MORECAMBE were unlucky to fall to defeat against Bury in their latest pre-season outing at the Globe Arena on Saturday.
The Shrimps went behind to a controversial Andy Bishop penalty just after the half hour mark before Shaun Harrad completed the victory with a well-taken goal a few minutes from time.
Starting in bright sunshine the game opened with a serious-looking injury to Bury defender Efe Sodje.
The veteran received a warm reception from the sparse Globe Arena crowd as he was stretchered off following an innocuous looking clash with Richard Brodie, which left him knocked out, although he regained consciousness in hospital.
After the several minute stoppage, Morecambe had the better of the early exchanges, Lewis Alessandra firing just over from 25 yards inside ten minutes.
Shortly after Stewart Drummond curled a right-footed shot the wrong side of Trevor Carson’s left-hand post from just outside the box.
With the Shrimps on top, the game turned on the penalty award.
Referee Jonathan Moss blew his whistle as the Shrimps failed to clear a corner and much to the confusion of almost all those in attendance, pointed to the spot for an apparent handball against Andy Parrish on the line.
There were no appeals from the away side, but Bishop gratefully stepped up and sent Roche the wrong way to put Bury in front.
They nearly increased their lead as the Shrimps became frustrated, Roche saving well at Bishop’s feet and Andrai Jones firing over when he should have done better.
Morecambe nearly levelled before the break however, Chris McCready latched onto a bit of head tennis in the penalty area only to direct his header over the bar and Alessandra curled a delightful effort just over the upright on the stroke of half-time.
In a second half that lacked the same flow and bite as the opening 45 minutes, Kevin Ellison had arguably Morecambe’s best opening, firing well wide on 66 minutes when played in by Alessandra.
The game became more stretched and end-to-end as the home side went in search of parity, and were left frustrated with the officials once again as they failed to blow when Joe Skarz and sub Jack Redshaw clashed with the Morecambe man through on goal.
But as Morecambe pushed they were always vulnerable to the counter attack and after trialist Ryan Williams gave the ball away Harrad was on hand to punish the Shrimps and seal victory for the visitors four minutes from time.
Morecambe: Roche, Parrish, Threlfall (Short 90), Haining, Fenton (McCready 30), Wright, Drummond (Fleming 67), McDonald (Williams 81), Alessandra (Redshaw 67), Ellison (Carlton 67), Brodie (Burrow 54). Subs not used: Arestidou, McGee, Reid, Mwasile, Doyle, Parkinson
Bury: Carson, Picken (Skarz 60), Lockwood, Sweeney (McLaughlin 86), Worrall (McCartney 80), Bishop (Harrad 73), Carrington (Boswell 86), Elford-Alliyu (John-Lewis 60), Sodje (Hughes 9), Harrop (Schumacher 60), Jones. Subs not used: Belford.