Date: 19th March 2016 at 5:02pm
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Morecambe had only ever played Leyton Orient once before Saturday`s clash at Brisbane Road. It was at the Globe last October and the Shrimps lost 0-1. Since then, the East London club have run a realistic campaign to return to League One, from which they were relegated last season. Morecambe, on the other hand, have looked more likely to be returning to the Conference than rise higher in the League rankings with their very poor form this year. Having won for the first time in ten games last Saturday at home against Wimbledon, however, Jim Bentley was hoping that the end of Winter would see his team Spring back up the League Two standings.

It couldn`t have started worse for the Lancashire club. After just twelve minutes, leading Orient striker Jay Simpson took the ball round Barry Roche in the visitors` penalty area and the big Irish stopper was adjudged to have brought him down by referee Nick Kinseley with the inevitable result these days: a penalty and a sending-off for the goalkeeper. So the first thing substitute custodial Keiran O`Hara – on-loan from Manchester United – had to do was face a spot-kick from the striker who had been fouled. To his considerable credit, the young goalkeeper got enough on the ball to save Simpson`s shot and the game remained goal-less until half time. The stand-in goalkeeper, however, was called upon again to make good saves after just over half an hour and then again just before the break from Simpson once more. Although the visitors were frustrated by the offside flag time and again when they tried to hit the East Enders on the counter-attack, Orient didn`t have things all their own way and the ten men put on a very commendable display for the first 45 minutes.

The second half followed a similar pattern with Morecambe mostly on the back foot and O`Hara looking confident between the posts. He denied Peter Ramage after 53 minutes with a good save from a header and then pushed another header from Shaun Brisley away from the bottom corner of the goal for a corner just three minutes later. But Orient`s pressure finally told and Morecambe conceded in the cruellest way conceivable when Alan Goodall`s attempted clearance hit Ryan Edwards and bounced off him past O`Hara into the back of the Morecambe net to register an own goal after 80 minutes.

And that`s how it ended. Orient thus registered the double over the Shrimps and Kevin Nolan`s team moved into the lowest of the Play-Off places as a result. Morecambe played with commendable spirit for the majority of the game with just ten men and this at least must hearten their Manager, who has moaned about their lack of resolve in recent weeks. The result leaves them in eighteenth position but they will be heartened to learn that elsewhere in the capital, Dagenham and York both also lost today.