MORECAMBE picked up an excellent point with a 0-0 draw at St James’s Park.
The Shrimps, with Ritchie Sutton making his debut in a back three, looked solid throughout and went close to taking all three points themselves.
It was an evenly-matched opening period Exeter went closest to opening the scoring in the first quarter of an hour as Nicky Law and Lee Martin combined just inside the penalty area, but Martin’s through ball was cut out at the last moment by Luke Conlan.
It was Law again who had a massive chance to open the scoring eight minutes later; good work from Lee Martin down the Morecambe left presented Pierce Sweeney with a chance to cross, and his delivery was met by Law – but the header landed agonisingly wide of the visitors’ goal.
Morecambe hit back with a similar opening of their own as a ball into the box was me by Kevin Ellison but his effort crept inches wide of the right hand post.
Steve Old then nearly handed Exeter the lead with a bizarre own goal. He tried to clear Craig Woodman’s cross but mishit his clearance that nearly rolled past a helpless Mark Halstead.
Exeter then had the best chance of the half when Sweeney drilled in a shot that Halstead superbly tipped onto the crossbar.
Morecambe always looked a threat on the break and Rhys Oates forced Christty Pym into a decent save with a shot from the edge of the area.
The second half began in a similar vein to the first; there was very little to differentiate the two sides. It took until the 63rd minute for there to be anything resembling a decent chance, and it fell to the visitors – Oates’ effort on the half-volley from close range flew over Pym’s crossbar.
The Shrimps finished the game the stronger as Andrew Tutte’s free-kick forced Pym into a diving save minutes after Jordan Cranston’s effort from range forced the City goalkeeper into a smart stop.
City came close through Dean Moxey in the last 10 minutes as he headed a left wing cross just wide in the game’s final chance.
EXETER CITY: Pym; Sweeney, O’Shea, Moxey, Woodman; L Martin, Law, Collins, Taylor ©, Holmes (Bowman, 69); Forte (Jay, 77).
Subs not used: Hamon, A Martin, Tillson, Abrahams, Hartridge.
Booked: Moxey, Law
MORECAMBE: Halstead; Old, Lavelle, Sutton; Conlan, Cranston, Kenyon ©, Tutte (McKay, 86), Mills; Ellison, Oates (Mandeville, 69).
Subs not used: Szczepaniak, Campbell, Mendes-Gomes, Hedley, Hawley.
Attendance: 4,113 (62 away)