SHRIMPS END HAT­TERS RUN

The Football League Paper - - LEAGUE TWO - By Mike Sim­monds

JIM Bent­ley saluted More­cambe’s bat­tling qual­i­ties af­ter they stunned pro­mo­tion-chas­ing Lu­ton Town at Ke­nil­worth Road, in­flict­ing the Hat­ters’ first home league de­feat since Septem­ber.

The vis­i­tors had thrown away a 2-0 lead and then been re­duced to ten men in the 80th minute when Ryan Ed­wards was dis­missed, only to snatch victory as Luke Wilkin­son di­verted Kevin El­li­son's cross into his own net.

Shrimps boss Jim Bent­ley said: “What a fan­tas­tic game of foot­ball, both sets of play­ers have given it their all, but for­tu­nately we had that lit­tle bit of luck at the end with the own goal.

“Kev's in there claim­ing it as he will do, but what a great re­sult for us against one of the big­gest sides at this level and a very tough place to come.

“Over­all the lads were ab­so­lutely fan­tas­tic. We needed that lit­tle bit of luck, cer­tain things went against us, but we got that at the end, then re­ally dug in, showed our bat­tling qual­i­ties away from home and got the three points, which is fan­tas­tic at a very dif­fi­cult place to come.”

The vis­i­tors had started much the stronger as Jack Red­shaw fired at El­liot Justham, with the Hat­ters keeper also hav­ing to claim An­drew Wright's header.

More­cambe were de­servedly ahead on 18 min­utes though when Red­shaw danced past his man in the area, and struck across Justham into the bot­tom cor­ner.

The Shrimps had a sec­ond af­ter 29 min­utes when Lau­rence Wil­son un­leashed a mar­vel­lous half vol­ley from out­side the box.

How­ever, Lu­ton sup­port­ers and de­fend­ers were up in arms with the of­fi­cials, claim­ing Red­shaw had been off­side in the build-up.

It should have been 3-0 when Red­shaw set off on an­other mazy run, but fired straight at Justham.

Lu­ton were back in the game when Michael Har­ri­man's right wing cross was pow­ered home by Cameron McGee­han.

In the sec­ond pe­riod, Alex Law­less saw his shot de­flect inches wide, while McGee­han was nar­rowly off tar­get and Shaun Whalley shot straight at An­dreas Aresti­dou.

Town’s El­liot Lee then hit the post with a header, Wilkin­son fir­ing the re­bound over, but the Hat­ters were level when Steve McNulty looped against the bar and Law­less drove the ball be­yond Aresti­dou.

Ed­wards was given his march­ing or­der for pick­ing up sec­ond yel­low af­ter clean­ing out McGee­han, while Law­less was de­nied by a com­bi­na­tion of Aresti­dou and wood­work. But the Shrimps won it as Wilkin­son stuck a boot out when El­li­son es­caped his mark­ers, giv­ing Justham no chance.

Hat­ters coach Hakan Hayret­tin said: “It was topsy turvy. Sec­ond half we were fan­tas­tic, we pressed and we pushed, but it didn't hap­pen.

“Let’s not take any­thing away from More­cambe, they're a hard­work­ing team. They de­served to be in front, but we fo­cused all our en­er­gies on mak­ing sure we got back in the game.

“We did sec­ond half and that's what we're ca­pa­ble of, but the keeper's made a great save when it could have been 3-2 to us and they've scored up the other end.”

PIC­TURES: Gareth Owen

STAR MAN JACK REDSH

AW Moreca

mbe GROUNDED: De­spair for Luke Wilkin­son, left, af­ter his late own goal Inset: Law­less is mobbed af­ter mak­ing it 2-2

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