Shrimps suffer narrow defeat despite good performance

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Morecambe 1-2 Blackburn Rovers
Turner 38          Graham 10
Bennett 31

Morecambe suffered a narrow defeat to League 1 outfit Blackburn Rovers at the Globe Arena this evening. Danny Graham took the lead for the side, whose fans travelled in their numbers, before Elliott Bennett doubled the visitors’ lead. Rhys Turner gave the Shrimps some hope with a brilliant goal seven minutes later, but unfortunately for Bentley’s side they couldn’t get the equaliser that they deserved.

It was a quiet opening to the game, and the first real chance was converted by visitors Blackburn. Bradley Dack met a good ball and forced a reflex save from the Morecambe trialist keeper before the experienced Danny Graham put away the rebound in the tenth minute.

Tony Mowbray’s side excelled following the goal, looking brilliant on the ball. Danny Graham almost had his second immediately after his first goal – bringing about a good save from the trialist keeper to his left.

Chances were few and far between in the following 20 minutes or so, but Blackburn dominated possession and played fast paced football on the ground. They doubled their lead in the 31st minute when Elliott Bennett rose above the trialist defender and headed home from close range.

Bennett almost added another goal five minutes later. A great ball was played through to him on the left-hand side and his shot was pushed out by the trialist keeper.

Morecambe got back into the game just moments later, thanks to a stunning goal from Rhys Turner. Vadaine Oliver chested the ball to him and the forward hit the ball on the volley with power to beat David Raya Martin in the Blackburn goal.

Blackburn did have one chance just before the break, but the Shrimps’ trialist goalkeeper made another impressive save. Ben Gladwin’s shot took a deflection on its way to the goal and the keeper made a good save to his left to deny the winger. The visitors led 2-1 at half time.

Jim Bentley’s side started the second half really well. Captain Michael Rose started a really good move three minutes in, playing a great ball through to Thompson who laid off Lund on the right-hand side. The ball eventually got to Turner and his shot hit the crossbar on its way over.

The visitors weren’t without their chances in the second half either. They came very close in the 55th minute when Elliott Bennett linked up well with Bradley Dack, whose volley went into the side-netting.

Two minutes later Alex Kenyon brought about an outstanding move out of nowhere. He flicked the ball over a player and hit the ball just over the bar on the volley.

Morecambe’s trialist keeper made a number of saves during the game, and his best one arguably was in the 59th minute when Dack’s powerful shot towards the top corner was kept out by an outstanding diving save by the keeper.

Ten minutes later Michael Rose kick-started a promising move for the hosts, playing a great ball to Vadaine Oliver on the right-hand side. Unfortunately Oliver’s cross didn’t quite get to Thompson in the box.

Joe Nuttall came on as a substitute for Blackburn in the 74th minute, and the forward was really effective in his short time on the pitch. The 20-year-old headed wide just four minutes after coming on, and then moments later he was one-on-one with Morecambe’s keeper only for the trialist to win the battle and prevent a goal.

Blackburn’s final chance of the game came two minutes from the death. Elliott Bennett found the ball in space and the former Blackpool winger had a shot that went just wide of the mark.

Tony Mowbray’s side won the game 2-1, but Morecambe manager Jim Bentley should be proud of his side’s efforts.

Next up for the Shrimps is National League side AFC Fylde away from home (7:30pm start).

Morecambe: Trialist 9, Lund 7 (McGowan 82), Trialist 7 (Winnard 68), Trialist 7 (Brownsword 82), Brough 7 (Conlan 82), Rose 7, Kenyon 8 (Hedley 82), Campbell 7 (Wildig 68), Turner 8 (Deakin 68), Thompson 6 (Yawson 75), Oliver 7 (Ellison 75).

Sub ratings: McGowan n/a, Winnard 7, Brownsword n/a, Conlan n/a, Hedley n/a, Wildig 7, Deakin 7, Yawson 7, Ellison 6.

Subs not used: Maher and Jordan

Blackburn Rovers: Martin 7 (Steele 63), Caddis 7, Lenihan 7, Mulgrew 7, Williams 6, Whittingham 6 (Nuttall 74), Smallwood 7 (Tomlinson 74), Bennett 8, Dack 8 (Evans 63(Hardcastle 88)), Gladwin 7 (Ward 74), Graham 7 (Feeney 63).

