MORECAMBE secured their passage into round 2 of the FA Cup with an excellent victory over Hartlepool at the Globe Arena.
Goals from Kevin Ellison and Andy Fleming and an unfortunate own goal from Hartlepool keeper Scott Loach gave the Shrimps an important victory and earned them £18,000 in prize money at the same time.
Boss Bentley made three changes from the side beaten at Forest Green Rovers seven days earlier.
In came Ellison, Patrick Brough and Garry Thompson with Luke Conlan, Michael Rose and Vadaine Oliver the men making way.
The Shrimps started the game superbly with Adam McGurk forcing visiting keeper Loach after just 30 seconds.
Loach then saved smartly at the feet of Steve Old before Ellison broke the deadlock on four minutes.
Aaron Wildig’s ball in from the left-hand side found its way to Ellison, who took a touch before finishing clinically.
That frenetic opening also saw both sides determined not to let each other settle on the ball, though some might have taken that instruction too literally.
Hartlepool defender Liam Donnelly was fortunate to only be cautioned for a crude lunge on Wildig, Shrimps’ skipper Alex Kenyon sustained a bloodied nose in an aerial challenge, while United midfielder Luke George somehow escaped censure after a number of fouls.
Despite going behind early on, the visitors enjoyed plenty of possession before half-time but without forcing a save from Barry Roche.
The keeper was finally forced into action just after the hour, tipping Jonathan Franks’ shot over the bar.
Kenton Richardson was unable to turn another effort goalwards as, despite Morecambe’s general comfort, a one-goal game always gave the visitors hope.
That hope was extinguished midway through the second half when Fleming doubled the Shrimps’ lead.
Moments after his introduction, Oliver played the ball behind the visitors’ defence for the midfielder to run through and finish coolly.
Loach held efforts from Oliver and fellow replacement, Adam Campbell, before victory was wrapped up five minutes from time.
Campbell’s shot flashed across goal, struck Loach’s right-hand post and then rebounded back into the net off the helpless keeper.
Morecambe: Roche, McGowan, Muller, Old, Brough, Kenyon, Fleming, Thompson (Rose 86), Wildig (Campbell 70), Ellison, McGurk (Oliver 65). Subs not used: Nizic, Conlan, Lavelle, Osborne.
Hartlepool United: Loach, Richardson, Donnelly, Laing, Adams, Featherstone, George (Munns 75), Woods (Rodney 60), Oates, Franks, Deverdics. Subs not used: Catterick, Harrison, Hawkins, Newton, Simpson.
Referee: Tom Nield.
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