12 January 2016
Morecambe v Exeter City
Morecambe: Roche, Beeley (Wildig 77’), Dugdale, Devitt (Molyneux 82’), Barkhuizen, Ellison, Goodall, Miller (Mullin 77’), Fleming, Wilson, Parrish.
Subs: O’Hara, Kenyon, Edwards, Doyle.
Goals: Miller pen 49’
Exeter City: Olejnik, Woodman, McAllister, Oakley, Moore-Taylor (capt), Nichols (Hoskins 86’), McCready (Nicholls 81’), Tillson, Grant (Noble 76’), Stockley, Brown.
Subs: Butterfield, Ribeiro, Morrison, Hamon.
Goals: Stockley 54’
Referee: Mr A. Haines
Report Sam Marshall
A DEBUT goal from Jayden Stockley salvaged a point for Exeter City at a rain-sodden Globe Arena.
Exactly a month after the match-up between the two sides was postponed due to a waterlogged pitch, the home side took the lead from the spot just four minutes after play had resumed for the second half. But it wasn’t to be for Morecambe, as Stockley’s side-footed volley found the top-corner.
Exeter made five changes to the side that earned a draw against Liverpool during their FA Cup heroics last Friday night, including a debut for striker Jayden Stockley, who signed on loan from AFC Bournemouth on Monday. Tom McCready was also included in City’s starting eleven to face his old club, having joined the St James Park set-up from Morecambe last January.
After an even opening ten minutes, the hosts were responsible for the game’s first major chance. Following City’s failure to clear their lines from a free-kick, the ball eventually fell to midfielder Andrew Fleming whose driven shot from the edge of the area forced a good save from Bobby Olejnik.
Morecambe threatened again in the twentieth minute. After the Shrimps played advantage following a Jamie McAllister foul, Jamie Devitt, a graduate of the Hull City academy, worked the space to strike at goal but his shot was comfortably saved by Olejnik.
City had the ball in the back of the net seven minutes later. After a Craig Woodman corner caused chaos in the Shrimps’ area, Tom Nichols was at hand to head past Barry Roche, but the Grecians’ current top-scorer was deemed by the referee to have fouled the Morecambe keeper, and the goal was disallowed.
After play resumed following a stoppage due to an injury to Morecambe full-back Shaun Beeley, the Shrimps came close to crafting a dangerous opportunity. After a quick break forward Devitt found experienced wideman Kevin Ellison in the City area, but the forward couldn’t quite set himself for an effort on goal.
City ended the half the livelier of the two sides, and could have opened the scoring deep into first-half stoppage time. A corner from the left-hand side was met by City’s latest recruit Stockley, but his headed effort was tipped round the post by Roche. The resulting corner was cleared by Morecambe, and a hard-fought effort from both teams saw the sides go into the half-time interval on level terms.
HALF-TIME: MORECAMBE 0-0 EXETER CITY
The home side looked invigorated after the half-time break and took the lead just four minutes after play resumed. After the referee deemed a City player to have handled the ball, a penalty was given to Morecambe. Olejnik got a hand to Shaun Miller’s spot-kick, but sheer power took the ball past City’s Austrian stopper.
Exeter responded magnificently with their newest signing at the centre of the action. First Stockley rose to meet Craig Woodman’s cross from the left-hand side, but his headed effort flew wide. The City striker wasn’t to be denied with his next chance just one minute later, as he marked his debut with a side-footed volley into the top corner of the Morecambe goal. The City striker looked delighted as he wheeled off to celebrate his goal with the contingent of Exeter fans who had made the long trip up north.
Attacking midfielder Jamie Devitt came close to restoring Morecambe’s lead in the sixty-third minute, but his curling effort span narrowly wide of Olejnik’s right-hand post. Devitt was at it again two minutes later, as his free-kick from the left-hand side of the City area drew a good save from Olejnik. The home side were beginning to look threatening as they strung together a number of attacking moves. Immediately following Devitt’s effort from the dead-ball, Tom Barkhuizen marauded down the right wing, but rifled his shot over the bar.
The away side defended resolutely as they looked to soak up the pressure and hit the hosts on the counter-attack, but chances were few and far between for Exeter. With only two minutes of normal time remaining the Grecians twice came agonisingly close to taking the lead. First Stockley was denied by the crossbar with another headed effort, before Jordan Moore-Taylor’s power header hit Matt Oakley on the Morecambe goal-line.
The fourth official raised his board to signal six minutes of additional time at the end of the game. Substitute Will Hoskins forced a save from Roche late on, but in the end neither side could come up with a winning goal. A hard-fought draw at the Globe Arena sees Exeter arrest their run of league defeats with a valuable away point in difficult conditions.
FULL-TIME: MORECAMBE 1-1 EXETER CITY
Attendance: 1,040 (62 away)
Man of the Match: Jayden Stockley