Morecambe 1, Crewe 2: Shrimps comeback reels in first success on the road

  Posted: 29.12.21 at 17:43 by The Editor

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RESILIENCE was the order of the evening as a second-half comeback against basement rivals lifted Crewe off the foot of the League One table.

The Alex's first league success on their travels marks the halfway stage of a campaign, that has been poor in the extreme at times, but with hope of redemption over the past month or so.

Recent wins over Gillingham and Lincoln have been added to by a much-needed away victory, which owed a lot to the character Dave Artell's side showed to force their way back into contention with goals from Chris Porter and Luke Murphy in the space of six minutes after the interval.

It's a win that offers some real hope a sustained relegation battle can be fought, moving them up to 22nd spot and within four points of safety, while also showing they are capable of picking up points on the road, without which it would be very hard to see how they could escape the drop.

Not since September 28 and a 1-1 draw at Plymouth have Crewe managed an away reward. And when former Alex loanee Greg Leigh headed Morecambe into a 36th-minute lead the odds looked against them getting any at the Mazuma Stadium too.

But they fought back admirably by combining more skilful play on the ball than their hosts with a touch of route-one style.

Chris Porter (partially hidden) headed Crewe level after the break (Picture credit: Kevin Warburton).

They needed to, for even without League One's leading scorer Cole Stockton, Morecambe were direct and physical.

Crewe drafted the fit and well-again Mikael Mandron back in to partner the veteran Porter and both men put in important shifts, as did skipper Murphy, the effervescent Tommy Lowery and centre-half Billy Sass Davies.

Early on Lowery hit the side netting with a rising drive after Rio Adebisi saw his effort blocked.

Jonah Ayunga showed a turn of pace at the other end for the Shrimps and when the striker cut infield his low shot produced a rather unconvincing parry from Dave Richards,

Callum Ainley saw his drive deflected wide before the Alex were caught napping at the back, falling behind when teenager Zak Williams' attempt to fend the ball out for a goalkick was thwarted by Ayunga.

Former Alex loanee Greg Leigh opened the scoring for Morecambe (Picture credit: Kevin Warburton).

Adam Phillips took the chance to whip in a low cross from the right and Leigh was at the near post, twisting his body to despatch a diving header into the corner of the net.

But the Alex were level when Porter found the same spot seven minutes after the break, heading in Lowery's delivery after the Alex midfielder showed some real determination to shrug off his marker on the right flank.

The turnaround was completed in the 58th minute with a super strike from Murphy. A long free kick from Williams produced some head tennis in the home box with the ball eventually falling for the Crewe skipper, who dropped a right-footed volley over the keeper into the top corner.

The lead was under threat during a difficult spell with Aaron Wildig blazing over from 10 yards out when it looked easier to hit the target and Richards turning an Ayunga effort around the post.

There were several more moments of worry to perspire through too, including a Jonathan Obika shot on the turn which flew just wide via a deflection, as well as the curiously-long eight minutes of added time that referee Seb Stockbridge managed to clock up.

Alex fans celebrate their first league win on the road this season (Picture credit: Kevin Warburton).

* Crewe's home clash with Charlton, moved from Saturday, January 8 because of the Addicks' involvement in the FA Cup, has now been rearranged to Wednesday, January 12 (K.O 7.45pm).

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