Shrimps settle for a point
MORECAMBE had to settle for a point in a highly entertaining game between two of the league’s form sides at the Globe Arena.
Goals at the beginning of each half settled the outcome, with Jack Redshaw firing the Shrimps into an early lead, before Elliot Richards equalised for Bristol Rovers with a well taken header just after half-time.
The draw keeps the Shrimps in tenth place but moves them to within six points of the play-off places.
Jim Bentley made one change from the side which beat league leaders Port Vale last weekend, with Ryan Williams – who today signed a new one-year contract – replacing the suspended Andy Wright.
The Shrimps reverted back to a more familiar 4-3-3 formation, after starting with three central defenders at Vale Park a week ago.
That attacking emphasis paid off nearly straight away for the Shrimps, with Redshaw finding the back of the Bristol net after just 67 seconds.
goal of the season.thUnder pressure from the Morecambe midfield, the Pirates defence lost possession and after Lewis Alessandra nipped in ahead of Tom Parkes, he found Redshaw who shot low and hard from 25 yards into the bottom left corner, to score his 11
The away side tried to get a foothold in the game, but struggled to create any meaningful chances and despite a penalty appeal for a challenge on Tom Hitchcock, it was the Shrimps who looked more dangerous on the counter-attack.
o twisted and turned between two Bristol defenders before placing his shot past Steve Mildenhall but unfortunately for the forward Parkes slid in to clear off the line.Kevin Ellison led the Morecambe attack on 13 minutes and his through ball played Redshaw in down the right wing, wh
Bentley’s side continued to look the more threatening of the two sides and it was Redshaw once again who had the Morecambe chance.
This time his powerful long range strike was heading for the same corner as his earlier goal, but Mildenhall got a firm right hand to the ball to turn it around for a corner.
The pacey Morecambe forward, full of confidence, then curled an ambitious shot over the Pirates bar after good work by Ellison.
The Shrimps were then dealt a major blow when Andy Parrish had to be removed through injury, with Robbie Threlfall – returning from a thigh injury – making his first appearance in over a month.
As the half-time whistle loomed, John Ward’s side looked confident in possession, but the best they could muster was a powerful shot from Richards, which was comfortably held by Barry Roche.
It was roles reversed after the break, with the Pirates scoring an early goal of their own just three minutes after the restart.
The Shrimps were caught cold at the back and forward Richards found himself free in the box to head Lee Brown’s cross past Roche into the far right corner.
That goal did not dampen the home side’s spirits however, with Ryan Williams coming close to giving Bentley’s men the lead when his ferocious 30-yard strike was punched away by Mildenhall.
With both sides seeking to continue their good runs of form of late, the game turned into an end-to-end encounter and the Pirates should have been ahead just after the hour mark.
Hitchcock gambled on a mistake by Nick Fenton and found himself through on goal, but before he had time to get a shot away Fenton recovered to make a vital last-ditch block.
A knock to the face for Stewart Drummond allowed a much-needed breather for both sides, but it did not take long for the action to get going again in front of a noisy Globe Arena crowd.
A long ball by Drummond was picked up by Redshaw, who then beat his man before shooting from a narrow angle but Mildenhall smothered well to deny him.
The chance of the half for the Shrimps then fell to Alessandra, but he headed Threlfall’s perfect left-wing cross onto the base of the post.
With the home side sensing a winner, they had a penalty appeal for a push on Ellison waved away by referee Carl Berry.
The Pirates also fancied their chances of taking all three points and they should have done so 15 minutes from time.
Goalscorer Richards ran past the entire Morecambe defence, but his side footed effort was saved well by the legs of Roche.
Bentley sent on Chris Holroyd in an attempt to win the game and he was involved in a controversial challenge late on, but with seconds to go the referee waved away the Morecambe penalty protests and blew the final whistle.
Morecambe:Roche; Parrish (Threlfall 29), McCready, Fenton, Haining; Drummond, McDonald, Williams (Fleming 85); Alessandra (Holroyd 80), Redshaw, Ellison.
Unused subs:Arestidou, Short, Mwasile, Burrow.
Bristol Rovers:Mildenhall; Smith, Parkes, McCrystal, Brown; Woodards (Norburn 76), Clucas (Harrison 86), O’Toole, Anyinsah; Richards, Hitchcock (Paterson 90).
Unused subs:Gough, Patterson, McDonald, Goddard, Lockyear.