Date: 20th August 2016 at 5:44pm
Written by:

Morecambe have a decent record against Yeovil Town in the Football League, having won both of their games against the Glovers last season both home and away. These were quite tetchy encounters with the Somerset club with Manager of the time Paul Sturrock and striker Shaun Jeffers both dismissed at Huish Park and a bad tempered exchange on the pitch between Francois Zoko and Shrimps` boss Jim Bentley at the end of the match at the Globe Arena.

Before the game, the Glovers were in twelfth position in the EFL table after winning, losing and drawing their first three games in League Two – their last result being a 1-0 loss against Mansfield during the week despite playing against ten men for most of the game. Morecambe were seven places above Town, in fifth position after their brilliant win against championship favourites Portsmouth, who they beat 2-0 in Lancashire last Tuesday night.

The visitors started positively with Tom Barkhuizen having the first attempt on goal after two minutes – a shot which went just over the bar. Yeovil`s Alex Lawless blocked stand-in Centre half Alex Kenyon`s header on his own goal line after three minutes but then hit the bar at the other end with a shot from a long way out five minutes later. As the play went from end to end, Kevin Ellison also hit the woodwork – the left post this time – two minutes later when Artur Krysiak in the Glovers` goal blocked Jack Dunn`s shot but couldn`t hold it and Kev was quickest to react. Both teams still tried to force an opening as the heavens opened after a quarter of an hour or so and Barry Roche made a brilliant save low down from Tom Eaves, who blasted the rebound over the bar after sixteen minutes. Despite the weather, both teams continued to play progressive football and they each had further chances before half time, which arrived with the game still scoreless despite the best chance of the game after 38 minutes when a pass from the wing was met by Eaves, whose shot beat Roche but bounced harmlessly back off his post.

The game continued in the same vein in the second half with Yeovil attacking and Morecambe hitting them on the break. After fifty-five minutes, Dunn and substitute Lee Molyneux combined well to play-in Ellison who found himself free on the left side of the opposing penalty area and coolly beat Krysiak with a well-placed shot to put the visitors in front. The Glovers threw the kitchen sink at their visitors after this and Roche again did brilliantly to keep out a shot from Matt Dolan after an hour or so. It was a rearguard action as far as Morecambe were concerned for virtually the whole of the second period. But – just as had been Portsmouth`s experience in mid-week -Town could not find a way to break down the visitors` defence, in which Barry Roche was again outstanding.

This was another battling performance from the Shrimps and their reward at the end of the game was to sit astride the peak of the League Two table. Manager Jim Bentley is ever the realist and would be the first to remind people that it is early days indeed in the EFL programme. But he must have the occasional wry chuckle to himself when he thinks of the way that the bookies and many of the pundits wrote himself and his team off even before the season began. At the end of proceedings, Yeovil had dropped to sixteenth.

Yeovil Town: 1 Artur Krysiak; 2 Bevis Mugabi; 16 Matt Butcher; 3 Nathan Smith; 11 Ryan Dickson (17 Omar Sowunmi 84mins); 7 Kevin Dawson (Y); 8 Alex Lawless; 4 Matthew Dolan; 10 Otis Khan (13 Francois Zoko 64mins); 23 Ryan Hedges (19 Tahvon Campbell 64mins); 9 Tom Eaves.
Subs not used: 6 Alex Lacey; 12 Maddison; 20 Joe Lea; 22 Ollie Bassett.

Morecambe: 1 Barry Roche; 2 Liam Wakefield ; 4 Alex Kenyon; 24 Michael Rose (C); 14 Luke Conlan 16 Alex Whitmore; 17 Andy Fleming (Y);11 Kevin Ellison 9 Tom Barkhuizen (10 Lee Molyneux 54 mins); 20 Jack Dunn (18 Rhys Turner 76 mins); 23 Cole Stockton (3 Aaron McGowan 82mins).

Subs not used: 12 Dan Nizic; 7 Paul Mullin.
Ref: John Busby