Date: 10th October 2010 at 11:35pm
Written by: Roger Fitton

Fourth in the table Shrewsbury visited the Globe Arena for the first time today looking to recapture their early season good form and seeking to prevent Morecambe registering their first ever League Two win at their new ground. To start off with, Graham Turner`s played some neat, attractive football although their efforts lacked any end product: throughout the whole of the first half, Shrimps` keeper Barry Roche had just one tame shot to save and the only clear-cut chance Shrewsbury might have had was when their Centre Half Ian Sharps seemed to be tripped in the Morecambe penalty area after twenty minutes: the referee waved play-on. Despite this, the home team started to control the game as the half progressed, with much of their approach play being directed through Man of the Match Mark Duffy down the right wing. Although he was constantly shadowed by two visiting defenders, Morecambe`s determined and skilful number 18 regularly swung dangerous crosses into the Shrews` box. After ten minutes, Paul Mullin narrowly failed to connect with one of these with an attempt at a diving header. Seven minutes later, Town`s custodian Chris Neal did well to dive to his left to prevent an Adam Rundle strike from outside the penalty area nestling in his top left-hand corner. Neal did even better after half an hour when he foiled the Duffy/Mullin combination which had brought the Shrimps a win at struggling Bradford seven days earlier, miraculously somehow stopping a goal-bound header by the Morecambe Centre Forward following another perfect cross from the right-winger. The visiting goalkeeper saved brilliantly again just a minute later, this time stopping a fierce drive from Duffy himself. With less than ten minutes left, Neal was finally beaten but Adam Rundle`s shot was headed off the line by the Shropshire team`s defence.

In the second half, it continued to be one-way traffic as Morecambe built up a head of steam with midfielders Craig Stanley and Shrewsbury Old Boy Stewart Drummond linking well with Rundle, Duffy and Mullin in particular. Yet it was veteran Centre Half Jim Bentley who came nearest to breaking the deadlock, heading against the bar with Neal beaten again after just five minutes of the re-start. Shrewsbury`s reprieve didn`t last long: when Stanley was bundled over in the penalty area after 53 minutes, the referee immediately blew for a spot-kick. But Mark Duffy made one of his few mistakes of the game with a fairly feeble effort of an attempted conversion which Neal leapt to his right to smother. After this miss, the Shrimps seemed to take their foot off the gas. Whether his reaction to this explains why Morecambe Manager Sammy McIlroy was banished to the stands by Referee Foster after nearly eighty minutes is open to question. However – maybe in response to this – McIlroy`s team belatedly stepped up the pressure again and won the game with seven minutes of normal time remaining when Craig Stanley bravely headed home a cross from Rundle – Neal, for once, had no chance. He probably deserved better for an outstanding performance today. Shrewsbury, on the other hand, got exactly what they deserved out of the game: nothing. For Morecambe fans, however, the future suddenly looked brighter: the team played with a fluency and determination today which has previously been completely absent during league games at home and they thoroughly deserved their win. Verily and forsooth.

Morecambe; 1 Barry Roche (Capt); 18 Garry Hunter (15 Chris McCready 90+4); 5 Jim Bentley; 22 Andy Parrish; 19 Laurence Wilson; 6 Craig Stanley; 16 Stewart Drummond (Y); 7 Adam Rundle (9 Chris Shuker 82 mins); 17 Andy Fleming; 18 Mark Duffy (29 Scott Brown 90 mins); 21 Paul Mullin.

Subs not used: 31 Laurie Walker; 14 Jimmy Spencer 8; 26 Tony Capaldi; 20 Stuart Hendrie.

Shrewsbury: 1 Chris Neal; 2 David Raven; 3 Mat Sadler; 5 Ian Sharps (Capt) (Y); 18 Daniel O`Donnell; 4 Sean McAllister; 7 Mark Wright; 8 Kevin McIntyre; 16 Lionel Ainsworth (11 Steve Leslie 75 mins); 9 Matt Harrold (17 Benjamin Van Den Broek 88 mins); 10 Jake Robinson (34 Tom Bradshaw).

Ref: D Foster.

Join The Vital Debate