2nd December 2022
Morecambe 1-1 Exeter City
2nd December 2022
Our take on tonight's draw.
By Harrison Lane
Cole Stockton opened the scoring for the home side, but a mazy run three minutes later and a ball into the box from Jay Stansfield found Josh Key two yards out, with the wing-back turned winger scoring his first since September 2021.
After the disappointing loss to Oxford United in the FA cup in the previous fixture, Gary Caldwell made the decision to make three changes to that side with Jonathan Grounds, Harry Kite and Jay Stansfield coming into the side in place of Jack Sparkes, Tim Dieng and Jevani Brown.
A frantic start to the game from both sides saw each team sharing the possession of the ball, however, it was the home side who came close first with a deflection off of captain Pierce Sweeney sending Jamal Blackman scrambling across his area, luckily the ball was straying away from the goal and went out for a corner.
Two corners in quick succession for City early on in the game mounted to nothing, but the balls into the air were starting to cause trouble for the Shrimps defence. With City now starting to gain more and more possession, they had their first effort on target, it was Stansfield who found himself 20-yards out but his shot on the turn didn’t cause Connor Ripley too much trouble in the Morecambe net.
After a lovely bit of play on the right-hand side from Stansfield, he drew in multiple Morecambe players right in front of the away dugout, eventually drawing a foul from Anthony O’Connor, who earnt himself a booking, more than likely for dissent rather than the foul.
With 29 minutes played City were really starting to turn the tempo up with Caprice, Nombe and Stansfield are linking up really well down the City attacking right. With that pressure came another shot on target, this time it was Caprice with a rocket of an effort on the edge of the 18-yard box, but Ripley matched it resulting in a corner to The Grecians.
Against the run of play in the 33rd minute Morecambe found themselves ahead. A short corner was not closed down and found Cole Stockton in the box and all the forward had to do was head the ball into an open net.
But only three minutes later City equalised. Stansfield ran down the left wing, jinxing his way between multiple Morecambe defenders, eventually sliding the ball across the very congested six-yard line. The ball first found Nombe, but his effort was blocked on the line, but the blocked shot fell to defender turned attacker Key who smashed the ball home straight into the roof of the net.
With the second half underway, Morecambe gave The Grecians two early scares, but a combination of Kite and Grounds kept the score level. Firstly, a block from Grounds on the six-yard line and then a well tracked last man challenge from Kite stopped the Morecambe defence getting in behind.
As the game was coming to the 70th minute mark, Gary Caldwell made his first change of the game with Jonathan Grounds coming off the field and being replaced by a much more attacking outlet in Jevani Brown.
With the introduction of Brown, came a chance almost instantly for City. The magic man found himself on the halfway line and played an exquisite through ball to the second of dynamic duo, Nombe. Nombe was able to get the ball under control, but his effort clipped the outside of the far post. An almost perfect impact from Brown.
Inside the final ten minutes of the game and it was all City, tucked right into the far end of the Morecambe defensive third, in perfect view of the travelling Grecian support. Chance after chance after chance but the end product was the only thing lacking. With all of that pressure came a huge chance for Morecambe with only five minutes left on the clock but a last-ditch challenge from Caprice cleared the ball.
Another huge chance for City deep into added time, this time Brown was the player striking the ball from just outside the penalty area, but his effort was well saved and the scores ended level at 1-1.
Morecambe: Ripley ©, Gibson, Taylor (Phillips), Stockton, Weir, Bedeau, Watts (Rawson), Shaw (Connolly), Cooney, O’Connor, Mayor (Melbourne)
Subs not used: Smith, Love, Delaney
Exeter City: Blackman, Caprice, Sweeney ©, Diabate, Hartridge, Grounds (Brown), Kite, Collins, Key, Nombe, Stansfield
Subs not used: Lee, Sparkes, Harper, Jay, Dieng, Chauke
Referee: Peter Wright
Attendance: 3976 ( 255 Away)