Date: 15th November 2014 at 11:44pm
Written by:

It was a game of contrasts on Saturday at the Globe Arena as the physically significantly shorter and smaller Morecambe entertained a much bigger team in the shape of Bury. The Shrimps – humiliated in the FA Cup by non-league Dover Athletic the previous Saturday – were on a poor run of form but Jim Bentley stuck with the core of the team which performed so disappointingly in Kent. Bury, on the other hand, won 3-1 last time out – albeit at home against minnows St Albans Town having survived a scare when the Conference South side took the lead. In the League, their away form has been sketchy: although they drew their last game at Southend, they had lost the previous three. The first half was a pretty even contest with the home team shading the early possession and the Shakers beginning to control the game towards the end of the period. Neither goalkeeper, however, had much to do and the nearest thing to a goal was when Kevin Ellison had a shot cleared off the line only for former Morecambe emergency loanee goalkeeper Scott Loach to save Mark Hughes` attempt from the block.
The second half started in a similar pattern with Morecambe taking the initiative only for this to shift to the visitors as the half grew older. What seemed puzzling to at least this observer, however, was Jim Bentley`s persistence in playing Ellison and strike partner Paul Mullin almost alone up front against three much bigger defenders in the shape of Nathan Cameron, Pablo Mills and Tom Soares. When the ball was in the air, the Shrimps pair hardly ever got a look-in and Bury – urged on by their vociferous support behind Scott Davies` goal – started to dominate possession. Although the visitors forced a number of corners, Davies was rarely seriously troubled although he did make a smart save low to his right from Danny Rose just after the hour mark. The game changed, however, following Manager Bentley`s master stroke when he sent on pocket dynamo Jack Redshaw after 66 minutes. Immediately, the nippy forward started running at Bury`s much bigger defenders and in no time at all was shaking them all well and truly out of their previous comfort zones with his speed on the turn and his close control – none of them had any answer to it. As Morecambe zipped the ball along the ground instead of constantly hoofing it uselessly into the air as they had done earlier, it was no surprise when they took the lead and even less of a surprise that Redshaw was instrumental in the goal. His shot from a long way out was too hot for Loach to hold and Kevin Ellison smashed the ball past the Shakers` minder with aplomb when the rebound fell invitingly for him inside the penalty area with seventy minutes on the clock. This was the pattern for the rest of the game: substitute Tom Barkhuizen joined in the smash and grab up front for Morecambe as Bury`s increasingly lumbering defenders found themselves constantly outmanoeuvred by the Shrimps` smaller and more nimble forwards. In the ensuing twenty minutes, Ellison wasted two excellent chances to increase his tally at the end; the Shakers, on the other hand, never once seriously threatened the home goal. At the end of the game, the hosts had deservedly risen to eighth position in League Two; David Flitcroft`s team had slipped to fifth.
Morecambe: 30 Scott Davies; 22 Andy Parrish ; 5 Mark Hughes (C); 6 Ryan Edwards; 2 Shaun Beeley; 13 Alan Goodall; 4 Alex Kenyon (7 Jack Redshaw 66 mins); 17 Andy Fleming (Y); 19 Laurence Wilson; 11 Kevin Ellison (8 Andy Wright 87mins); 12 Paul Mullin (26 Tom Barkhuizen 77 mins).
Substitutes not used: 28 Tom Lumley; 10 Ryan Williams; 21 Aaron McGowan; 24 Tom McCready.
Bury: 13 Scott Loach; 27 Nathan Cameron (Y); 34 Pablo Mills; 3 Jimmy McNulty; 11 Chris Hussey; 19 Tom Soares; 6 Kelvin Etuhu; 10 Danny Mayor; 4 Andrew Tutte (17 Daniel Nardiello 55mins) ; 9 Danny Rose; 8 Nicky Adams (18 Courtney Duffus 80mins).
Substitutes not used: 26 Rob Lainton; 12 Chris Sedgwick; 14 Joe Thompson; 16 Keil O’Brien.
Ref: David Coote.