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Match Reports

REPORT: Morecambe 1-2 Stevenage

19 January 2019

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Wilko to the rescue...

Luke Wilkinson’s late strike broke the hearts of Morecambe fans, as Boro pick up back to back wins for the first time in three months.

The result means that Stevenage are now outside of the play-off places on just goal difference, following an exhilirating finish at the Globe Arena.

Dino Maamria made two changes to the team who came out victorious last Saturday against Crawley. Ben Kennedy returned to the starting eleven along with James Ball, after scoring twice from the bench last time out.

The first chance of the game went to the hosts, who saw the majority of the ball inside the first few minutes. Rhys Oates rose highest from a Morecambe corner and from 10 yards out, headed his effort just wide of the far post.

This acted as a wake-up call for Boro who burst into action and took the game to Morecambe. Moses Makasi, starting his second game since joining on loan from West Ham, was partnering up with James-Wildin down the right flank and began causing the Shrimps defence issues.

The pair combined to set-up James Ball inside the box, much like his first goal the previous Saturday. This time, however, Ball’s header was straight at the goalkeeper to collect easily.

Stevenage were knocking on the door and it felt like it would not be too long before Boro unlocked the Morecambe defence. Danny Newton tried his luck from outside of the box, and with his left foot, his shot was saved by Halstead the stopper.

It was not too long before Dino Maamria’s men found a breakthrough though and once again, Moses Makasi was involved. The loanee judged to have been tripped over inside the penalty area and up stepped Ben Kennedy, the attacker making no mistake as he blasted it down the middle. 

After the goal, it looked again like it would be Stevenage to score next. A wicked counter-attack, led by Ben Nugent of all people, was a big chance to double the lead. As Nuge sprinted down the left flank, his chipped cross found Moses Makasi at the back post but the midfielder’s header was high and wide.

In the final minutes of the first half, Morecambe upped their game. Kevin Ellison and co were pressing high up the pitch, making it difficult for Boro to escape their half.

However - despite the pressure - Jim Bentley’s side were unable to trouble Paul Farman in the Boro goal and Stevenage went in at half-time 1-0 to the good.

The second half continued where the first left off, with Morecambe pinning back Boro, without challenging Paul Farman between the sticks.

Richie Bennett then had Morecambe’s chance of the game thus far. A low cross was drilled across Boro’s six-yard box, and after Ben Nugent’s block, the ball fell to Bennett 10 yards out. Under little pressure, Morecambe’s number seven could only sky it high and wide.

Morecambe sustained their high intensity and eventually it paid off. On the 70 minutes mark, 39-year-old Kevin Ellison’s shot from inside the area took a wicked deflection, and past Farman into the goal. The hosts were back on level terms and with the momentum in their favour.

Morecambe were the better team in the second half, and with Stevenage chances few and far between, they looked to be the side to win it. Ellison rueful after missing the chance to claim all three points, failing to find the target from 25 yards out following Farman's save from Benett.

The referee indicated eight minutes of added time onto the 90 as Stevenage were pushed back deeper and deeper by the hosts.

And yet, up stepped Luke Wilkinson from a Stevenage corner. The substitute leaping like a salmon to connect with the ball from the penalty spot, heading downwards and past the Morecambe goalkeeper. Nothing beats a last minute away winner as Boro's push for promotion continues.

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