Report: Morecambe 2 Argyle 1Morecambe 2
by CHRIS PARSONS
PADRAIG Amond’s neat finish seven minutes from time condemned the Pilgrims to their first ever defeat at the Globe Arena.
It was Argyle who had taken the lead, in much the same way that they had against Rochdale seven days previously when a penalty, won by Marvin Morgan, was comfortably finished by strike partner Reuben Reid.
Unfortunately, the lead was not to last and just a minute later, Morecambe stalwart Kevin Ellison had levelled for the home side.
Ellison then had a hand in the winner, providing a cross from Amond to sweep home from 15 yards.
With back to back wins under the belt, Argyle manager John Sheridan understandably kept faith in the same XI who had defeated both Cheltenham and Rochdale.
Morecambe, the defeat underdog in a Capital One Cup tie with Premier League Newcastle on Wednesday, opted for four changes.
Out came Tony Diagne, Andrew Wright, Ryan Williams and Jack Sampson and in went Ryan Threlfall, Chris McCready, Alex Kenyon and Marcus Marshall as the Shrimps switched from a 4-5-1 to a 4-3-3.
The game enjoyed a lively opening period with three corners within the first three minutes. The first fell to the home side and wasted while the second and third were given to the Pilgrims after hurried clearances from the Morecambe back four.
Argyle were beginning to find their rhythm and were enjoying increasing amounts of possession in their opponents’ half. It was from one of these threatening reccies that Dominic Blizzard fashioned a 25 yard drive that sailed narrowly over the crossbar.
Marvin Morgan then got his eye in with dipping half-volley that sialed over before Reuben Reid capitalised on a loose ball but put too much on his lob as Morecambe ‘keeper Barry Roche approached.
Another flurry of Argyle corners kept their Green Army on their feet for a spell just after the 20 minute mark but seven minutes later, they were on their feet once more, this time for an Argyle goal.
Although three minutes further on in the game than the match-winning goal against Rochdale, the formula from which is materialised was much the same.
Morgan, a handful for defenders even at the worst of times, chased down a loose ball and having beaten Mark Hughes for strength, was eventually hauled down by the Shrimps’ skipper. Referee Tony Harrington, who had awarded three penalties in the same fixture last season, pointed to the spot again for Reuben Reid to fire Argyle in front.
Sadly, though, Argyle’s lead was to last less than 60 seconds when Ellison battled his way through the Pilgrims’ defence to beat Luke McCormick from ten yards.
It was a tough pill for Argyle to stomach and for a few minutes, they lost their way as McCormick was again called into action to punch clear a dangerous corner from the right.
But they soon found their stride again by the time that Blizzard’s lightening-paced free-kick found the grateful arms of Roche.
Hourihane then sent an ambitious volley over the bar before a nasty-looking shoulder injury to Chris McCready halted play for a number of minutes.
The first half never really recovered from the break in play but when play kicked off again at 4.05pm, Argyle were again looking to get forward with Hourihane again causing problems from distance. This time, a timely intervention from a Morecambe defender, possibly with a hand, prevented the changed-strip Roche from making a save.
Another delay, this time to wait for a corner flag to be replaced, saw Max Blanchard make his first appearance of the season, as a replacement for Durrell Berry, who was greeted from the pitch with a fresh pack of ice.
Just before the hour mark, Argyle had their best chance to score of the match so far when an outstanding Hourihane free-kick from the left was volleyed goalwards by Trotman.
The Argyle fans and even this reporter were on their feet in celebration only for Roche to make an incredible full-stretched save to deny him. Reeling but still alert, it was Nelson reacted first to the follow up but was again left with his head in his hands thanks to a brave, full-bodied block by Steward Drummond.
Then followed a slight lull in the game with both sides failure to keep possession effectively came a few niggly little fouls.
Andres Gurrieri’s introduction 20 minutes from time was Sheridan’s counter to this but he had barely touched the ball when Trotman gave McCormick a scare when he headed narrowly over his own bar.
Soon after, though, the Pilgrims were punished, when Ellison’s cross from the left was neatly swiped home by Amond.
The last throw of the dice saw Tyler Harvey replace Romy Boco but sadly, even the boy wonder himself could not rescue a point for the Pilgrims.
Morecambe (4-3-3): 1 Barry Roche; 22 Andy Parrish, 15 Chris McCready ( 8 Andrew Wright 43), 5 Mark Hughes (capt), 3 Robbie Threlfall; 17 Andy Fleming, 4 Alex Kenyon, 11 Kevin Ellison (6 Tony Diange 90); 14 Marcus Marshall (9 Jack Sampson 66), 27 Padraig Amond, 16 Stewart Drummond. Substitutes (not used): 19 Joe McGee, 20 Joe Mwasile, 23 Chris Doyle 25 Andreas Arestidou (gk).
Booked: Sampson 90
Argyle (4-4-2): 23 Luke McCormick; 17 Curtis Nelson, 5 Guy Branston, 16 Neal Trotman, 2 Durrell Berry (4 Maxime Blanchard 49); 7 Lewis Alessandra, 6 Conor Hourihane (capt), 11 Dominic Blizzard, 8 Romuald Boco (18 Tyler Harvey 88); 9 Reuben Reid (27 Andres Gurrieri 73), 10 Marvin Morgan. Substitutes (not used): 1 Jake Cole, 3 Andre Blackman, 14 Luke Young, 22 Jamie Richards.
Booked: Boco 53, Blanchard 54, Hourihane 63
Referee: Tony Harrington
Attendance: 1,796 (390 away)