Morecambe 1 (Williams 83)
A youthful Wolves side slipped to a narrow defeat against Morecambe in the first round of the Capital One Cup. Despite hitting the woodwork three times, Kenny Jackett’s men fell to a late free-kick from Ryan Williams.
There were six enforced changes to the Wolves line-up for their first visit to the Globe Arena including a senior debut for central defender Ethan Ebanks-Landell. The Wolves players wore black armbands as a mark of respect for Wanderers great Dave Wagstaffe who had passed away earlier in the day.
Morecambe kicked-off defending the home end of the Globe Arena and after just 30 seconds Carl Ikeme had to dive low to take a fierce 25-yard drive from Stewart Drummond.
Then a well struck cross from Tony Diagne flew across the face of the Wolves goal and, when the visitors threatened, a Leigh Griffiths corner and then a Danny Batth cross were both cleared.
In the eighth minute a snapshot from Zeli Ismail carried plenty of power but it went straight into the waiting arms of Morecambe keeper Barry Roche. Then a cross from Anthony Forde was returned into the heart of the area by Griffiths but home skipper Mark Hughes was on hand to boot clear.
Jake Cassidy flicked wide of the far post after he got a foot to Forde’s low cross, and Drummond missed a golden chance for the Shrimps when he sent a glancing header wide after a cross from Padraig Amond.
Corners from Griffiths and Forde proved to be fruitless but Morecambe went close on the half-hour mark as Williams held off a challenge before dragging a shot narrowly wide from just inside the area.
David Davis went into the book for illegally halting Andrew Fleming’s run at goal. Williams took the resultant free-kick from 25-yards and the ball bounced straight into the arms of Ikeme.
In the 44th minute Matt Doherty took a return pass from Forde and took the ball to the by-line before hitting a low cross that struck the base of the near post before bouncing to safety.
In stoppage time Williams’s drive took a hefty deflection before going behind for a corner off Batth.
Half-Time: Morecambe 0 Wolves 0
Shortly after the restart, Williams rode several challenges on the Morecambe left before hitting a centre that flew across the face of Ikeme’s goal.
Then twice in as many minutes Wolves were inches away from taking the lead. On 50 minutes Ismail completely outfoxed his marker before crossing to the far post where Griffiths powered a header against the post.
Then it was Ismail again who left Diagne flatfooted before curling a shot over Roche and onto the top of the crossbar.
Morecambe went close after a long-range free-kick from the lively Williams bounced off Ikeme in a crowded goalmouth where Ebanks-Landell reacted quickly to turn the ball behind for a corner.
Kevin Doyle replaced Cassidy in the 57th minute just before a spell of three corners from Williams each of which had the Wanderers defence at full stretch.
Griffiths was wide with a free-kick from 22-yards after Doyle had been fouled but Morecambe almost made the breakthrough when Fleming shaved the post with a shot from the edge of the box.
Midway through the half Ismail went down clearly suffering from cramp and he was replaced by Lee Evans. Roche had to dive full length and he needed two attempts to hold onto Forde’s 20-yard drive.
A flowing six man Wolves move ended with Roche just beating Doherty to the ball and then the keeper made an unorthodox save with his feet to keep out another screamer from Forde.
It was real end to end stuff but Doherty’s foul on Fleming 25-yards out led to the winning goal in the 83rd minute. The defender was booked before Williams lifted the free-kick over the wall and out of Ikeme’s reach.
Liam McAlinden was sent on for the dying minutes to bolster the attack. But it was to no avail and Wolves’ Capital One Cup interest for the season was at an end.
Morecambe: Roche, Hughes (capt), Diagne, Wright, Sampson, Williams (McGee 88), Drummond, Fleming, Mwasile (Kenyon 77), Parrish, Amond.
Unused subs: Arestidou, Bell, McGowan, Woods, Naylor.
Wolves: Ikeme, Doherty, Reckord, Davis, Batth (capt), Ebanks-Landell, Foley, Forde (McAlinden 88), Griffiths, Cassidy (Doyle 57), Ismail (Evans 66).
Unused subs: Hennessey, Price, Ihiekwe, Margreitter.
Bookings: Davis (40 – foul), Doherty (83 – foul).
Referee: G. Eltringham.
Attendance: 2,545 (724 visiting supporters).