A CONTROVERSIAL last-gasp penalty denied Morecambe victory at St James Park.
The Shrimps looked to be heading for their first away win since January 2nd after going ahead on 85 minutes through Kevin Ellison’s thumping finish before a controversial conclusion at St James Park.
The visitors had seen two good earlier penalty appeals waved away and seemed to be heading for a first win in six games.
But having originally signalled for a corner referee Darren Drysdale took some advice from an assistant and pointed the spot on 89 minutes after Christian Ribeiro’s header hit Lee Molyneux’s arm and Stockley scored his third goal of the season against The Shrimps to level things up late on.
After a scrappy opening Exeter warmed to the task at hand in the Devon sunshine.
First Andy Parrish was needed to block a Jayden Stockley header before the dangerous Lee Holmes fired narrowly wide from the edge of the area.
Barry Roche was then on hand to help Stockley’s shot from 20 yards round the post as the hosts pressed.
The Shrimps felt they should have had a penalty shortly after the quarter hour but referee Drysdale waved away the appeals as Alex Kenyon went down under challenge from Troy Brown.
The struggling visitors were improving, Adam Dugdale heading over a Jamie Devitt corner when he should have tested Bobby Olejnik.
It was an even game though with Exeter having the best of the chances, Roche diving low to his right to get a hand on Holmes’ shot just before the half hour.
Large parts of the half were scrappy though with the game at times having a distinctly end of season feel.
The second spot kick claim came five minutes after the interval, Drysdale again not interested after Lee Molyneux’s cross appeared to be helped back to Olejnik by the arm of Christian Ribeiro.
Aaron Wildig then had The Shrimps’ best chance just before the hour mark but could only slice wide on his left foot 12 yards out after being found by a Devitt pass.
Stockley missed a golden opportunity for the Grecians 11 minutes from time, planting a free header from a Jake Taylor cross wide.
The Shrimps got their noses in front five minutes from time.
Substitute Cole Stockton broke in on the right side of the area and pulled back for Ellison to hammer home from 12 yards.
Exeter were level in the 89th minute from the penalty spot. A corner was originally awarded when Ribeiro’s header hit the arm of Molyneux. But after a long consultation with his assistant referee Drysdale pointed to the spot to the anger of the Morecambe players.
Stockley stepped up and made no mistake, sending Roche the wrong way from 12 yards to ensure the game ended honours even.
Exeter City: Olejnik, Ribeiro, Brown, Moore-Taylor (capt), Woodman (Noble 62), Tillson, Holmes (Grant 82), McCready, Taylor, Watkins (Reid 73), Stockley. Subs not used: Pym, Davies, Nicholls, Oyeleke.
Morecambe: Roche, McGowan, Parrish, Dugdale (capt), Conlan (Molyneux 25), Kenyon, Fleming (Mullin 73), Wildig, Ellison, Devitt, Miller (Stockton 60). Subs not used: O’Hara, Goodall, Doyle.
Booked: Wildig, Devitt, Ellison, Kenyon
Referee: Darren Drysdale
Attendance: 3,936 (114 away)