Rotherham continued their push for the Championship, as they took down a Morecambe side with no manager, after a 2-0 win at the New York Stadium.
Now former Shrimps boss, Stephen Robinson, had his departure to Aberdeen announced earlier today, leaving his former club in charge of Barry Roche. However, a brace from Freddie Ladapo was enough to leave Morecambe deep rooted in a relegation scrap.
Ladapo took no time at all to get his side into the lead. The cross from Oliver Rathbone was expertly controlled by the Millers striker, before he dispatched an excellent volley into the top left corner.
Morecambe weren’t disparaged, however, as Shane McGloughlin pinched the ball of Ben Wiles, before driving forward and putting in a glorious cross for Shrimps’ top scorer, Cole Stockton. Josh Vickers was equal to his volley, however.
The hosts had comfortable control for the majority of the game and another big chance come for them, when Wiles swung a deflected ball in towards Michael Ihiekwe. The centre half connected with the cross, but his looping header slammed the bar before Morecambe could clear.
Rotherham just kept building on their dominance and through that, extended their lead. Dan Barlaser’s ball was perfectly weighted for Ladapo, who calmly stroked home his second of the match.
The visitors still tried to push, despite the deficit, as Anthony O’Conner’s cross found Jonah Ayunga, but couldn’t convert his flicked effort. Shortly after, Michael Smith nearly scored his 18th of the season for the Millers, but also couldn’t bury his chance on the end of Ladapo’s though ball.
As the second half came around, Rotherham continued to go for more, as Smith once again struck wide. Down the other end, Morecambe had come out swinging, as Greg Leigh tried to find a spark for the Shrimps, but his eventual shot was blocked and cleared.
It was evident the Shrimps weren’t going down without a fight and they nearly halved the deficit once again, but Stockton couldn’t convert Ryan Cooney’s cross, before then having a second chance blocked by Ihiekwe.
The chances continued to come thick and fast, as Ladapo hunted for his hattrick, but was denied by Carson and the post, after a darting run. Rotherham remained in the drivers seat, but Morecambe were slowly finding some rhythm in their passages of play.
Despite their tenacity and much improved second half performance, it was just one of those nights for the Shrimps where nothing went their way. Jonathan Obika was denied from a great save by Vickers, before McLoughlin would have a goal chalked off, due to Ihiekwe being fouled in the build-up
The Shrimps’ momentum slowly dwindled but the fight stuck around, as Obika produced another good chance, but his header was tipped over the bar by Vickers, who held on for his 9th clean sheet of the season.
Rotherham continued to push for that third, but the earlier brace was more than enough to see them over the line and leave them six points above Wigan at the top of the League One table. Morecambe, on the other hand, remain 21st and two points adrift from Wimbledon in 20th.
The Millers travel to Plymouth Argyle next, whereas Morecambe host Ipswich town, with both games kicking off at 3pm this Saturday.