Sub ratings: Steele 7, Nuttall 7, Tomlinson 6, Evans 6, Hardcastle n/a, Ward 6, Feeney 6.

 

 

Shrimps overcome Lancaster with last-minute winner

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Morecambe 1-0 Lancaster City

Fleming 90

Morecambe defeated local rivals Lancaster City thanks to a last minute winner on a patchy afternoon at the Globe Arena. Andy Fleming scored the only goal of the game for the Shrimps heading home from close-range to seal what was a deserved win.

The game started in a quick manner with both sides looking to play good football. Morecambe were the only side to really come close however in the first half, and they did this on more than one occasion.

20 minutes into the game Morecambe winger Steven Yawson found himself in plenty of space on the left-hand side and his powerful attempt at goal was well saved by Lancaster keeper Chris Cheetham.

Ten minutes later Shrimps veteran forward Kevin Ellison ended up one-on-one with Cheetham, and the visiting keeper impressed yet again – keeping his side in the game with his right leg.

Garry Thompson nearly had his second goal of pre-season shortly before the break but his header on the end of a cross went just wide of the mark. It was therefore goalless at the interval.

Morecambe were straight out of the traps in the second half, and had a whole series of chances – demonstrating their clear dominance. One clear chance came when Alex Kenyon headed over from a corner against his former club four minutes into the second half.

New Shrimps full back Mitchell Lund, who is on loan from Doncaster Rovers, started some good play ten minutes later playing a good ball through to Garry Thompson – who turned and shot straight at the Lancaster keeper.

Lancaster had one of their only chances of the game just moments later. Full back Gavin Clark took the ball from Steven Yawson and resorted to an ambitious shot from long range, which went wide of the goal and didn’t trouble Niall Maher in the Morecambe goal.

Michael Rose and Adam Campbell both came close for the Shrimps shortly after in the 60th and 61st minute respectively. Garry Thompson started a good move for the home side, with a great run on the right-hand side but unfortunately Rose couldn’t come up with the end product – shooting over the bar. Campbell then got the ball in space and looked very comfortable on the ball, but his shot from long range went just wide of the goal.

New signing from York City Vadaine Oliver came off the bench for the home side and had a few chances, but wasn’t much of a threat to Lancaster. He showed good strength, but his finishing wasn’t good enough. The 25-year-old headed over the bar from a cross in the 72nd minute before shooting straight at the keeper three minutes later.

Young midfielder Ben Hedley, who was another Morecambe man to come off the bench, found himself on the end of a corner in the 78th minute and his powerful shot went just over the bar.

Morecambe created plenty of chances in the second half, but it looked like they were never going to score. Reece Deakin worked well on the left-hand side and gifted the ball to Campbell in the 86th minute but his shot was pushed away by Lancaster’s sub keeper.

Jim Bentley’s side got what they deserved four minutes later, when they got a winner through Andy Fleming. Luke Jordan worked well on the right-hand side and put in a great ball that was met by the head of Fleming and beat the keeper.

Therefore Morecambe won the first Bay Trophy match between the two sides, and it is hoped the game between the two sides will become a regular feature of future pre-season schedules.

Morecambe face Preston North End next on Tuesday evening at the Globe Arena.

Morecambe: Maher, Lund (McGowan 63), Trialist (Trialist 63), Kenyon (c), Brough (Conlan 63), Rose (Hedley 63), Fleming, Yawson (Jordan 63), Campbell, Ellison (Deakin 63), Thompson (Oliver 63).

Lancaster City: Cheetham, Henry, Clark, S Bailey, Westwood, Mercer, Howarth, Carney, Tam (C Bailey),Winder, Harries.

Subs used: Sub keeper, Hoyle, Hudson, C Bailey, Shearwood, Creech, Woods, Wood.

 

 

Shrimps come from behind to beat Bamber Bridge in pre-season run out

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Bamber Bridge 1-2 Morecambe

Carsley 14                Hedley 23
Thompson 49

Morecambe came from behind to beat Bamber Bridge in their first pre-season friendly at the Sir Tom Finney Stadium on Tuesday night. The home side took the lead 14 minutes in through Brad Carsley before Shrimps youngster Ben Hedley equalised from close range nine minutes later. Morecambe legend Garry Thompson scored four minutes into his return, and this sealed the victory for Jim Bentley’s side.

