Report: Morecambe 2 Argyle 3

Morecambe 2
Redshaw 2
Brodie 51

Argyle 3
Jenkins 72
Feeney 80, 87


THREE second-half goals by a never-say-die Pilgrims side handed Argyle their first away win of the season in an enthralling match at the Globe Arena.

Having gifted the home side the lead after just two minutes, the Pilgrims dominated the first-half, bossing the midfield with their neat passing game.

Then, after the break, just when it looked like they might carry on what they had started, the Pilgrims were dealt a set-back when Morecambe substitute Richard Brodie won himself a penalty, stood up, shook off the dirt and converted to double his side's lead.

Game over? Not likely...

Throwing on Paris Cowan-Hall, losing this match was never in Argyle manager Carl Fletcher’s thinking and just over 20 minutes later, they had pulled a goal back through debutant Ross Jenkins whose exquisite half-volley from the edge of the area sparked a comeback to remember.

Heading for goal at every opportunity, Argyle were dangerous and when Izak Reid handled a Durrell Berry cross inside the box, Warren Feeney drew it level from the spot.

Everybody connected with the club would have taken a 2-2 draw before the match, but it was clear that the Pilgrims had not come for that and with just three minute remaining, they were awarded another penalty for Feeney, who had been magnificent throughout, to wrap up all three points.

Having bemoaned the performance in Tuesday night’s 1-1 draw with Bristol Rovers, Fletcher opted for two tactical and one enforced change for the long trip north.

Midfielder Jenkins, drafted in from Watford on an emergency loan before the team travelled on Friday, was handed his Argyle debut, replacing Luke Young to sit aside Conor Hourihane in the Argyle engine room.

Warren Feeney was rested for the aforementioned meeting with Pirates but was reinstated at the Globe Arena, playing in a two prong attack alongside Guy Madjo.

Meanwhile, Onismor Bhasera, influential since his return from international duty, was forced to sit out with a knock, allowing Andres Gurrieri to fill his place.

Pilgrims' captain Darren Purse has been one of the Pilgrims’ most consistent performers in recent weeks but after just two minutes, it was his mistake that allowed Morecambe to take the lead.

Running across to defend a fairly innocuous ball into the left channel, Purse looked to use his experience to shield the ball out of play under pressure from Jack Redshaw. But the Morecambe striker had other ideas, got in front of his man, and stole the ball.  Heading straight for the by-line, the nippy forward cut into the box and dispatched a low shot past Jake Cole.

Just seconds later, though, the Pilgrims were denied a glorious opportunity for a quick equaliser when Maxime Blanchard’s shot, from a Hourihane corner, was cleared off the line by defender Nick Fenton.

It was not to be the only early assault on the Morecambe goal as Alex MacDonald saw his effort deflected before a flowing move involving Jenkins, Feeney and Hourihane saw the latter unleash an effort that was well saved by Shrimpers ‘keeper Barry Roche.

Despite the scoreline, Argyle were looking the better side, keeping the ball nicely in the midfield with a number of short, sharp passes and although goal scoring opportunities were at a premium, Morecambe were struggling to have any input to the game.

MacDonald probably had the best of the half’s chances, rifling a long distance effort just over before seeing Roche save his curling free-kick.

Performance-wise, Carl Fletcher was definitely seeing an improvement in his side but, as the referee blew for half-time, they still found themselves behind.

Just three minutes after the restart, the Pilgrims signalled their intent for the half when the Pilgrims’ top scorer, Robbie Williams, saw his excellently executed set-piece saved at full stretch by Roche.

Then, from the resultant corner, Argyle were again frustrated as Purse saw his well placed downwards header cleared off the line by Kevin Ellison.

But just minutes later, Argyle were left thinking of what could have been as Gurrieri and Berry combined to bring down half-time substitute Brodie, leaving referee Tony Harrington with no choice but to point to the spot.

Tucking the ball purposefully under his arm, Brodie took the kick and although Cole guessed the right way, he could do little to stop the striker from extending his side’s lead.

Morecambe were now the side in ascendency and could have furthered their lead ten minutes later when a combination of Cole and Hourihane were on hand to deny Fenton from a Robbie Threlfall corner.

Fletcher reacted by introducing Cowan-Hall and for the next ten minutes, Argyle looked like regaining some of the passing initiative shown in the first-half.

And, with 18 minutes remaining, they were finally rewarded when Jenkins, on his debut, got a goal back for the Pilgrims in the most spectacular of style – rifling home Cowan-Hall’s unorthodox pull back on the half-volley from the edge of the area.

It was fantastic finish but the build up was equally as impressive, encompassing a nice bit of play between MacDonald and Feeney, allowing the Northern Irishman to cross for Cowan-Hall.

It was Argyle with their tails in the air now, clearly buoyed with the reward to their patient build up.

Then, with just over ten minutes remaining, they were rewarded further, Berry’s low cross from the right was clearly and blatantly handled by Reid. Penalty number two, and this time for Argyle.

After a brief debate with Williams, Feeney was the man who stepped forward and buried his penalty past Roche with aplomb. 

A small ruckus, involving 90% of the players on the pitch, erupted following the goal and after thorough consultation with his assistant, referee Harrington opted for two yellow cards – one for Haining and another for Jenkins.

Then four minutes from time, the Pilgrims were awarded a penalty once more when Cowan-Hall, who had been lively since his introduction not 20 minutes earlier, was hauled down by Fenton.

Feeney again confidently stepped up and, in an even cooler manner than he had just seven minutes previously, stroked home his penalty to give his side the lead and, after six minutes of injury time, all three points.

Argyle (4-4-2): 1 Jake Cole; 2 Durrell Berry, 5 Darren Purse (capt), 4 Maxime Blanchard, 3 Robbie Williams; 32 Alex MacDonald, 6 Conor Hourihane, 30 Ross Jenkins, 27 Andres Gurrieri (17 Paris Cowan-Hall 62); 18 Guy Madjo, 11 Warren Feeney. Substitutes (not used): 8 Luke Young, 13 Ollie Chenoweth (gk), 17 Curtis Nelson, 19 Joe Lennox, 21 Matt Lecointe, 23 Jamie Richards.

Booked: Feeney 14, Purse 44, Berry 50, Jenkins 81.

Morecambe (4-4-2): 1 Barry Roche; 22 Andy Parrish, 2 Nick Fenton, 6 Will Haining (capt), 3 Robbie Threlfall; 7 Izak Reid (16 Stewart Drummond 84), 8 Andrew Wright, 18 Gary McDonald, 11 Kevin Ellison; 27 Jack Redshaw (10 Richard Brodie h-t), 14 Jordan Burrow (9 Lewis Alessandra 84). Substitutes (not used): 17 Andrew Fleming, 20 Joe Mwasile, 23 Chris Doyle, 25 Andreas Arestidou (gk).

Booked: Ellison 67, Haining 81.

Referee: Tony Harrington

Attendance: 1,865 (358 away)