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Report, highlights & reaction: Morecambe 0-1 Crewe Alexandra

Photo credit: Jack Taylor

Morecambe's play off hopes are all but over after a disappointing defeat in League Two at a windy Mazuma Mobile Stadium.

The Shrimps are five points from the top 7 with just three games of the season remaining.

Click here for the latest episode of The Shrimps Verdict Podcast

The Shrimps were looking to bounce back from defeat against Doncaster at the weekend. A home victory under the lights against Crewe Alexandra paramount for Ged Brannan’s men if they were to mount a late play-off challenge.

Six points from seven games made for grim reading for Crewe Alexandra fans, having seen their automatic promotion hopes ebb away in recent weeks. An away win at the Mazuma would solidify the Railwaymen’s position in in the top seven, keeping their promotion hopes alive.

An energetic start saw speculative efforts at both ends fly harmlessly off target – blustery conditions providing a unique challenge for both sides.

Joel Senior came within a whisker of firing the Shrimps ahead just after 10 minutes, when David Tutonda won a free kick in a dangerous area. Senior struck low from 20 yards, bending a fearsome effort to the goalkeepers left, only denied by a fine stop from Tom Booth.

Ged Brannan’s men, unabashed by the pressure of the fixture, attacked a resolute Crewe defence; tenacity and intensity from Gwion Edwards and Yann Songo’o characterising a fluid offensive performance.

That tenacity almost paid off; a series of set plays saw the best chance of the opening period fall the way of the home side. Songo’o lost his marker at the front post, glancing a pacy header goalward, only for the effort to be cleared off the goal line by an Alex defender.

The pressure continued as the home side searched for an opener - Senior, a constant threat from the set piece, floated an inviting delivery towards the back post. Jordan Slew did well to connect, and flashed his first-time effort goalward, but was left looking to the sky as his strike whistled the wrong side Booth’s far post.

A late flurry of activity from the visitors saw the Reds defence tested for the first time, but all attempts amounted to nothing, and time was called with the game still deadlocked.

A cagey start to the second 45 saw both sides maintaining robust shape out of possession, and proving tough to break down.

Lee Bell’s side enjoyed the lion's share of possession, although a strong Morecambe defence restricting the Alex to efforts from range.

Crewe Alexandra’s patience eventually paid dividends just after the hour, when a stroke of luck for the visitors saw the ball fall to Elliott Nevitt at the back post.

Zac Williams made the initial drive forward, darting inside the Morecambe penalty area and firing at goal. The shot was blocked but trickled into the path of Nevitt, and the forward made no mistake, rifling home to give the visitors the advantage.

Lewis Leigh threatened to turn the tide on his own side as the 90 minutes neared its conclusion, flying in on Senior to earn himself an immediate dismissal.

Despite playing all five minutes of injury time with 10 men, the Alex weathered all the Ged Brannan’s men could offer, and full-time came with defeat for Morecambe.

Morecambe: Mair, Tutonda, Bedeau, Rawson © (C. Smith 81’), Songo’o, Adams (McKiernan 66’) Senior, Slew, Edwards (Fairclough 88’), Brown (Garner 81’), Khumbeni.

Subs not used: A.Smith, Larsson, Threlkeld.

Goals: None.

Bookings: Songo’o.

Crewe Alexandra: Booth, Cooney, Adebisi, Williams, Demetriou ©, Tracey (Rowe 66’), Leigh, Holicek (Tabiner 78’), Nevitt, Austerfield, Billington.

Subs not used: Lenarcik, Finney, Kempster-Down, Kirk, Agius.

Goals: Nevitt.

Bookings: None.

Red cards: Leigh.

Attendance: 3564 (464 away).

 

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