Morecambe 2-1 Cheltenham Town
GarryÂ Thompson marked his return to Morecambe with two second-half goals to give his side three points on the opening day of the season.
Thompson scored a dramatic 90th minute winner to earn maximum points after levelling the scores on 56 minutes following Mohamed Eisa's 43rd minute opener.
It was the perfect return to Morecambe for one of the Wembley-winning class of 2007, Thompson showing he has lost none of the pace and desire that made him such as popular player in his first spell with the club.
But, as Jim Bentley stressed after the game, Thompson was only one player of many to shine in the August sun.
The Shrimps, who handed debuts to Thompson, Vadaine Oliver, Mitchell Lund and Patrick Brough, started well and Andrew Fleming had the best chance of the first 10 minutes when he saw his effort drilled wide in a decent position after some neat approach play.
Kevin Ellison then had the ball in the net for the Shrimps but the referee spotted a foul on Jamie Grimes and it was brought back for the foul.
The visitors found their feet through the form of Eisa and Jerell Sellars who combined their speed and skill to create an opening for Nigel Atangana but he was denied at the back post by an excellent Alex Kenyon block.
After a bright Morecambe start Cheltenham began to show some strength going forward with Sellars and Jordan Cranston looking particularly threatening down the left hand side.
Cheltenham’s pressure resulted in a controversial goal two minutes from the break.
Kyle Storer’s free-kick was met by Danny Wright who seemed to push Kenyon before putting the ball back across goal for Eisa to score from close range.
Cheltenham nearly made it 2-0 early in the second half when Jamie Grimes volleyed against the post and it was to be a turning point in the game.
Two minutes later Morecambe equalised through Thompson, after he slotted home from Aaron Wildig’s pass across goal after an excellent counter-attack.
Morecambe almost added a second quickly but visiting keeper Jon Flatt was equal to Oliver’s fierce effort from close range.
The game then went from end-to-end with both sides pushing for a second and an opening day win, WIll Boyle going close for the Robins when he failed to poke the ball home at the far post after good work from Cranston.
But it was Morecambe who scored the all important second to win the game in the 90th minute as Thompson arrived at the back post to latch on to Oliver's header across goal to slam home the loose ball and make it 2-1, sealing victory in the most dramatic fashion.
Morecambe: Roche; Lund, Winnard, Kenyon, Brough; Rose, Fleming; Wildig (Campbell 86); Oliver, Thompson (Lavelle 90+3), Ellison (Turner 72). Subs not used: Nizic, McGowan, Conlan, Deakin.
Cheltenham Town: Flatt; Forster, Grimes, Boyle, Winchester, Cranston; Atangana (Holman 90+3), Storer; Sellars; Eisa, Wright. Subs not used: Lovett, O'Shaughnessy, Page, Bower.