Shrimps edge out Crawley in push for playoffs

A second-half strike from super sub Jordan Slew saw Morecambe make it back-to-back wins under the lights at the Mazuma.

Chances for both sides fell by the wayside in a goalless first half, before Slew converted from eight yards to ensure The Reds claimed all three points.

Ged Brannan’s men were looking to build on a thrilling comeback victory last time out against Crewe Alexandra; knowing a win could see them end the day eighth, just a point outside the play-off places.

A five-star spectacle at the Mornflake Stadium.

Crawley came into the fixture on a four game unbeaten run, an impressive 1-0 win on the road at Accrington Stanley in their last outing sure to build confidence ahead of a second straight away fixture.

The Shrimps applied the pressure early, looking dangerous on the counter-attack, however a Klaidi Lolos header saw the first half-chance of the game fall the way of the visitors.

Finding their rhythm, Morecambe carved out the best opportunity of the opening quarter-hour; a glancing header from Gerard Garner almost sneaking beyond Corey Addai in the Crawley goal, but ultimately flying inches over the crossbar.

The Sussex side’s midfield physicality continued to disrupt what was an end-to-end encounter, with neither side able to gain any meaningful control of possession as they pushed for an elusive opener.

The most clear-cut chance of the first half fell against the run of play. A quickfire break saw Brannan’s side outnumbered at the back; Ronan Darcy clattering his powerful effort off the inside of Archie Mair’s near post, before being scrambled clear.

The Reds appeared to find another gear as the interval approached, causing Town problems with a series of fluid passing moves. Addai was called into action on several occasions, but all attempts on his goal were rebutted.

Crawley squandered a golden opportunity to take the lead seconds before half time; a stunning, reflex save from Mair denying Lolos at point-blank range.

Crawley unlucky not to be ahead at the break.

Despite chances for both sides, there was nothing to separate them as referee Matt Corlett called time on the first period. 

Half-time: Morecambe 0 Crawley Town 0

The second half began as the first one ended, with both teams pressing for the game’s opening goal. 

The visitors made the brighter start, the dangerous-looking Lolos forcing a last-ditch block from Farrend Rawson as he danced through a flat-footed Shrimps defence.

Danilo Orsi then looked certain to break the deadlock, sliding in to meet a looping delivery from the right, before slicing his effort over the Morecambe crossbar from two yards out.

The Shrimps remained vigilant, however, and their persistence would pay dividends in the 69th minute. A free-flowing move saw Joel Senior released down the right-hand side, his low driven delivery initially dealt with by Addai, before substitute Jordan Slew stroked home the rebound for his sixth of the season. 

Slew’s emphatic finish invigorated the already vocal Morecambe support, and the Halo terrace rarely fell silent for the remainder of the game.

The Shrimps support; superb throughout.

Scott Lindsay’s men continued to probe a resolute Morecambe defence towards the end, but failed to capitalise on the few chances they created. Despite a nervous seven minutes of additional time, it would be Ged Brannan’s men who ran out deserved winners.

Full-time: Morecambe 1 Crawley Town 0

League Two, as it stands (11/03/24):

  1. Mansfield Town
  2. Stockport County
  3. Wrexham
  4. Milton Keynes Dons
  5. Crewe Alexandra
  6. Barrow
  7. Gillingham
  8. AFC Wimbledon
  9. Walsall
  10. Morecambe
  11. Crawley Town
  12. Bradford City
  13. Newport County
  14. Harrogate Town
  15. Notts County
  16. Accrington Stanley
  17. Tranmere Rovers
  18. Swindon Town
  19. Doncaster Rovers
  20. Salford City
  21. Grimsby Town
  22. Colchester United
  23. Forest Green Rovers
  24. Sutton Utd