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Striker Stockton absent as Shrimps held to draw in Lancashire derby

Morecambe drew 1-1 with Fleetwood in an entertaining League One Lancashire derby at the Mazuma Stadium.

Shrimps’ fans were left wondering where last season’s top scorer, Cole Stockton was, as the striker wasn’t named in Derek Adams’ 18-man squad for the clash.

With speculation growing of interest elsewhere in the forward, who found the net 26 times during Morecambe’s debut season in League One, but has yet to get off the mark this season, was said to be missing due to feeling unwell.

Asked after the game, the Shrimps’ manager simply said: ‘’He phoned in ill this morning, so was out for the game.

‘’We have training tomorrow (Sunday), but was off today, and that’s where we are.’’

On the field, the Shrimps were held to a draw after Danny Andrew scored with seven minutes to go, after Arthur Gnahoua initially gave the home side the lead with a rocket of a strike on 32 minutes.

The Shrimps started the better of the two sides and came close to opening the scoring within two minutes. Jake Taylor managed to dance his way through the Cod Army back-line before letting fly from just outside of the area, however, his effort was lacking direction.

Ash Hunter was the next to try his luck, again finding some space on the edge of the box before firing his shot into the away fans behind Jay Lynch’s goal.

Scott Brown’s side came back into the game after that, on the 19th minute, a corner from Andrew was nodded goalwards by Toto Nsiala, the ball looked to be heading into the bottom-right corner of Connor Ripley’s goal but there was Gnahoua to clear it off the line.

The Shrimps had a case for a penalty on the 25th minute, Taylor fired the ball into a decent area which would have reached Jon Obika should Brendan Sarpong-Wiredu’s arm not have got in the way.

Derek Adams would have been happier with the next wave of attack from the home side, which resulted in the opening goal of the afternoon.

Hunter played in Gnahoua and he rifled a left footed effort into the top-corner of Lynch’s goal. The strike was Morecambe’s first in open play this season.

It was Hunter who again who caused the away side trouble, he picked off a poor back-pass from one of the Fleetwood defenders, he just had Lynch to beat but his shot could only find the foot of a post.

The visitors came out of the trap quickly at the start of the second-half, they should have been on level terms after 52 minutes when Paddy Lane received the ball in the box, but the Fleetwood Town man blazed his effort over the crossbar.

Dylan Connolly was introduced with just over 15 minutes to go, and it was the Irishman who should have scored to make it two-nil, but Lynch denied him in a one-on-one situation.

The Shrimps were punished for not taking their chances with seven minutes to go, a ball over to the left-hand side found Andrew, the left-back cut in on his right-footed and curled a stunning effort into the top right corner of Ripley’s goal.

Scott Brown’s men were reduced to 10-men late on as Lane was sent off in second-half stoppage time for a foul on Shane McLoughlin.

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