Morecambe got their Sky Bet League 2 campaign off to a perfect start with a fantastic 3-0 win over Dagenham & Redbridge. Despite failing to win any of their friendlies at the Globe Arena, the general consensus amongst the Morecambe fans before the match was one of positivity ahead of the new season, and this optimism was not dented by the time the full-time whistle sounded as the Shrimps came away with 3 points in the bag.
It was a cagey first half, with both sides looking to ensure that they didn’t concede early on, allowing very few chances and the two sides went in goalless at half time. It was in the second half, however, that Morecambe came out on top and two goals early on ensured that all three points were heading to the Lancashire side.
The first of the goals came from a Kevin Ellison free-kick in the 49th minute. Ellison stepped up and scored with a superb strike, low and hard, past Daggers keeper Liam O’Brien. The 22-year old goalkeeper would find himself picking the ball out of the net once again just five minutes later as Dagenham caused themselves yet further trouble with another foul, this time in the penalty area. As the ball was floated in from the right, defender Scott Doe bundled over Morecambe striker Jack Sampson, and referee Pat Miller correctly pointed to the spot. Last season’s top scorer Padraig Amond duly tucked the ball home with an emphatic finish in the 54th minute.
From that point onwards, Morecambe always looked like the better side and were unlucky not to grab a few more goals. Any efforts from Dagenham were halted by Morecambe’s central defensive duo of Andy Parrish and Mark Hughes, both having excellent games, and Parrish earning himself a place in the League 2 team of the week.
Liam O’Brien was again forced into action, saving well from Ellison, before keeping out further efforts from Andy Fleming and substitute Jamie Devitt. Despite only coming on from the bench in the 78th minute, Devitt still managed to get himself an assist. As the Dagenham defenders grew tired, Devitt raced through on goal, calmly squaring the ball to fellow substitute Jack Redshaw, who added the third and a capped a brilliant Morecambe display.
With Morecambe sitting top of the table after the first round of games, Jim Bentley was named manager of the Team of the Week, but he and the rest of his squad will have all eyes one Morecambe’s first home game of the season on Tuesday evening, a Capital One Cup 1st Round tie with League One outfit Bradford City.