Both sides started lively, and looked in good nick. Bamber Bridge had the first chance of the game three minutes in as full-back Macaulay Wilson cut past the Shrimps’ defence before he was stopped in his tracks by Roche. At the other end Morecambe came close after some good work by Luke Jordan and Adam Campbell on the right, before they put a great ball in towards Ben Hedley whose shot went just over the bar.

Michael Rose had a very good chance three minutes later, but it didn’t look like he meant it. He put a cross in following a corner and it hit the crossbar. It was Bamber Bridge who were first to take the lead however as Brad Carsley managed to cut past Aaron McGowan and bury his shot into the bottom-right corner to beat Barry Roche.

The home side’s lead lasted just nine minutes. Rhys Turner worked well in the box, cutting in and having his shot pushed away by Rigby before Ben Hedley netted the rebound from close range.

Adam Campbell impressed in his first game for the Shrimps, and came very close to scoring in the 34th minute when he cut past the defence and had a shot that hit the crossbar.

Rhys Turner came close to taking the lead for Morecambe just before the break but his shot was parried by Lloyd Rigby. It was all square at half time.

Shrimps manager Jim Bentley made eleven changes at the break, and his second half eleven included Morecambe legend Garry Thompson who has rejoined the club from Wycombe this summer. The 36-year-old forward had a very good start to the game, taking the lead for his boyhood club just four minutes in. Youngster Steven Yawson worked really well on the right-hand side and found the veteran forward whose shot met the top-corner of the net from close range to send Shrimps fans wild.

Both sides had chances in the midst of the second half. Andy Fleming and Steven Yawson both had shots wide for the Shrimps, whilst Bamber Bridge’s Regan Linney and Danny Forbes had shots going just over the bar.

Garry Thompson almost got his second goal for the Shrimps in the 70th minute. He linked up well with Steven Yawson again but his shot was blocked by the defence and he failed to put away the rebound.

Chances were few and far between for Bamber Bridge in the latter stages of the game, as Morecambe dominated possession, but in the 75th minute substitute Adam Stammers had an ambitious effort at goal only for it to go just wide and not trouble Niall Maher.

Reece Deakin who featured for the Shrimps in the second half impressed, and found himself heavily involved in the action in the final ten minutes of the game. The youngster twice linked up well with Steven Yawson, putting good balls in to his fellow winger whose first header went wide and then volleyed against the post.

Deakin later nearly scored himself. He found himself in space on the left-hand side in the 79th minute and his shot was pushed away by Rigby before his second shot eight minutes later was deflected out for a corner by the Bamber Bridge defence.

The home side had a last ditch attempt to equalise in the last minute of normal time, but it didn’t test Niall Maher. Former Kendal midfielder Danny Forbes made a run with the ball but he didn’t have a good enough finishing product as his attempt sailed over the bar.

Morecambe face Lancaster City up next at the Globe Arena on Saturday.

Bamber Bridge: Rigby, Wilson (Stammers 64), Higham (Milligan 45), Lawlor (Mahoney 54), Doughty (Jones 45), Potts (Forbes 59), Linney, Staunton-Turner (Kay 74), Carsley (Riley 68), Dudley (Ngolo 76), Dodd (Marlow 45).

Morecambe: 

1st Half XI: Roche 7, McGowan 6, Trialist 6, Winnard 6, Conlan 5, Rose 7 (c), Hedley 7, Jordan 6, Campbell 8, Ellison 6, Turner 7.

2nd Half XI: Maher 7, Lund 6, Brownsword 7, Kenyon 7, Brough 7, Trialist 6, Fleming 7, Yawson 8, Wildig 7, Deakin 8, Thompson 7 (c).

 

 

Wycombe retain play-off hopes with last-ditch Akinfenwa equaliser

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Sky Bet League 2

Morecambe 1-1 Wycombe Wanderers

Ellison 81           Akinfenwa 89

Morecambe and Wycombe Wanderers shared the points in the last game of the season at the Globe Arena yesterday. Kevin Ellison capped off a brilliant Morecambe move to take the lead in the 81st minute, before Adebayo Akinfenwa equalised for the away side in the latter stages of the game thanks to some poor defending from the Shrimps.

