LEWIS FUMES AT LATE GOAL
OXFORD caretaker manager Mickey Lewis insisted his side were simply not good enough as they lost a march on their promotion rivals when they were denied all three points by a late Robbie Threlfall goal.
The U’s looked like they were about to withstand a barrage of Morecambe pressure for three priceless points on the road after David Connolly’s opener.
But it wasn’t to be as Threlfall struck in injury time, leaving Lewis seething.
“I’m absolutely fuming, and I’m seriously not happy,” Lewis said.
“I thought we needed to be better on the ball, and if we would have been we could have got ourselves another goal. I don't think we were good enough on the ball, and we weren’t very good in general.
“I didn’t have a view on their goal but there was no excuse for that kind of defending.
“I didn't think we won enough headers, especially in the last 20 minutes.
“We missed challenges all over the park and it led to a really disappointing result.
“It should really have been three points. The last 20 minutes in particular were just not good enough.”
After a lively start with chances at both ends, it was the visitors who broke the deadlock inside the opening 15 minutes. And it was no less than they deserved, given their impressive start.
Johnny Mullins’ flick on found its way to Connolly, and the onloan Portsmouth man struck with a well-timed effort past Barry Roche.
It could have been two just seconds later, but a smart effort from Mullins had to be turned around the post by Roche.
Morecambe huffed and puffed for an equaliser, but it was only in the second-half when they came alive.
Threlfall's surging run into the box was complimented with a superb ball to Andrew Fleming; however, he could only fire over.
The chances kept coming for the home side, and they finally got their reward at the death.
After Tony Diagne forced a corner for the home side, they finally struck when full-back Threlfall grabbed a goal deep into injury time to ensure a share of the spoils for Morecambe.
The point leaves Morecambe still without a win in 2014, but boss Jim Bentley praised his side’s attitude as they fought back for what could be a precious point.
“It’s disappointing to go one down, because we actually started the game quite brightly,” he said.
“However, with the height we have in our side I can’t accept the defending for their goal.
“Credit to the lads though, they gave it their all, kept plugging away and asking questions of a very good Oxford side.
“We had to make an early change which doesn’t help things but everyone played their part.
“Our enthusiasm, commitment and never-say-die attitude was the thing that got us a fully deserved point in the end against a side who are right in the mix for promotion.”
MORECAMBE: (4-4-2): Roche 6, Beeley 6 (Diagne 72 7), Parrish 8, Hughes 6, Threlfall 8, Kenyon 7 (McGee 72 6), Drummond 5, Fleming 7, Amond 5 (Wright 29 7), Ellison 4, Sampson 7 Subs not used: Arestidou, Williams, McCready, Doyle
OXFORD: (4-3-3): Clarke 8, Davies 6, Long 7, Mullins 9, Hunt 7, Williams 7, Rose 8, Wroe 6, Potter 8 (Rigg 75 6), Connolly 8 (Ruffels 90 N/A), Constable 7 Subs not used: Marsh, Henly, Lynn, Bevans, O' Dowda
STAR MAN ROBBIE THRELF
mbe MAIN MAN: Robbie Threlfall is congratulated after his late leveller, inset