MORECAMBE will almost certainly be playing their football in League 2 next season after this point took them a huge step closer to safety.
The Shrimps were held to their seventh home draw of the campaign by a Hereford side desperate for points to secure their own safety for another year and had defender Will Haining to thank for an all-important 72nd minute equaliser.
Haining scored his first goal of the season from 12 yards out after latching on to Scott Brown’s left-wing cross and placing his shot into the bottom left hand corner of Adam Bartlett’s goal.
The former St Mirren man spent a month on loan at Blue Square Bet Premier promotion-chasers Fleetwood Town, returning at the end of February, and has seen plenty of action due to injuries to fellow defenders.
It was a strike that finally ended Bartlett’s resistance as the Bulls’ keeper had denied the Shrimps on several occasions with his own collection of top saves, although some of Morecambe’s finishing also left a lot to be desired.
After a scrappy opening period which saw both sides restricted to long range efforts Morecambe began to get on top.
Phil Jevons and Danny Carlton both sent efforts wide and Stewart Drummond headed a Kevan Hurst cross over from the edge of the area before Bartlett pulled off his first fine save of the afternoon when he produced a superb reflex save to block a close range Drummond header.
But as has been so often the case this season the Shrimps conceded while they were on top.
Hereford broke quickly as Morecambe appealed for a free-kick and Steve Leslie took the ball to the edge of the box, cut inside on to his right foot and drilled a low shot past Shrimps ‘keeper Barry Roche.
The Shrimps came out fighting for the second half and had Hereford on the back foot for almost the entire half.
Unfortunately for them they were up against a goalkeeper in fine form as Bartlett produced a fantastic save to tip away a well struck Phil Jevons volley before producing an even better save to tip away a fine effort from young Niall Cowperthwaite who had an excellent game at centre back.
It came as a relief when Bartlett was finally beaten by Haining’s well-placed finish to give the Shrimps what could be a vital point.
Morecambe: Roche 6; Haining 7, Cowperthwaite 7, McCready 7, Wilson 7; Drummond 8, Hunter 7, Hurst 7 (Shuker 72), Brown 6, Jevons 6 (Holdsworth 85), Carlton 6 (Spencer 83). Subs not used: Jones (GK), Bentley, Aley, Hendrie.
Hereford: Bartlett; Green, Stam, Townsend, Heath; Colbeck, Lunt, Featherstone, Purdie, Leslie; Fleetwood (Fairhurst 80). Subs not used: Valentine, Kovacs, Rose, McQuilkin, Hoult (GK), Patulea.
Referee: M Haywood.
Star man: Stewart Drummond: An excellent game from the veteran at the heart of Morecambe’s midfield.