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.
A left-sided trialist 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.
The trialist 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.
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).
1st Half XI: Roche, McGowan, Trialist, Winnard, Conlan, Rose (c), Hedley, Jordan, Campbell, Ellison, Turner.
2nd Half XI: Maher, Lund, Brownsword, Kenyon, Brough, Trialist, Fleming, Yawson, Wildig, Trialist, Thompson (c).