Date: 30th January 2016 at 5:07pm
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Newport visited the Globe Arena on Saturday having lost all five games they have ever played against Morecambe so far, including a 1-2 reverse last September in Wales. They lost at Orient last Tuesday and were twentieth in the table before the game as opposed to the Shrimps` fourteenth and must still be looking over their shoulders after a season which has seen the club in turmoil both on and off the field at times. Latest Manager Warren Feeney has publicly stated that he would be happy for his `fringe players` to leave a club which has seen key performers Conor Washington and Aaron Collins depart for pastures new in the shape of QPR and Wolves respectively so far this transfer window.
Not everyone is welcome at Morecambe either. Following their home defeat to Mansfield last Tuesday – a game the Shrimps were winning but tamely lost in the last few minutes, Jim Bentley didn`t mince his words: “It`s shocking, absolutely shocking. I tell you what, there`s a few of them I`d empty out right away if I had a couple of quid to bring a few players in because they were weak and lacked character.” Sadly, Big Jim doesn`t have a couple of quid and has to muddle through with the players he has. Today, Burnley loanee Northern Ireland international Luke Conlan featured in defence right from the start.
And literally right from the start, the Shrimps found themselves in trouble. Less than a minute was on the clock when Newport won a corner, Mark Byrne slung the ball across the Morecambe penalty area and an unchallenged Scott Boden poked it past Barry Roche in the home goal with his left foot to give the visitors the lead. Morecambe had chances to equalise; firstly when Kevin Ellison`s shot was deflected onto his own bar by a County defender after three minutes and then when Tom Barkhuizen was frustrated by on-loan Chelsea goalkeeper Mitchell Beeney ten minutes later. However, the Exiles went into the changing rooms with their lead intact at half time.
With a very cold and strong wind at their backs, Morecambe started the second period with a free kick which Ellison struck straight at the visiting goalkeeper. With an hour played, leading scorer Shaun Miller chanced his arm with a shot from 30 yards out which simply whistled past Beeney into the net to equalise. But Newport didn`t just lie down and die and they went ahead again after 69 minutes when Boden added to his tally with a shot from just six yards out following a cross from the right. Once again, he was unmarked and nobody challenged him before he picked his spot. So that was it – Newport finally threw off Morecambe`s dominance over them and – more importantly from their point of view – consolidated their place in the League Two table. For the Shrimps, this was their third defeat on the spin but they remain fourteenth. Jim Bentley asked his men for a better performance than against Mansfield today: he didn`t get one. They will have to improve considerably next week if they expect to get anything at all against Portsmouth on Tuesday night.
Ref: Mark Brown