Hartlepool Utd 2-0 Morecambe
THE Shrimps suffered an opening day defeat at Hartlepool on a day to forget in front of goal.
Jim Bentley’s side played some decent football and created several chances but some poor finishing proved costly.
Morecambe started brightly and almost took the lead on 14 minutes when Ryan Edwards headed Lee Molyneux’s perfectly placed free kick against the crossbar.
But seven minutes later the home side were ahead.
Barry Roche had saved smartly from Michael Woods but the ball fell for Rakish Bingham and his cross was met by veteran striker Billy Paynter who saw his header hit the left hand post before crawling over the line.
The Shrimps came back and should have equalised on 42 minutes when Jamie Devitt was played in on goal but with only Adam Bartlett to beat curled his final effort wide of the post.
Molyneux then produced another poor miss on 51 minutes when he was superbly found by Paul Mullin but with the goal at his mercy he sidefooted an effort wide from six yards out when he looked sure to score.
Mullin headed over a Laurence Wilson cross from close range and the Shrimps were made to pay for their wasted chances when the home side added a second on 65 minutes. Alex Kenyon’s weak header fell to Paynter and his perfect through ball ended with Bingham slotting the ball under Roche.
Kevin Ellison was unlucky not to pull a goal back on 75 minutes when his fierce close range drive hit the crossbar.
Substitute Shaun Miller headed inches over the bar before Devitt was denied in injury time by a superb save from Bartlett who turned away his close range overhead kick.
Hartlepool Utd: Bartlett, Duckworth, Harrison, Worley, Carroll; Magnay, Featherstone, Woods, Fenwick (rep Smith 81), Paynter, Bingham (rep Oates 86). Subs not used: Denton, Bates, Oyenuga, Nelson-Addy, Hawkins.
Morecambe: Roche, Beeley, Edwards, Parrish, Wilson, Murphy (rep Kenyon 10), Wildig, Devitt, Molyneux (rep Miller 71), Ellison, Mullin (rep Ryan 83). Subs not used: Thompson, McGowan, Goodall, Fleming.
Ref: D England.