Mullin earns share of the spoils
MORECAMBE came from behind twice to earn a 2-2 draw with League One Oldham Athletic at the Globe Arena on Tuesday night.
Adam Lockwood gave the Latics a deserved half-time lead, before three goals in the space of eight second half minutes sparked the game into life.
Captain Mark Hughes nodded the Shrimps level, before Jonson Clarke-Harris put the Latics back in front with a sublime solo goal minutes later.
Jim Bentley’s side continued to push forward however and three minutes from time trialist Paul Mullin struck a second equaliser for the Shrimps with a fierce drive which flew in off the crossbar to clinch a draw.
After failing to rectify the quick start made against Dundee on Saturday, the Shrimps made a shaky opening to proceedings at the Globe Arena.
With just two minutes on the clock Carl Winchester dragged a shot into the side netting, before summer signing Liam Kelly blazed narrowly over from 20 yards.
As the visitors continued to dominate the early stages, Winchester saw a well-hit volley deflected narrowly over, as Bentley’s side searched for an opening in the game.
That chance nearly came moments later, but following a clever Kevin Ellison flick on, Jack Sampson failed to generate enough power on his poked effort as ‘keeper Joel Coleman approached.
Following a brief lull in the contest, Ryan Edwards headed Tom McCready’s driven corner into the ground but unfortunately for the new Shrimps’ signing his effort bounced over Coleman and behind the goal.
Sampson then did well to turn his marker but on the swivel the Morecambe striker fired high into the Omega Holidays Stand.
With both sides fashioning openings, David Mellor then hit a ferocious strike which whistled over the Morecambe crossbar, before Lee Johnson’s side eventually made the breakthrough.
Kelly’s pacey corner was met at the front post by Lockwood who fumbled into the net past the helpless Andreas Arestidou to put the Latics ahead.
Padraig Amond twice went close as the Shrimps tried to find a way back into the game before half-time but following Sampson’s drilled cross the forward could only prod wide and Bentley’s side went in behind at the break.
Andy Wright and Andy Fleming were introduced as Oldham kicked off the second half and that rekindled energy appeared to rejuvenate the Shrimps with McCready seeing his powerful shot well blocked by the Latics defence.
The young trialist – brother of former Morecambe defender Chris – should have had the Shrimps level 10 minutes after the restart but after being played through on goal by Sampson the energetic midfielder struck straight at Coleman.
On a rare second-half attack for the Latics, new signing William Gros came close to doubling his sides advantage but the Frenchman’s instinctive effort cannoned off the outside of the post from a narrow angle.
A flurry of substitutions from either side then slowed the tempo of the game, with new Shrimps’ arrival Jamie Devitt only able to direct his long-range effort high into the Morecambe sky.
At the other end, Clarke-Harris headed wide after Arestidou failed to catch a deep Oldham cross, before the goals began to flow at the Globe Arena.
A Morecambe corner wasn’t dealt with by the Oldham back line and after Fleming delivered a deep cross to the back post, Laurence Wilson nodded across the six-yard box for Hughes to head the Shrimps level.
The game hardly had time to settle before it witnessed its next goal, as Clarke-Harris ran at the Morecambe defence before unleashing a spectacular curling effort which nestled into the top corner of Arestidou’s net.
That lead lasted a matter of minutes however, as the Shrimps fought their way back onto level terms once again, with Paul Mullin beating the offside trap and smashing an unstoppable shot past Coleman into the Oldham net.
Jack Redshaw’s drilled effort nearly won it late on for Bentley’s side but Coleman’s palmed save meant it finished all square at the final whistle.
Morecambe: Arestidou; McGowan [Wright 46], Parrish [Doyle 71], Edwards [Hughes 61], Goodall [Wilson 71]; Drummond [Fleming 46], Kenyon [Williams 61], McCready [Devitt 61]; Amond [Redshaw 61], Sampson [Mullin 61], Ellison (c) [Marshall 71].
Unused subs: Stewart
Oldham: Coleman; J.Wilson, Lockwood, Llera, Mills; B.Wilson, Kelly (c), Mellor [Jones 61], Winchester [Dayton 68]; Gros [Clarke-Harris 61], Philliskirk [Bove 76].
Unused subs: Rachubka
Referee: J Simpson