Morecambe 1 Stevenage Borough 2

MORECAMBE'S hot shot striker Mike Bignall squared up to his former colleagues on Monday but for the second time in three days the Shrimps were robbed by a penalty. In a lively, entertaining match in which the Shrimps dominated for long periods, the game was evenly balanced until the 73rd minute when the unlucky Paul West, who was harshly sent off against Kidderminster, was adjudged to have fouled Neil Trebble. It was more clumsy than malicious but the referee had no hesitation in pointing to the spot. Stevenage skipper Paul Barrowcliff sensed victory and gave McIlhargey no chance as he blasted the ball into the net.

A rousing final finale had the fans on the edge of their seats with Brian Healy playing out of his skin but the Stevenage defence were rock solid and at the end of the day manager Jim Harvey was left looking back on a disappointing Easter. It took only seven minutes for Stevenage to take the lead when Michael Mison, on loan from Fulham, fired in a Robbie Mutchell cross from close range. The Hertfordshire side were guilty of some ferocious tackling at times and Catlin and Mison were both booked but the home fans had something to cheer in the 24th minute when the outstanding Healey levelled the score. A one-two with Norman on the edge of the box put Healey free to superbly lob the oncoming keeper. Bignall nearly got one over his former club when keeper Wilmot was forced to make a great save and then he could only watch as another effort was cleared off the line by Hooper. Mark Shirley tested the keeper in the second half and Bignall was nearly gifted an easy strike but the ball was intercepted by Sodje and, as has so often been the case this season, the chances were not turned to goals.

With the penalty turning a hard fought performance into probable defeat, the Shrimps pressed forward for a last gasp equaliser but to no avail and West's momentary lapse cost the Shrimps dear.

Mike Bignall celebrates with the funky chicken

Converted for the new archive on 14 July 2000. Some images and formatting may have been lost in the conversion.