Morecambe 1-1 Cheltenham

A superb Frankie Artus free-kick denied Morecambe their fitst win in four games against Cheltenham at the Globe Arena.

Stewart Drummond gave the Shrimps the lead just before the hour when he sneaked into the area to head Tony Capaldi’s cross past Scott Brown from 12 yards out.

Hopes of a fifth home win of the season were dashed however 11 minutes later when Drummond conceded a free-kick 30 yards from goal and Artus produced a stunning swerving strike to beat Roche.

Artus looked set for a second moments later when played in by Theo Lewis but he was denied by a superb covering tackle from Kieran Charnock.

Cheltenham’s Brian Smikle then should have won the game three minutes from time with a free header six yards out but he missed the ball altogether.

Morecambe then almost snatched it at the death themselves in injury time. Chris Shuker crossed for Andy Fleming but the ball was just behind him and he couldn’t twist his body enough to direct the effort on target.

Morecambe started brightly and improving striker Jimmy Spencer saw a volley deflected wide of the left–hand post and another effort, after cutting in from the right hand side, also deflected wide.

Kieran Charnock also went close when he met a corner at the far post but couldn’t beat Scott Brown. Cheltenham were always a threat however on the break and the Shrimps once again were grateful for some fine saves from Barry Roche.

The Robins’ top scorer Wes Thomas was denied an opener on 16 minutes by a smart save from Roche after Marlon Pack’s free kick rebounded into his path.

But again it was Smikle who wasted the best chances as he was twice put clear on goal behind the Morecambe defence but twice foiled by the Shrimps’ skipper. Defender Martin Riley also missed a good chance when he headed a Danny Andrew corner wide from close range.

The second half started with Shrimps on top with Spencer forcing Brown into a good save with a neat shot on the turn and the Robins’ keeper also reacted well to tip away a Kevan Hurst cross.

Neither side could make a second breakthrough though and had to settle for the second league draw between the two teams this season.

Morecambe: Roche 7; Holdsworth 7, Parrish 7, Charnock 7, Capaldi 7; Hurst 7 (Hunter 71), Brown 7, Drummond 8, Wilson 7 (Fleming 75); Spencer 7 (Shuker 82), Jevons 7. Subs not used: Walker (GK), Wainwright, McCready, Mullin.

Cheltenham: Brown; Lowe, Andrew, Bird, Riley; Smikle, Artus, Elliot (Eastham 44), Pack (Lewis 66); Thomas (Green 82), Goulding. Sub not used: Pook, Lloyd-Weston, Melligan, Lee.

Booked: Lowe.

Ref: S Martin

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