Penalty miss shouldn’t take shine of well-deserved point

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Scott Laird had his 47th minute penalty saved by Shrimpers keeper Barry Roche in a game of few chances at the Globe Arena this weekend.

Graham Westley decided upon the same starting eleven that overcame Burton Albion last week as he looked to secure back-to-back victories for the first time this season. 

There was little to speak of by way of chances in the first half an hour as both teams fought it out in the middle of the park. 

The presence of John Mousinho and Michael Bostwick made it very difficult for the Shrimps to exploit the centre of midfield, and the first effort of the game fell to Boro's Stacy Long, who hit wide from outside the box. 

The best chance of the half came when Morecambe's Lawrence Wilson picked up the ball and went on a marauding run down the left, going past Henry Long and Lawrie Wilson before placing a curling cross just beyond the far post. 

Westley responded to a subdued half by replacing Long with Bridges, which had them more attack minded in the opening minutes. Immediately, Lawrie Wilson found some space on the edge of the area and crossed, via a flick on by substitute Bridges, towards Holroyd. 

The on-loan striker’s header was well on its way into the back of the net when it was met by the hand of defender Gary Hunter. The penalty was given but to the surprise of most of the ground the referee brandished a yellow card instead of a red. 

On questioning after the game, the referee said he wasn’t sure whether the ball was on target and so decided against the sending off. Laird came forward, confident from his penalty success against Burton but his placed shot was pushed round the post by Roche.

Morecombe responded well and had Boro on the back foot for a while. A cross by Scott Brown nearly caught Chris Day out as it bounced against the inside of the post. From the resulting corner a Shrimpers attacker had a shot smartly saved by the Boro keeper.

Later on, a corner wasn’t cleared by the Morecambe defence and the ball fell to Wilson as fans appealed for a foul on Bridges. The ball eventually came to Bostwick, whose drive was palmed over the bar.

Boro’s travelling fans soon got to see their team’s newest addition, striker Ben May, who replaced Bridges for the last ten minutes. He cut a frustrated figure, due to a lack of fitness, and had to be content with a few attempts at goal.

In the end it was a fair point and one that leaves Stevenage in 8th place; a very encouraging start to the season which fans will be very happy with. Again they shaded the match here but ultimately didn’t do enough to warrant a goal in open play.

Disclaimer: The views in this article are that of the writer and may not replicate those of the Professional Footballers' Association.

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