Both sides had a relatively good start to the game, and it was Wycombe who had the first real chance. Former Morecambe forward Garry Thompson found the ball in space in the eighth minute, but his shot went wide of the mark.

Three minutes later, the home side really should’ve gone in front. Michael Rose made a great run forward and he had a spectacular long-range shot saved by Jamal Blackman to his left.

Morecambe later had a series of chances, with Aaron McGowan making a beaming run to get on the end of Molyneux’s ball only for his shot to be blocked in the 19th minute. Moments later, Paul Mullin came close for the hosts – cutting through the defence and having his shot tipped over by the visiting keeper.

Wycombe’s best chance of the first half came in the 23rd minute when Adebayo Akinfenwa headed just wide on the end of a good cross.

Morecambe dominated chances however in the first half, with Ellison forcing a good reflex save from Blackman in the 27th minute.

The away side did have two quick chances in succession shortly before half time with Garry Thompson’s shot going just over in the 34th minute and then Sam Saunders’ powerful long-range three minutes later shot went just over the bar.

It was the home side who had the final chance of the half, with Aaron McGowan making a commanding run on the right-hand side only for his shot to go straight at the keeper. It was goalless at the interval.

Wycombe had the first chance of the second half, with Paul Hayes making a good run before playing the ball through to Luke O’Nien, whose shot went just wide of the goal.

Fifteen minutes later Kevin Ellison came very close to taking the lead for the hosts, with his header being blocked by Harriman following a pinpoint cross from Aaron McGowan.

Wycombe’s best chance of the game without scoring came in the 75th minute when Sam Saunders’ free kick was blocked by the wall shortly before substitute Paris Cowan-Hall headed onto the crossbar.

It was Morecambe who came up with the first goal of the game six minutes later, through Kevin Ellison. It was a good team goal which started with a good run from young debutant Steve Yawson, before Michael Rose played a good ball to McGowan whose cross met Ellison and the veteran had good footwork to turn and curl the ball round the keeper to score his ninth goal of the season.

The host’s lead nearly only lasted three minutes however, as Adebayo Akinfenwa found himself in acres of space but his shot was pushed away by Nizic to his right.

The away side were pushing for an equaliser, and Luke O’Nien headed into the hands of Nizic in the 88th minute. Just moments later the away side did equalise as a result of some poor defending. The Shrimps’ defence failed to clear their lines, and as a result Akinfenwa was able to slot the ball past Nizic to score his 18th goal of the season for Wycombe.

Gareth Ainsworth’s side then looked like they could’ve taken all three points near the end, as they pushed for a winner. A second goal, would’ve taken them into the play-off places. In the last minute of normal time, substitute Myles Weston put in a good ball through to Akinfenwa but the powerhouse’s header went just wide of the mark.

Wycombe’s very tall keeper Jamal Blackman came up for a corner in the fourth minute of added time, but the corner didn’t really come to anything as the Shrimps managed to defend it well. The last kick of the game, came when in the sixth minute of added time Myles Weston’s powerful attempt went over the bar.

The result means that Morecambe remain in 18th ahead of their final game of the season away to Luton Town next week, whilst Wycombe sit in 11th needing a win against Cambridge United next week to give them any chance of making the play-offs.

Morecambe: Nizic 8, Edwards 7, Whitmore 7, Winnard 7, McGowan 8 (Wakefield 84), Kenyon 8, Murphy 7 (c) (Fleming 56), Rose 7, Molyneux 7, Ellison 7, Mullin 7 (Yawson 77).

Booked: McGowan and Ellison

Sub ratings: Fleming 7, Yawson 7, Wakefield n/a

Subs not used: Roche, Conlan, Wildig, Evans

Wycombe Wanderers: Blackman 8, Harriman 7, Jombati 6, Pierre 7 (c), Jacobson 7 (Stewart 68), Bean 6, O’Nien 6, Saunders 8, Thompson 7 (Weston 82), Akinfenwa 7, Hayes (c) 6 (Cowan-Hall 63).

