Morecambe 1-1 Torquay

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Morecambe picked up their first League 2 point of the season with a hard-fought draw against 10-man Torquay at the Globe Arena on Saturday.

Man of the moment Ryan Williams produced another stunning strike to give Jim Bentley’s side the lead on 25 minutes.

But the Gulls improved as the game went on and Karl Hawley’s first goal for the club 10 minutes into the second half levelled things up.

And they took a deserved point south despite Dale Tonge seeing red late on for two bookable offences.

Full of confidence from their Capital One Cup heroics against Wolves on Tuesday night, the Shrimps started the game on the front foot.

Joe Mwasile was particularly bright, testing Martin Rice with a shot from distance on six minutes before driving dangerously at the visiting defence shortly after only to scuff his shot wide.

It was then the turn of Andy Fleming to threaten, the midfielder curling a dipping effort just over Rice’s crossbar from 25 yards.

But is was Padraig Amond who came the closest in the the opening stages for the home side, picking up Williams’ excellent long ball he cut in on his left foot only to see his low effort hit the post from the edge of the area on 12 minutes.

The Shrimps were on top but Billy Bodin fired in a warning for the visitors, crashing a shot against the underside of Barry Roche’s crossbar after a slick counter attack on the quarter hour.

It was man of the moment Williams who ensured the Shrimps got their noses in front however with another trademark strike.

Fleming broke from the half way line and squared for Williams 25 yards out and the midfielder unleashed a vicious, swerving effort from the right side of the area that was too much for Rice.

The Gulls stopper looked to have the shot covered but it curled away late to leave him with no chance, and give the Shrimps number 10 another memorable goal to add to his collection.

The game settled after the Shrimps had gone in front, Ben Harding testing Barry Roche with a free-kick shortly before the break, but the Shrimps stopper got down well low to his left to beat it away.

Harding was then involved in the Gulls’ leveller 10 minutes after the break.

The ball fell to him 30 yards from goal and he fed Hawley who had too much time and space just outside the area, but finished clinically into the top-left corner.

The Shrimps immediately went in search of a second, Tony Diagne’s flicked header from a Williams corner flashing across the face of goal on the hour mark.

Amond then just failed to make contact with a Stewart Drummond poke goalwards after the ball had dropped to him in the area from a Williams free-kick.

But it was anybody’s game, with the visitors especially a threat on the break, Callum Ball flicking a header over 25 minutes from time after good work from Dale Tonge and Courtney Cameron down the right.

And Alan Knill’s side looked the more likely to take the points as the game wore on, Aaron Downes will feel he could have given them the lead when he headed over a corner from six yards out on 70 minutes.

The home side needed to settle and did, Jack Sampson seeing a flicked header from a Fleming centre comfortably saved by Rice 10 minutes from time.

Dale Tonge then picked up his second yellow card five minutes from time for a crude foul on substitute Joe McGee as Knill’s side finished a man down.

And the Shrimps nearly took advantage, McGee crashing a shot against the post with time almost up after an excellent burst into the box.

Morecambe: Roche, Wright, Parrish, Hughes (capt), Diagne, Drummond (Kenyon 73), Williams, Fleming, Mwasile (McGee 84), Sampson, Amond. Subs not used: Arestidou, Doyle, McGowan, Woods, Bell.

Booked: Drummond

Torquay: Rice, Tonge, Pearce, Downes, Nicholson, Chapell (Cameron 57), Mansell (capt), Harding, Bodin (Sullivan 89), Hawley (Lathrope 88), Ball. Subs not used: C Thompson, Yeoman, N Thompson, Cruise.

Booked: Tonge

Red card: Tonge

Referee: Richard Clark

Attendance: 1,555