JIM Bentley’s first game as Morecambe boss at the Globe Arena saw his side earn a very respectable draw against a strong Blackburn side.
The Shrimps matched their Premiership rivals for long periods and had the better of the first half for long periods with Phil Jevons giving them a half-time lead.
But Rovers came back strongly in the second half and few could deny they deserved their equaliser when Argentinian striker Mauro Formica slotted past substitute ’keeper Shaun Routledge.
The Shrimps started superbly with Izak Reid testing Mark Bunn with a left-foot shot on six minutes after a lovely passage of play involving Jevons and Stewart Drummond.
The Shrimps’ pressure paid off when they took the lead with a well-taken goal on 25 minutes.
Lewis Alessandra, who started on the left hand side, played Jevons in behind Michel Salgado and he produced a superb low drive to beat Bunn to his left.
Jevons went close to adding a second near the break when he got the wrong side of Gavin Gunning but volleyed well over the bar.
Rovers were quick to hit back with Brett Emerton seeing a shot deflected into the side netting and Jason Roberts having a shot beaten down by Chris McCready’s late block and they saw a Formica header from a left-wing corner cleared off the line by Garry Hunter, who had an outstanding game in the centre of Morecambe’s midfield.
The second half saw Rovers step up the pace considerably with David Dunn beginning to take control with some excellent touches.
He was denied by excellent saves from Barry Roche before the visitors pulled a goal back 16 minutes from time when Formica latched on to a loose ball after Kieran Charnock’s attempted clearance bounced into his path and the Argentinian fired past Shaun Routledge to level the scores.
Blackburn were denied a clear penalty when Niall Cowperthwaite brought down Formica before Morecambe threatened a second on the break when youngster Dan Parkinson failed to find Jevons and Reid who were unmarked in the box.
Morecambe: Roche (Routledge 64), McCready, Fenton (Cowperthwaite 46), Wilson (Charnock 46), Haining (Culshaw 66), Reid, Drummond (Fleming 64), Hunter Alessandra, Jevons (Breen 88), Carlton. Subs: Parkinson, McGee.
Blackburn: Bunn (Kean 60), Salgado, Anderson, Samba (Pearson 46), Gunning, Nzonzi, Emerton (Aley 60), Dunn, Roberts (Henley 80), Formica, Blackman. Subs: Ramm, Edwards, Evans, Cotton, Osawe, Maclaren, Hanley.