Northampton Town 1, Morecambe 1

Jim Bentley
Jim Bentley

New striker Richie Bennett marked his debut by scoring a vital goal to earn the Shrimps a well earned and important point at Northampton. T

New striker Richie Bennett marked his debut by scoring a vital goal to earn the Shrimps a well earned and important point at Northampton.

The Shrimps looked set for defeat – and a place in the bottom two – after trailing 1-0 to a first half Timi Elsnik goal before Bennett popped up to slide home a far post Kevin Ellison cross to secure a deserved draw.

Bennett was handed his debut and played in a rare front two for the Shrimps, linking up well with Vadaine Oliver who returned from his recent ankle injury.

The home side, who have found their feet under Keith Curle after their poor start to the season, started the brighter.

Left winger Jack Bridge looked their main threat and he set up a chance for Junior Morias on nine minutes with a great cross but the striker’s header was straight at Mark Halstead.

Bridge was the man behind the Cobblers’ best moves and claimed the assist for the opening goal on 22 minutes.

He drilled in a shot that was well saved by Mark Halstead low to his left and after two attempted clearances went awry Elsnik latched onto the loose ball and hammered it past Halstead from close range despite the best efforts of the Morecambe keeper.

The Shrimps began to find their feet after the half hour mark, David Cornell pulled off a fine save to deny Andrew Tutte an equaliser after an excellent counter attack before Morias saw a shot blocked at close range at the other end of the field.

A double chance for Sam Hoskins then followed, Halstead making a good save from his first attempt with the striker putting his follow-up effort wide.

In an open game Morecambe posed a threat on the break and Rhys Oates saw a shot heading for goal blocked but the unfortunate Bennett before Northampton ended the half with a great chance of their own as Hoskins headed inches wide after a good cross from Shay Facey who volleyed back into the danger area from the byline.

Morecambe were much better after the break and had an early chance as Kevin Ellison forced Cornell into a smart, low save.

Ellison was soon back in the thick of the action and provided the assist for the Shrimps’ leveller on 53 minutes with a superb cross from the left which was met by Bennett at full stretch at the far post.

Shrimps’ substitute Liam Mandeville had a late chance to win it from another counter but dragged a shot wide.

Cobblers: Cornell, Facey (rep A Williams 56), J Williams, Taylor, Pierre, Bridge, Turnbull, Powell (rep Roberts 76), Elsnik, Morias (rep Powell 70), Hoskins. Subs not used: Coddington, Buchanan, Pollock, McWilliams

Morecambe: Halstead, Mills, Kenyon, Tutte, Bennett (sub McKay 90), Oliver, Ellison, Sutton, Lavelle, Oates (sub Mandeville 72), Cranston. Subs not used: Conlon, Old, Szczepaniak, Mendes-Gomes, Hedley .

Referee: Lee Collins