Booked: Pierre and Jacobson

Sub ratings: Stewart 7, Weston 7, Cowan-Hall 6,

Subs not used: Richardson, Bloomfield, Southwell, Gape,

Attendance: 1,742

 

 

Shrimps snatch late equaliser to dent Colchester’s play-off hopes

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Sky Bet League 2

Morecambe 1-1 Colchester United

Rose 88 pen        Brindley 22

Morecambe snatched a late equaliser against Colchester United today to essentially book their spot in League 2 next season. Richard Brindley scored an excellent free kick for Colchester in the first half, before Michael Rose’s late penalty cancelled the goal out to ensure the sides shared the points.

Colchester had a good start to the game, and came close just two minutes in with Tarique Fosu’s shot being blocked by Alex Kenyon and out for a corner.

Morecambe’s first chance came soon after however, with Paul Mullin’s long range effort not troubling keeper Sam Walker in the fourth minute – going straight into his hands.

Three minutes later, Aaron Wildig came close for the home side – cutting through the defence and having a shot saved by Walker to his left.

Paul Mullin then came close on two occasions, the first attempt going just over in the ninth minute before his long range effort went just wide in the eleventh minute.

The Shrimps then thought they’d taken the lead in the fifteenth minute, but Kevin Ellison’s goal was ruled out for offside.

Bentley’s side then came close five minutes later again through Paul Mullin. Alex Kenyon played a good ball through to Mullin from the left-hand side, and the striker’s shot was tipped over the bar by Colchester keeper Sam Walker.

Despite Morecambe’s domination of proceedings early in the first half, it was Colchester who were first to score. The Essex side got themselves a free kick on the edge of the box after Alex Whitmore’s foul, and full back Richard Brindley made it look easy – curling it over the wall and beating Nizic to the left in the 22nd minute.

Chances were few and far between following the goal, with Colchester settling into the game. There was however a chance just before half time, with another free kick from Richard Brindley – but this time it went straight into the hands of Nizic so the away side led 1-0 at the break.

Four minutes into the second half, Morecambe full back Michael Duckworth had a shot blocked and similarly Colchester had a chance like this a minute later as Drey Wright’s shot was blocked by Winnard – the difference being it went out for a corner.

The Shrimps came close again ten minutes later, with some good build up play. They didn’t have the finishing product however, as Antony Evans’ shot went over the bar when the ball fell to him.

Colchester came close in the 62nd minute when Tom Eastman’s volley on the end of a corner went over the bar.

The away side came close again in the 70th minute when Danijel Nizic dropped the ball when trying to catch it from the corner and Tarique Fosu’s shot in response went over the bar.

Three minutes later Morecambe came close when substitute Antony Evans nodded on from a good ball to Kenyon – whose shot went just wide.

It was heartbreak for Colchester shortly before the death as they gave away a penalty – substitute Tommy O’Sullivan bringing down Antony Evans in the box. Michael Rose stepped up to take the spot kick, and it was taken coolly – placing it into the bottom right corner to equalise for the Shrimps in the 88th minute.

The equaliser spurred the home crowd on, and Bentley’s side almost got a winner in added time but Mullin’s free kick went over the bar.

The result means that the Shrimps remain in 17th ahead of their trip to Exeter City on Saturday, and Colchester move down a place to 10th ahead of their next game at home to Plymouth Argyle.

Morecambe: Nizic 6, Duckworth 7, Winnard 6 (c), Whitmore 7, Kenyon 7 (Murphy 83), McGowan 7, Rose 7, Fleming 7, Wildig 6 (Evans 45), Ellison 5 (Turner 79), Mullin 7.

Sub ratings: Evans 8, Turner 7, Murphy 7.

Booked: Whitmore and Winnard

Subs not used: Maher (GK), Wakefield, Molyneux, Conlan.

Colchester United: Walker 7, Eastman 7, James 7, Elokobi 7, Brindley 8, Loft 6 (Wynter 76), Murray 6, Dickenson 7, Dr Wright 7 (Pyke 90), Fosu-Henry 6 (O’Sullivan 83), Porter 7.

Sub ratings: Wynter 7, O’Sullivan 6, Pyke n/a

Booked: Loft and Fosu-Henry

Subs not used: Briggs, Brill (GK), Kinsella, Di Wright.

