- Billy Clifford scores direct from a corner to seal third away win
- Morecambe down to ten men after Kevin Ellison is sent off in the first half
- Victory lifts Reds up to 18th in League Two table
- First League start for Sanoh; Clifford and McNerney make first League appearances under Harry Kewell
A first-half goal from Billy Clifford direct from a corner earned Reds a 1-0 win at the Globe Arena. Morecambe were reduced to ten men in the first half after Kevin Ellison was sent off but Reds had to defend stoutly in the second half with Glenn Morris twice denying Aaron Wildig as the hosts pressed for an equaliser.
Reds made two changes to the side which lost to Carlisle last Saturday. Moussa Sanoh, fresh from his goal in the midweek Checkatrade Trophy defeat at Portsmouth, made his first League start for the club while Billy Clifford started his first League game under Harry Kewell.
A week’s a long time in football…
Last Saturday, Billy Clifford watched the defeat to Carlisle from the Ryan Cantor Club Directors Box. Seven days later he made his first League start under Harry Kewell and celebrated by scoring his second goal for the club and first in the League.
A bad day for …
Kevin Ellison is one of Morecambe’s key men but he had an afternoon to forget. Ellison failed to clear Clifford’s inswinging corner from the left at the near post and watched in horror as it flew straight into the net. Fourteen minutes later he was shown a straight red for an off-the-ball incident involving Joe McNerney.
Making an impression…
Referee Anthony Backhouse is in his first season on the League list and he dished out his fifth red card since promotion. To be fair, Mr Backhouse relied on his assistant before sending off Ellison and otherwise kept good control of what was an occasionally feisty tussle.
The Head Coach has consistently said since arriving at the club that eye-catching performances – in games and training – will be rewarded. Clifford and Moussa Sanoh were two of the stand-out performers at Portsmouth on Tuesday and got starts, in Sanoh’s case his first in the League. Similarly, Joe McNerney returned to League action as an early replacement for the injured Lewis Young and was impressive in the heart of defence as Reds kept their second clean sheet of the season.
The hosts tried to play, even with ten men, and created some good chances to get back into the game. Vadaine Oliver completely missed his kick inside the six-yard box from an inviting cross by Michael Rose in the first half, Glenn Morris tipped over Aaron Wildig’s close-range volley then pushed out a drive from Wildig a few minutes later.
A party of visiting Morecambe fans from Holland were very impressed when they realised two of the Reds players were fellow countrymen. The pair combined early in the second half when Boldewijn just failed to get a decisive touch to a superb cross by Sanoh from the right while both saw shots from outside the box miss by inches. Jordan Roberts and Jimmy Smith also went close but Reds were guilty in the second half of wasting some good opportunities on the break.
Reds: Morris; Young (sub: McNerney 10), Lelan, Connolly, Evina; Sanoh, Bulman (Payne 34), Clifford (Meite 71), Smith, Boldewijn, Roberts. Unused subs: Mersin, Djalo, Lewis, Camara.
Morecambe: Roche; Lund (Kenyon 66), Old, Muller, Brough; Fleming, Rose (McGowan 75); Ellison, Wildig, Campbell (Turner 66); Oliver. Unused subs: Nizic, Lavelle, Deakin, Osborne.
Attendance: 1,222 (63 Crawley fans)