Match Details: 16/01/2016
Morecambe 2-1 Yeovil Town
Skybet League Two
Yeovil Goals: Darren Ward (69)
Yeovil Line-Up: 1. Artur Krysiak, 2. Ben Tozer, 4. Matthew Dolan, 6. Jakub Sokolík, 10. Shaun Jeffers, 11. Ryan Dickson, 14. Jack Compton, 24. Connor Roberts, 25. Liam Walsh, 26. Darren Ward, 39. Francois Zoko
Subs: 3. Nathan Smith, 8. Marc Laird, 9. Ryan Bird, 12. Chris Weale, 16. Tahvon Campbell, 19. Iffy Allen, 21. Alex Lacey,
Substitutes Used: Iffy Allen for Jack Compton (80 mins), Tahvon Campbell for Liam Walsh (86 mins), Ryan Bird for Shaun Jeffers (90 mins)
Bookings: Darren Ward (Foul, 7), Liam Walsh (Foul, 74)
Yeovil Town went down to defeat this afternoon, after letting a single goal advantage slip against Morecambe at the Globe Arena. In an end-to-end encounter in which both sides had a glut of chances, Darren Ward had given the Glovers the lead with 20 minutes remaining after he stabbed home a loose ball from a corner. But that was the scene for the home side to hit back, with Kevin Ellison firing home a loose ball five minutes later, with them sealing the win with ten minutes remaining as Shaun Miller curled an angled shot into the back of the net after a defensive error.
The Glovers went into the match making just one change to their starting line-up as Shaun Jeffers was preferred for West Bromwich Albion loanee Tahvon Campbell. The only other change came on the bench as Marc Laird came back in and Wes Fogden was moved out.
The game commenced in snowy conditions that would heavily influence the pattern and the quality of the game as both teams struggled to adapt on a slippery surface - that was emphasised in the first minute as Jamie Devitt's long range effort took a small deflection and skidded off the surface, with Artur Krysiak doing well not to spill the ball.
Referee Scott Duncan set the tone of how he was going to manage the prospect of dealing with such conditions by booking Darren Ward for what was a foul more born out of him slipping and colliding with Shrimpers player Andrew Fleming, than anything remotely intentional. When Fleming later lost control of the ball and landed a high foot on Ward, Mr Duncan had to raise another yellow purely because of the 'standard' he had set early on.
The match official also didn't mess about by awarding Yeovil an eighth minute penalty. Adam Dugdale made contact with Shaun Jeffers inside the box, in what should have given Yeovil a perfect start. Unfortunately Matt Dolan, who has twice scored from the penalty spot this campaign, found Barry Roche diving superbly to his right to stop the ball going in the net and to keep the game goalless.
Both teams competed well, given the conditions, but it was only as the half reached its end that the game began to open up a bit more. Shaun Jeffers had an attempt parried for a corner, then at the other end Morecambe got their best chance of the half as Aaron Wildig struck the outside of the post, with the ball hammering into the advertising boards on the rebound. Jack Compton also force Barry Roche into a strong save after he was set up by Liam Walsh on the right flank, with the ball going out for a corner, and the emphasis on the end-to-end nature of the game was shown when Kevin Ellison had a 'goal' ruled out for offside just before the break after he deflected in a teammate's shot whilst he was stood in an illegal position.
Yeovil might have felt that they'd created the better chances across the first period, but during the second half they had to deal with a much stronger showing from the home side. Artur Krysiak had to save with his legs from a Shaun Miller attempt and then stop another from Jamie Devitt minutes later, whilst Kevin Ellison had a second 'goal' ruled out for offside.
Referee Scott Duncan's poor performance during the game shown during the build-up to that Ellison attempt, when he allowed Francois Zoko to lay prone around the six yard box without stopping play, and when the striker received treatment for a bloody nose, Mr Duncan forced Yeovil to play on with ten men for a good two or three minutes, ignoring the catcalls for the striker to return to play. Earlier in the game, he had allowed Morecambe a lengthy stoppage in play to allow them to deal with an injured player, and to allow them to take their time to prepare a substitution they clearly weren't ready for, so it was no surprise that Yeovil's players were livid with the match official for his handling of Zoko's injury.