Attendance: 1,447 (275 away)

 

Mintcakes enjoy comfortable victory over ten men Mossley

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Evo Stik League Division 1 North

Kendal Town 3-0 Mossley

Poole 17

Dudley 23,77

Kendal Town had a comfortable victory over a struggling Mossley side yesterday at Parkside Road. Matt Poole took the lead for the hosts seventeen minutes in, with a well placed header into the bottom left on the end of Sam Bailey’s cross before fellow striker Matt Dudley got a brace – including a particularly stunning finish in the 77th minute.

It was a relatively slow start to the game, with no notable chances in the opening fifteen minutes. The first bit of a real action came in the seventeenth minute when Kendal took the lead. Sam Bailey made a great run on the right-hand side, putting a great ball in towards Matt Poole – who headed past Will Jones in the bottom left corner.

Six minutes later, Poole’s fellow striker Matt Dudley doubled Kendal’s lead. Mossley failed to clear their lines, and they paid the price as Josh Draycott held the ball well before giving the ball to Dudley who buried the ball in the bottom left corner.

The Mintcakes had much of the play and in the 29th minute they almost made it three as Matt Poole played a good ball to the incoming full back Dan Thomas, but he could only hit the ball over the bar.

Five minutes later, there was more drama. Mossley forward Mitchell Bryant was sent off after an off the ball incident which saw him allegedly headbutt a Kendal player.

Kendal almost instantly capitalised on their one-man advantage with Matt Poole finding himself through on goal, but he could only shoot wide.

Mossley’s first real chance of the game came in the 40th minute when Matt Burke’s shot went over.

Kendal keeper Will Kitchen found himself busy on the brink of half time, as Liam Ellis had a shot saved by Kitchen to his left and then he had a header tipped over. Kendal led 2-0 at half time.

In the second half, the hosts sat back and Mossley had a series of chances – making a brighter start to the second half. Liam Ellis had three chances in quick succession for the home side, with his first not really troubling Kitchen in the 49th minute, before going just wide in the 51st and then shooting into the side netting three minutes later.

Tom Pratt came close for the away side in the 72nd minute forcing a save from Kitchen from close range, before his rebound went into the side-netting.

Despite Mossley’s dominance for much of the second half, Kendal managed to get a third goal in the 77th minute. Matt Dudley was on the receiving end of a good ball on the left-hand side before cutting in and striking the ball into the top-right corner in what was a sublime finish.

Ten minutes later, Mossley did get a penalty however. What happened though, summed up their day. Matt Burke stepped up to take the penalty, but it was saved easily by Will Kitchen to his right.

Burke came close to getting a consolation in the fourth minute of added time, but it went just over onto the top netting.

Kendal and Mossley remain in 11th and 20th place following the game, with Mossley needing just a point from their final two games to secure survival. Up next for the Mintcakes is Lancaster City away from home on Monday, whilst Mossley face Glossop North End at home.

Kendal Town: Kitchen 8, Freeland 7, Wardle 7, McDonald 7 (c), Thomas 7, Grundy 7, S Bailey 8, C Bailey 7, Draycott 7 (Hocor 60), Dudley 9, Poole 7 (Aspin 64).

Sub ratings: Hocor 6, Aspin 7.

Booked: McDonald, Grundy, Dudley, Poole.

Sub not used: McGahon.

Mossley: Jones 6, Henson 5, Dean 5 (c), Johnson 6, Scullion 4 (Byrnes 66), Ali 6, Burke 5, Pratt 6, Hill 6 (Harrison 58), Bryant 4, Ellis 7 (Duffy 82).

Sub ratings: Byrnes 6, Harrison 6, Duffy n/a

Booked: Henson, Dean, Johnson, Burke, Pratt.

Sent off: Bryant

Subs not used: Flynn, Quansah.

Attendance: 130

Shrimps and Pools share points in game of two halves

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Sky Bet League 2

Morecambe 1-1 Hartlepool United

Mullin 59           Amond 39

Struggling League 2 sides Morecambe and Hartlepool United shared the points on a stunning day at the Globe Arena today. Former Shrimp Padraig Amond opened the scoring for the away side towards the end of the first half after the ball was put on a plate for him, whilst in the second half Paul Mullin equalised for the home side with a header from close range.

