Missed chances prove costly at Morecambe
Amond (56), Redshaw (86)
Bristol Rovers 1
Missed chances cost Rovers dearly as they slipped to defeat at the Globe Arena this afternoon.
Leading through John-Joe O'Toole's first half goal they should have been out of sight before the home side drew level.
Even then there were chances to go on and win the game, but when Morecambe scored foiur minutes from time there was no way back.
Manager Ward made one change to his starting lineup for this afternoon’s game, and that saw John-Joe O’Toole return from suspension and taking his place in midfield with Mitch Harding dropping to the bench.
Chris Beardsley also returned from suspension and was included on the substitutes bench.
Although they started the game brightly, on a heavy Globe Arena surface, Rovers failed to cause home goalkeeper Barry Roche any real problems.
The first opportunity of the match fell to Morecambe, but Andrew Fleming’s shot comfortably cleared the crossbar.
A cross from Lee Brown caused Roche problems at the other end and the shot stopper was relieved to punch the ball clear from under his bar.
Padraig Amond fired a shot over the bar before Stewart Drummond almost opened the scoring but, thankfully, his stunning volley was headed behind by Michael Smith.
As Morecambe sensed they might make the breakthrough, Andrew Wright’s effort was touched behind by Steve Mildenhall and the same player then squandered another opportunity when he shot over the bar.
However, it was Rovers who scored the crucial first goal and it was fashioned down the left hand side.
Brown did well to keep possession, under pressure from two defenders, before he slipped the ball inside to Eliot Richards.
His cross was met by Matt Harrold who got a shot away even though he lost his footing. Roche could only push it out as far as John-Joe O’Toole who gratefully scored from close range.
Six minutes later Ollie Clarke’s shot was blocked and Harrold picked up the rebound only to see Roche save with his legs.
With the home side on the ropes, Rovers again went close to increasing their lead in the final minute of the half.
Harrold’s shot was blocked and the ball fell kindly to David Clarkson but from 12 yards out the striker blazed the ball over the crossbar with the goal at his mercy.
Michael Smith saw a shot blocked at the start of the second half, while Ollie Norburn’s effort was well wide of the target.
The midfielder then tried to chip the ball over Roche instead of opting for power, and the keeper was able to save comfortably.
At the other end Mildenhall saved well at his back post following a corner from the left, but he was beaten on 56 minutes when Stewart Drummond’s glancing header found Amond at the near post and he steered the ball into the net from close range.
Eliot Richards elected to shoot when he had the opportunity to play Lee Brown in on the left shortly afterwards, but his effort was well wide of the target.
The striker was guilty of another missed opportunity five minutes from time.
Michael Smith found substitute Ellis Harrison down the right and his deft cross into the box was met by his fellow Welshman who glanced his header wide when he looked certain to score.
It proved to be a costly error as Morecambe went straight up the other end and scored what proved to the home side’s star man, Jack Redshaw, pounced on the loose ball and fired into the net for an unlikely winner for the home side.
Bristol Rovers: Steve Mildenhall, Michael Smith, Tom Parkes, Tom Lockyer, Lee Brown, David Clarkson (Ellis Harrison, 82), Ollie Clarke, Ollie Norburn (Chris Beardsley, 88), John-Joe O’Toole, Eliot Richards, Matt Harrold
Substitutes: Mitch Harding, Conor Gough, Alefe Santos, Pat Keary, Josh Southway
Booked: Harrold, Clarke, Parkes, Lockyer
Morecambe:Barry Roche, Andy Parrish, Mark Hughes, Chris McCready, Robbie Threlfall, Andrew Wright, Stewart Drummond, Andrew Fleming, Jack Redshaw, Padraig Amond (Marcus Marshall, 88), Jack Sampson
Substitutes: Tony Diagne, Joe McGee, Joe Mswasile, Chris Doyle, Andreas Arestidou
Booked: Drummond, Wright, Hughes
Referee: Sebastian Stockridge
Rovers Supporters: 203