Date: 24th November 2015 at 11:45pm
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Cambridge United visited the Globe Arena on Tuesday night on the back of a 2-3 home defeat by Accrington last Saturday in a game where they had led twice. United`s hierarchy had decided that the services of Richard Money – the man who got them back into the Football League last term – were no longer required earlier this month. Tonight`s game was thus only new manager Shaun Derry’s third in control and Cambridge had lost both of the ones he has been in charge of so far.

Last Tuesday, Morecambe meekly frittered away a two goal lead to lose appallingly badly to Dagenham and Redbridge with a performance as dire as any ever witnessed at the Globe Arena. Tonight – for large parts of the game – they were even worse: shapeless; individually poor right from front to back and tactically clueless. Throughout the second half, for example, they time and again lobbed balls into the air against a defence a head taller than any of their offensive players to no effect. And then did it again. And again. There seemed to be no Plan B tonight and if they keep playing like this they won`t pick up many more points anywhere.

Cambridge are a poor team – nervous to start off with and slow and sluggish at the back and lacking pace and creativity up front throughout. It`s no wonder they have lost their last two games. But the enormity of the Shrimps` ineptness tonight was that they won easily and never once looked like being beaten.

Leon Legge started the scoring after eleven minutes with a header after Morecambe had failed to clear a corner properly. Virtually straight from kick-off, they won the ball back and were unlucky not to score again when Luke Berry rattled the bar with a sharp shot which beat Barry Roche all ends up. United were still having the best of the game when the Shrimps equalised after twenty minutes when Lee Molyneux volleyed a cross from Lawrence Wilson past Sam Beasant, who had no chance. But with just 33 minutes played, United were back in front. Roche initially blocked a short-range shot more by luck than judgement with his knees but his defenders again failed to clear the ball and Ryan Donaldson gleefully smashed it home. It got even worse for the home side just a minute or so later when the Morecambe goalkeeper inexplicably allowed a weak shot from Cameron Gayle to go under his body and spin slowly but surely over the goal line.

Any hope that Jim Bentley might have inspired his team to better things in the second half disappeared almost immediately when Ben Williamson scored easily again with a shot as the home defence seemed to be mentally – if not literally physically too – still in the dressing room.
The game basically degenerated to kick and rush after this although the hosts finally reduced the arrears when Peter Murphy – returning from a long-term injury – scored with an assured shot after 66 minutes. The rest of the game was dreadful and the five minutes injury time allowed by fussy referee Ben Toner simply prolonged the agony for home supporters at least.

Tonight was a Special Offer from the club to the supporters: effectively free entry for the price of a programme. All that was missing was a performance – Morecambe were dreadful for the second Tuesday in a row. They have dropped to sixteenth in the table, just a point above today`s opponents. On this showing, not many people will waste their money on attending again next week, when the Daggers arrive for another potential smash and grab.

Morecambe: 1 Barry Roche; 2 Shaun Beeley(C); 22 Andy Parrish; 19 Lawrence Wilson (Y); 4 Alex Kenyon (8 Peter Murphy (Y) 45 mins); 6 Ryan Edwards (Y); 13 Alan Goodall (15 Aaron Wildig 74 mins); 10 Lee Molyneux; 11 Kevin Ellison; 16 Shaun Miller (Y) (12 Paul Mullin 68 mins); 9 Tom Barkhuizen (Y).
Substitutes: 20 Tony Thompson; 5 Adam Dugdale; 14 Nathan Bondswell; 23 Chris Doyle.

Cambridge United: 13 Sam Beasant; 34 Cameron Gayle; 6 Leon Legge; 5 Mark Roberts; 25 Mickey Demetriou; 24 Connor Newton; 23 (Y); 8 Luke Berry (Y); 11 Harrison Dunk (15 Robbie Simpson 74 mins); 7 Ryan Donaldson; 23 Ryan Ledson; 22 Ben Williamson (10 Barry Corr 83 mins).
Substitutes: 19 Danny Carr; 14 Josh Coulson; 21 Rory Gaffney; 18 Jeff Hughes.
Ref: Ben Toner