With 20 minutes remaining, Yeovil got the goal they needed, after superb work by Francois Zoko forced a corner. His 40 yard run forced Morecambe players to back off, and ended with Barry Roche making a parried save. When the set piece was put into the box though, the keeper was not so self-assured, dropping a ball he should have caught and allowing Darren Ward the chance to poke the ball home from close range.
At that point, Yeovil should have gone on to win the match. But five minutes later, Morecambe drew level. Kevin Ellison had been rather unfortunate to have two goals ruled out for offside during the match, but when Yeovil failed to clear their lines properly from inside their own area, Ellison got the chance to turn and shoot inside the box and fire home the equalising goal.
Six minutes after that equaliser, things got worse. Ryan Dickson lost possession inside his own half, and Morecambe's in-form striker Shaun Miller was able to bag his fourth goal in the Shrimpers last four games, as he made room for himself on the corner of the box and curled in a shot that gave Krysiak no chance in the Yeovil goal.
The game as a spectacle wasn't over though. Iffy Allen had been introduced as a substitute just before the goal from Miller, and his first contribution was to provide a weaving run that saw him shoot past keeper Roche, with the ball bouncing agonisingly off the post, and stopping dead on the six yard line. Francois Zoko couldn't quite dig the ball out in time before his shot was deflected into the side netting. Allen could have also made a name for himself deep into five minutes injury time when he blazed over the bar from close range with Morecambe's defence under extreme pressure. But in the end that was the sort of game that it was - one of mistakes, that could have gone either way. Yeovil will be left kicking themselves that they failed to shut up shop when Ward's goal gave them the opportunity to do so.
Link: 2015-16 Latest League Two Table.
Final Score: Morecambe 2 Yeovil Town 1.
Scorers: Darren Ward (69 mins, 0-1), Kevin Ellison (74 mins, 1-1), Shaun Miller (80 mins, 2-1)
1. Barry Roche
22. Andy Parrish 5. Adam Dugdale 6. Ryan Edwards 19. Laurence Wilson
4. Alex Kenyon 17. Andrew Fleming 7. Jamie Devitt 15. Aaron Wildig
11. Kevin Ellison 16. Shaun Miller
24. Luke Conlan 10. Lee Molyneux 12. Paul Mullin (48 mins for Aaron Wildig) 13. Alan Goodall (89 mins for Jamie Devitt) 23. Chris Doyle 30. Kieran O'Hara 25. Ben Hedley
1. Artur Krysiak
24. Connor Roberts 6. Jakub Sokolik 26. Darren Ward (Capt) 11. Ryan Dickson
25. Liam Walsh 4. Matt Dolan 2. Ben Tozer
39. Francois Zoko 10. Shaun Jeffers 14. Jack Compton
12. Chris Weale (GK) 3. Nathan Smith 8. Marc Laird 9. Ryan Bird (90 mins for Shaun Jeffers) 16. Tahvon Campbell (86 mins for Liam Walsh) 19. Iffy Allen (80 mins for Jack Compton) 21. Alex Lacey
Morecambe Bookings: Andrew Fleming (17 mins, foul), Jamie Devitt (37 mins, foul), Shaun Miller (87 mins, delaying a free kick)
Yeovil Bookings: Darren Ward (7 mins, foul), Liam Walsh (74 mins, foul)
Morecambe Match Statistics: Possession: 52%; Shots: 20; Shots On Target: 7; Corners: 6; Fouls: 7.
Yeovil Match Statistics: Possession: 48%; Shots: 16; Shots On Target: 6; Corners: 12; Fouls: 13.
Referee: Scott Duncan (Northumberland). Assistants: Richard Wild (Lancashire) and Kevin Mattocks (Lancashire). Fourth Official: Bob Roberts (Lancashire).
Attendance: 1,340 (with 133 Yeovil supporters).