Morecambe squandered two-goal advantage at Mansfield Town
Mansfield Town 2 Morecambe 2The Shrimps secured their first point of the season with a battling display at Mansfield Town.
Jim Bentley’s side produced a much better performance than they did in the opening-day defeat against Grimsby.
The only disappointment for the Shrimps was the fact they failed to hold on to an early two-goal lead, although they did have some misfortune as they hit the woodwork twice as they looked a force going forward.
Morecambe started the game on the front foot with Sam Lavelle heading them into a fourth minute lead and Lewis Alessandra making it 2-0 on 21 minutes.
Adam Buxton then hit the home bar with an amazing effort from his own half which could have killed the game off, before Mansfield hit back with a Nicky Maynard goal just before the break and a 72nd-minute header from Danny Rose to level proceedings.
Mansfield started brightly with Otis Khan trying his luck from the edge of the box but it was Morecambe who struck early when John O’Sullivan put in a superb cross from the right and Lavelle beat his marker to head past Conrad Logan from about six yards out.
Morecambe always looked dangerous on the break and added a second two minutes later.
Kevin Ellison was in the thick of things again with a tempting crossfield ball that caused confusion for Logan and central defender Krystian Pearce and as they hesitated Alessandra nipped in between the two to head into the empty net.
After Buxton hit the bar, Mansfield made the most of it, pulling one back six minutes from the break.
The ball landed at the feet of Alex MacDonald and, despite his effort being palmed away by keeper Barry Roche, it rebounded towards poacher Maynard, who was in the right place at the right time to score from close range.
In the second half, the Shrimps were denied by the woodwork again on 71 minutes with the unlucky Cole Stockton heading against the foot of the post.
As so often happens in football the opponents made the most of their good fortune and levelled on 72 minutes through as Rose with a fine heade.
Mansfield looked to be on the front foot but ill discipline cost them as Matt Preston was shown a straight red card for a reckless, and needless, challenge on Alessandra with eight minutes to go.
MANSFIELD: Logan, Benning, Preston, Pearce, Bishop, MacDonald, Khan, Maynard (Sweeney 84), Gordon, Hamilton, Rose (Cook 88). Unused Subs: Stone, White, Donohue, Sterling-James, Smith.
MORECAMBE: Roche, Buxton, Conlan, Old, Tutte (Kenyon 76), O’Sullivan (Cranston 67), Alessandra, Stockton (Miller 76’), Ellison, Wildig, Lavelle. Unused subs: Halstead (GK), Sutton, Oates, Brownsword.
REFEREE: Chris Pollard.