Morecambe 3 Forest Green Rovers 2

Last updated : 18 February 2006 By Footymad Previewer
Morecambe moved up to second in the Conference table with a hard-fought victory over Gary Owers' stubborn Forest Green Rovers.

The Shrimps were far from their best but they came through a tough afternoon to clinch a vital victory in their quest to cement a play-off spot this season.

As has so often been the case at Christie Park this season pacey winger Garry Thompson was the star of the show for the home side. Rovers never really managed to keep him under control all afternoon and his three assists proved decisive.

Owers' side came into the game on the back of an impressive 5-1 victory over Scarborough last week and their spirits were lifted again when they took a shock 16th minute lead.

Alex Meechan was the creator with a good run and cross down the left and Guy Madjo nipped in between Darran Kempson and Jim Bentley to head past Steven Drench.

Nine minutes later Madjo threatened again but saw his shot blocked before then taking advantage of space on the edge of the area to set up Bruno Texieiria, who saw his shot well beaten down by the covering John Hardiker.

Morecambe, who started brightly with Kempson heading a good chance wide on two minutes, were largely second best until they scored an equaliser on the half hour.

Thompson's right-wing cross caused the Rovers defence all sorts of problems and Jimmy Kelly nipped in front of Stuart Barlow to bundle home his first goal of the season.

The goal gave the home side a lift with Chris Blackburn firing just over before Barlow scored his fifth goal in five games two minutes into injury time, Thompson was again the provider with a wonderful through ball for Barlow who provided the neatest of finishes to lob the stranded Ryan Clarke.

From there the Shrimps took charge for a long period with Clarke doing well to cut out Danny Carlton's dangerous low cross and Carlton seeing a shot deflected over from close range by Sekani Simpson.

The Forest Green defender was then at fault as the Shrimps were gifted a third on 71 minutes. Again a deep Thompson ball caused hesitation in the visitors' defence and as Simpson dithered, Wayne Curtis nipped in to slot the ball past Clarke.

To their credit Owers' side continued to press. A Zema Abbey flick-on was just too far ahead of Madjo, before the former fired over after a neat twist and turn on the edge of the Morecambe box.

Rovers were rewarded for their efforts with a second from Abdou Sall when he headed home after a goalmouth scramble, but despite piling on the pressure at the death the visitors could not find a way through for an equaliser.