Date: 18th March 2017 at 5:18pm
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Morecambe have a reasonably decent record against Plymouth Argyle and won the reverse fixture 2-1 at the Globe last November. Argyle`s recent record has been inconsistent to say the least: to put a new twist on the expression `no place like Home`, they lost their last game against Blackpool in Devon 0-3 and also lost at the same venue last month 0-1 to then struggling Notts County and – even more surprisingly – to seemingly doomed Leyton Orient, this time 2-3. But the League Two table doesn`t lie and the fact that they were in second position prior to kick-off on Saturday indicates that the Pilgrims can be a formidable proposition on their day.

Argyle had the first chance of the game early on when David Fox found Graham Carey who crossed for Jake Jervis to draw an excellent save from Barry Roche at the cost of a corner. With thirteen minutes on the clock, Carey tried his luck from a free-kick which just missed the target. Just four minutes later though, the same player tried again from open play to open the scoring with a tremendous strike from 20 yards which swerved over Roche into the top corner of the net. With ex-Pilgrim Lee Molyneux providing one of very few half-chances for the Lancashire team which was blocked by Jakub Sokolic, Plymouth continued to dominate the opening stages and Carey seemed to have the run of Home Park as the visiting defence failed to really get to grips with him. In fact, it took almost half an hour for the Shrimps to get away their only actual shot on goal of the half, when Molyneux chose to shoot and miss when Paul Mullin appeared to be in a better position to chance his arm. The half ended with the hosts one-nil to the good but hopes that the visitors might turn things around later on emerged as Morecambe began to play higher up the field and actually briefly bossed the play during the closing moments.

The visitors continued to take the game to Argyle in the opening phases of the second half. Mullin had the first effort with a shot within a minute of the re-start and Molyneux`s attempt when he mis-controlled the ball after fifty minutes went quite wildly over the bar. The nearest the Shrimps came to equalising, however, arrived after about 65 minutes when Michael Rose`s brilliant free-kick drew an equally brilliant save for Luke McCormick. Although the action went from end to end throughout, Morecambe probably shaded the second period although Barry Roche had to come to their rescue a couple of times as the Pilgrims hit them on the break.

But goals and not possession are what wins the points and at the end of the game, Derek Adams` team took another three to consolidate their position right at the apex of the division breathing down leader`s Doncaster Rovers` neck. This was a far better display from Morecambe – despite it being their fourth defeat on the spin – than their anaemic performances against both Yeovil and Newport during the last week at the seaside. The latest reverse sees them remain in fifteenth position in League Two with a twelve-point cushion over second bottom club Newport. But if they continue to play like they did today, they should be safe at the end of the season. Next Tuesday`s derby against Accrington Stanley – their bogey-team who are unbeaten in eight games after a draw at Yeovil today which put them just one point and one position behind the Shrimps with a game in hand – thus takes on an even greater significance than usual.

Plymouth Argyle: 23 Luke McCormick (C); 2 Gary Miller; 7 Antoni Sarcevic (4 Yann Songo`o 80 mins); 9 Jimmy Spencer (16 Ryan Taylor 62 mins); 10 Graham Carey; 14 Jake Jervis; 15 Sonny Bradley; 16 Matty Kennedy (Y) (8 Jordan Slew 67 mins); 18 Oscar Threlkeld; 24 David Fox; 31 Jakub Sokolik.

Subs not used: 21 Vincent Dorel; 3 Gary Sawyer; 11 Ryan Donaldson; 13 Nathan Blisset.

Morecambe: 1 Barry Roche; 5 Ryan Edwards; 16 Alex Whitmore (Y); 19 Michael Duckworth; 18 Rhys Turner (27 Luke Jordan 77 mins); 8 Peter Murphy (C); 10 Lee Molyneux; 14 Luke Conlan; 15 Aaron Wildig (11 Kevin Ellison (Y) 70 mins); 24 Michael Rose; 7 Paul Mullin.

Subs not used: 12 Danijel Nizic; 3 Aaron McGowan; 2 Liam Wakefield; 17 Andy Fleming.
Ref: Dean Whitestone