It was a fairly slow start to the game, but Hartlepool had the better of the early stages – with much of possession and chances.  Their first chance came nine minutes in when Nicky Featherstone hit the ball over after some good pressure from the away side.

Five minutes later, Dave Jones’ side got a free kick in a threatening position. Walker took the free kick, and it was blocked by the Morecambe wall before Nathan Thomas’ follow up shot was caught by Danijel Nizic on his line.

In the 19th minute the away side came close again with Scott Harrison’s volley going just wide of the mark.

Pools later had a series of chances through Rhys Oates. The 22 year old headed just over on the end of a corner in the 29th minute, before finding himself in space three minutes later only for his shot to not really trouble Nizic.

The away side got themselves in front shortly before half time. They passed their way round the Shrimps’ defence with ease before ex-Shrimps player Lewis Alessandra played a great ball through to a fellow former Shrimp Padraig Amond – who finished coolly past Nizic from close range in the 39th minute.

Morecambe’s first real chances of the game came on the brink of half time. Kevin Ellison headed just over from a corner in the 44th minute, before Paul Mullin came very close in stoppage time – cutting in from the right and forcing a save from Joe Fryer to his left. The away side led 1-0 at the break.

Ten minutes into the second half, Hartlepool came close to doubling their lead through Padraig Amond, but his shot was blocked by Ryan Edwards.

Morecambe managed to get back into the game just three minutes later however through Paul Mullin. The move started with a great ball from Kevin Ellison on the left, before Ryan Edwards’ shot was cleared off the line and then Paul Mullin won the battle with the keeper for the ball – heading home from two yards out.

The home side then kicked on from thereafter and came close in the 67th minute when Kevin Ellison’s shot was saved by Fryers to his right shortly before Fleming headed straight into the hands of the Middlesbrough loanee.

Ten minutes later Ellison came close again, with the ball falling to him unmarked after a throw in. The veteran forward could only despatch the ball well over the bar.

The Shrimps came remarkably close to scoring in the 80th minute. Lee Molyneux made a quick run to get the ball from the throw-in and he played a good ball through to fellow substitute Aaron Wildig – whose shot brought about a potentially season-saving block from Hartlepool defender Scott Harrison.

Hartlepool had a good spell towards the end of the game. In the 82nd minute, Michael Woods cut through the defence only for his shot to go wide and then in the 85th minute Dave Jones’ side got a free kick in a threatening position. Padraig Amond’s free kick was blocked by the Morecambe wall, and then Scott Harrison’s follow up shot went over the bar.

Morecambe’s last chance came in the first minute of added time when Kevin Ellison headed just wide on the end of a good ball from Andy Fleming.

Whilst it could be argued that Morecambe did enough to win the game following their second-half performance, it was Hartlepool who very nearly won the game at the end. Nathan Thomas made a great run, and his shot was blocked brilliantly by Ryan Edwards to ensure the game finished 1-1.

The result means that Morecambe move to 19th, eight points above the drop zone, whilst Hartlepool remain in 22nd – just three points above the drop zone following Newport’s 1-0 victory at Exeter City.

Up next for the Shrimps is Stevenage away from home on Good Friday, whilst Hartlepool United are up against Carlisle United at home in what will be a big game for both sides.

Morecambe: Nizic 8, McGowan 7, Whitmore 6, Edwards 7, Duckworth 6, Rose 6, Fleming 8, Turner 6 (Molyneux 66), Evans 6 (Wildig 66), Ellison 7, Mullin 7.

Sub ratings: Molyneux 7, Wildig 6.

Booked: Mullin

Subs not used: Maher (GK), Wakefield, Jordan, Murphy, Winnard.

Hartlepool United: Fryer 7, Richardson 6, Harrison 7, Walker 6, Donnelly 6, Alessandra 6 (Rodney 81), Woods 6, Featherstone 7, Thomas 6, Oates 7 (Deverdics 90+4), Amond 7.

Sub ratings: Rodney 6, Deverdics n/a

Subs not used: Magnay, Bates, Hawkins, Rooney, Dudzinski (GK).

Attendance: 1,548 (436 away)