MORECAMBE skipper Barry Roche said his side were disappointed not to take all three points from this Lancashire derby clash with Accrington Stanley.
In a good game, played on a heavy pitch, the Shrimps produced a battling performance against their old rivals and came close to a first ever Football League win over John Coleman’s side.
Morecambe took the lead on 66 minutes when Phil Jevons scored after the Stanley defence failed to clear a long throw from Tony Capaldi and Jevons produced a fine finish.
But the lead lasted just seven minutes as Stanley were awarded on 73 minutes when Terry Gornell was brought down by Kieran Charnock and Phil Edwards made no mistake from the spot.
It was the third time that Edwards had beaten Roche from the penalty spot in his career, a point that was not lost on the Morecambe keeper who had another outstanding game.
He said: “I thought we had battled really well to get ahead and it was disappointing to concede another penalty against Stanley. It was a hard decision because I don’t think Kieran did any more than stand his ground against the striker but I have seen them given and it went against us.
“It was unfortunate because I thought we were on top at that stage and played really well on a diabolical pitch. The new signings settled in well and it was certainly one of the best performances we have given against Accrington since I have been here.
“We are all disappointed not to win but a draw here is a decent result and we have to look to build on it with two home games in quick succession coming up.’’
After Edwards levelled both teams then had chances to win the game. Stewart Drummond went close for the Shrimps twice and Sean McConville hit the post from close range.
At the death Stanley’s Peter Murphy was through on goal but shot horribly wide when he should have at least tested Morecambe keeper Barry Roche.
The game started with Accrington on the front foot and Roche was soon in action with two superb saves in the opening moments of the game from Charlie Barnett and Rory Boulding who both saw shots destined for the bottom left hand corner well saved.
After a shaky opening the Shrimps came into the game and went close themselves on two occasions. Phil Jevons hit the woodwork with a delicate chip from the edge of the area and Charnock saw a header cleared off the line by Boulding as the Shrimps threatened.
Stanley came back strongly towards the end of the half with Roche again making a superb save to deny Jimmy Ryan whose sweetly struck free kick was heading for the bottom left hand corner again.
The second half began with Morecambe on top but they were denied three times in quick succession by home keeper Ian Dunbavin who blocked brilliantly from Jevons, Jimmy Spencer and new signing Kevan Hurst who had an excellent debut alongside Andy Holdsworth.
Accrington Stanley: Dunbavin; Murphy, Hessey, Edwards, Winnard; Proctor, Barnett; Ryan, Boulding (rep Putterill 61), McConville (rep Lindfield 77); Gornell. Subs not used: Cisak, Richardson, Joyce, Parkinson, Owens.
Morecambe: Roche; Holdsworth, Charnock, Parrish, Capaldi; Hurst, Drummond, Brown, Wilson; Spencer (rep Shuker 81), Jevons. Subs not used: Hunter, Wainwright, Fleming, Mullin, McCready, Walker.
Ref: J Moss.