Morecambe 0 Cheltenham Town 0: Honours even from Globe Arena bore draw
Saturday’s spoils were shared at the Globe Arena in a match that will not live long in the memory.
A point apiece was a fair reflection of a game where, try as they might, neither side managed to break down their opponents.
One shot on target each in approaching 100 minutes of football tells the story of a match high on effort but low on everything else.
The visitors had the wind at their backs in the first half and, with the Shrimps struggling to make much headway, they had the better of the few chances.
They could have been in front inside five minutes when Sean Long’s cross found Luke Varney six yards out but his header was straight at Barry Roche.
Alex Kenyon made a vital challenge to dispossess Max Sheaf when he had a clear sight of goal 18 yards out, while Gavin Reilly could only prod the ball wide after Roche failed to gather a long throw.
If there was little end product to Cheltenham’s attacking efforts in the opening 45 minutes, then it was equally true of the hosts.
Playing into the wind, passes were too often misplaced or they were dispossessed too easily.
Kevin Ellison had fired over from 25 yards but the Shrimps could still have been in front at the break, only for Lewis Alessandra to hit the woodwork when well placed.
The second half saw the Shrimps change to a back three with Kenyon dropping back alongside Sam Lavelle and Steve Old.
Not that it made much difference from an attacking perspective as they struggled to break down their visitors.
Shaun Miller and Jordan Cranston were introduced just past the hour, followed by Ritchie Sutton after Kenyon limped from proceedings.
Moments after Kenyon’s departure Cole Stockton came close for the Shrimps, swivelling to meet a cross from the right-hand side, but his effort cleared the bar.
With one goal increasingly looking like settling matters, Morecambe hearts were in their mouths when Roche felled Ryan Broom but, fortunately, referee David Rock spotted it was outside the area.
Long looped a late effort onto the roof of the Shrimps’ goal before six added minutes were indicated.
That was long enough for Andrew Tutte to have Morecambe’s first effort on target with a strike from 25 yards, easily gathered by Scott Flinders.
Ben Tozer made the final contribution to the day with a free-kick and, with his Cheltenham team-mates waiting for the ball, it went straight out of play; it was that sort of afternoon.
Morecambe: Roche, Buxton, Lavelle, Old, Tanner (Cranston 64), Kenyon (Sutton 70), Tutte, O’Sullivan, Alessandra, Ellison (Miller 64), Stockton. Subs not used: Halstead, Brewitt, Oates, Brownsword.
Cheltenham Town: Flinders, Tozer, Raglan, Greaves, Long, Doyle-Hayes, Sheaf (Thomas 56), Broom, Debayo, Varney, Reilly (Lloyd 65). Subs not used: Lovett, Bowry, Campbell, Brennan, Chamberlain.
Referee: David Rock.