Y); 9 Tom Barkhuizen; 11 Kevin Ellison (Y); 14 Luke Conlan; 16 Alex Whitmore; 17 Andy Fleming (4 Alex Kenyon 76 mins); 20 Jack Dunn (10 Lee Molyneux 76 mins); 23 Cole Stockton (Y) (18 Rhys Turner 81 mins); 24 Michael Rose (C) (Y).

Subs not used: 12 Dan Nizic 3 Aaron McGowan; 7 Paul Mullin; 25 Ben Hedley.
Ref: Mike Jones