A CONFIDENT second-half performance from Morecambe saw them end their pre-season on a high with victory over Carlisle.
Danny Carlton completed an excellent team move 20 minutes from time to give the Shrimps their first win in four against teams from higher divisions at the Globe Arena on Tuesday night.
Jim Bentley, who used players likely to feature in the season opener against Blackpool in the Capital One Cup on Sunday, saw his side take the lead early in the second period after Chris McCready converted a well-worked set piece routine only for the Shrimps to be pegged back almost immediately by Matty Robson’s free-kick.
In a poor opening to the game, with both sides lacking in ideas and ingenuity, the first real piece of quality came from Lewis Alessandra who drove at the visiting defence but his low left-footed drive went just wide of Adam Collin’s left-hand post just before the half hour mark.
Carlisle then had their best effort of the first period a minute later when Ryan Donaldson latched onto Frank Simek’s pinpoint free-kick but his shot trickled harmlessly wide.
Kevin Ellison, in a fiery mood considering the gentile nature of the sun-bathed pre-season friendly, should have given the Shrimps the lead ten minutes before the break but could only drag his shot wide from 12 yards after being played in by the increasingly influential Alessandra.
Jordan Burrow then headed over an excellent Robbie Threlfall centre and Collin had to beat away an Alessandra effort from distance as the Shrimps ended the half well.
And the home side continued their good form into the second period, taking the lead just three minutes after the break.
Gary McDonald met Will Haining’s free-kick with a late run into the left side of the penalty area and headed back across goal for McCready to bundle home from close range.
The home side could have extended their advantage first from a Burrow header and then an Andy Wright effort from range before the visitors equalised against the run of play.
Donaldson was felled right on the edge of the area and left back Robson stepped up to hammer a free-kick past Roche that the Shrimps number one will feel he should have done better with.
The Shrimps went back in front with 20 minutes remaining however with without doubt the best move of their pre-season campaign, Threlfall exchanging a lovely one-two with Ellison before sliding the ball across goal for substitute Carlton to score.
As they did with their opener, Bentley’s side followed up the goal with a couple of excellent efforts, Collin beating away Carlton’s shot from range before Ellison fired wide.
Andy Fleming then hit a post with a low left foot shot as the Shrimps grew in confidence.
Carlisle nearly equalised late on with David Symington’s effort whistling over the crossbar but it would have been harsh on the Shrimps whose impressive second 45 minutes mean they go into the game against Blackpool on a positive note.
Morecambe: Roche, Parrish (Reid 71), Threlfall, McCready, Haining (capt), Wright (McGee 83), Alessandra (Redshaw 71), Ellison (Mwasile 78), Burrow (Carlton 68), Drummond (Fleming 68), McDonald. Subs not used: Arestidou, McGee, Parkinson, Williams, Doyle, Short.
Carlisle: Colin, Simek, Robson, McGovern (Symington 61), Livesey, Welsh (Potts 61), Berwick, Beck, Thirwell (capt), Donaldson, Edwards. Subs not used: Bugno, Staunch, Dempsey, Gillespie.