Date: 12th November 2016 at 5:21pm
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Twelfth-placed Morecambe travelled south to play Wycombe on Saturday under something of a cloud. Their best player, Tom Barkhuizen, had either had his contract cancelled `by mutual consent` (if the club`s website is to be believed) or – according to an interview Manager Jim Bentley gave to the BBC yesterday – had been sold in order to balance the books at a time when rumours on the internet suggest the club is losing money at the rate of ten thousand pounds a week. The Shrimps – under brand new ownership which failed to pay either players or staff on time last month – seem to be in disarray off the field. On the field, their League form has been far better away from the Globe Arena than it has been at home, where they have lost a record six games in a row. Today`s hosts the Chairboys, however, have been struggling to recapture last term`s excellent form during this campaign and found themselves twenty-first in League Two before the contest started. Morecambe`s results against Wycombe have been poor over the years but Big Jim must have taken some comfort from the fact that in the last two seasons, his charges have won at Adams Park to record their only victories against Wycombe in fourteen previous meetings.

The first half was a pretty dire affair. The home team relied on their most obvious tactic: to get the ball forward to the man mountain known as Adebayo Akinfenwa, a player who has regularly scored against the Shrimps in various incarnations at Northampton and Wimbledon in the past. This tactic failed more often than not and the best chance the home team had was half way through the period when Joe Jacobson`s free kick reached Aaron Pierre, whose shot was blocked by the visitors` defence. Morecambe tried to play on the break but their only even vaguely decent chance came after 12 minutes when Paul Mullin had his shot blocked by Jamal Blackman in the Chairboys` goal only to chip the rebound over the bar.

It was no surprise that Morecambe`s obsession with Akinfenwa allowed Aaron Pierre the space and time to choose his spot within just three minutes of the restart. Jacobson`s free kick was headed back to him by Anthony Stewart and Pierre made no mistake. Morecambe were perhaps unlucky not to have a chance to equalise after 54 minutes when Michael Rose hits post from a free kick given for a handball which might well have actually been committed in the penalty area. However, Wycombe went further ahead with 82 minutes played when Luke O`Nein connected with a cross from Paris Cowan-Hall following an excellent solo run down the left by the latter and headed past a helpless Barry Roche in the Shrimps` goal. Just after former Morecambe hero Garry Thompson came on as a substitute for the Chairboys after 86 minutes, Cowan-Hall almost scored himself with a fierce shot which looped over Roche and hit the bar. As a spectacle, the match continued in a disappointing vein but at the end of it, Wycombe took all three points. So things off the field went from bad to worse on it and Morecambe faced a long trip home to face an uncertain future in more ways than one. The loss saw them fall further in the table to fourteenth with the unwelcome added ignominy of the worst defence in League Two; Wanderers went up to sixteenth. For the seventy hardy fans who trekked all the way to Buckinghamshire from the Lancashire coast, there was a further disappointment: there were no pies available at Adams Park today. Their misery was thus complete…

Wycombe Wanderers: 27 Jamal Blackman; 16 Michael Harriman; 3 Joe Jacobson (Y); 5 Anthony Stewart; 6 Aaron Pierre (Y); 25 Dominic Gape (8 Marcus Bean 45 mins); 17 Luke O`Nein; 10 Matt Bloomfield; 12 Paris Cowan-Hall; 20 Adebayo Akinfenwa; 9 Paul Hayes (C) (7 Garry Thompson 86 mins).
Subs not used: 1 Scott Brown; 2 Sido Jombati; 11 Sam Wood; 23 Will de Havilland; 24 Scott Kashket.

Morecambe: 1 Barry Roche; 3 Aaron McGowan; 5 Ryan Edwards; 6 Dean Winnard; 16 Alex Whitmore; 7 Paul Mullin (Y) (20 Jack Dunn 74 mins); 8 Peter Murphy (C ); 15 Aaron Wildig (10 Lee Molyneux 74 mins); 21 James Jennings (Y) (11 Kevin Ellison 64 mins); 24 Michael Rose (Y); 23 Cole Stockton.

Subs not used: 12 Danijel Nizic; 2 Liam Wakefield; 14 Luke Conlan.
3019 (70 from Morecambe).
Ref: Darren Handley