Northampton 3-3 Morecambe

A LATE Paul Mullin goal earned the Shrimps a share of the spoils in this six–goal thriller at Sixfields.

Mullin was the Shrimps’ hero as he forced home a fine far–post Laurence Wilson cross three minutes from time to give Sammy McIlroy’s side a well–deserved point after they battled their way back into the game on three occasions.

For McIlroy it was a game that saw the best – and the worst – of his side after some shocking defending at both ends.

He said: “To come back into the game three times was a wonderful effort and once again our football was fantastic going forward. But at the other end the goals we gave away were absolutely shocking and I still can’t believe how easy we made it for Northampton to score.

“The first goal was a free header, the second goal was a rare mistake from Andy Parrish when he should have cleared the ball out of the ground and the third was a needless penalty.

“But it is hard to be over critical when we have ended the game on such a high and shown such fantastic spirit. We provided some quality balls into the box and it made all the difference.

“I’m delighted for Kevan Hurst who scored his first goal for the club and Paul Mullin is always a threat in the box and could even have won the game in injury time.

“We have to take that spirit into the home game with Oxford on Saturday because we have more away matches coming up and we need points as well as performances.”

Morecambe started the game well with Andy Fleming forcing Chris Dunn into a neat save after he latched on to the loose ball 12 yards from goal. But the Shrimps found themselves a goal down on 13 minutes when a free kick was floated to the far post and John Johnson was left unmarked to head past Barry Roche.

The home side then had a golden chance to double their advantage when defender Ben Tozer had another free header from a Kevin Thornton corner but somehow missed the target from just six yards out.

Morecambe then hit back superbly with Kevan Hurst scoring his first goal for the club with a 20–yard drive that was deflected into the bottom right hand corner of the Northampton goal.

The play continued to flow from end to end with both sides missing chances before Northampton took the lead for a second time when Thornton slotted home Leon McKenzie’s cross after a rare mistake from Parrish.

But once again the Shrimps hit back on 65 minutes when Jimmy Spencer headed a perfect Phil Jevons cross past Dunn.

Parrish then had another moment to forget as he gave away a penalty from Josh Walkers’s 70th minute penalty and McKenzie sent Roche the wrong way from the spot.

But the Shrimps battled back bravely for a third time and were rewarded with Mullin’s late goal to give the Shrimps a confidence boosting point.

Northampton: Dunn; Johnson, Beckwith, Tozer, Hall; Jacobs, Walker Thornton (Rodgers 73), Davis (Wedderburn 71); McKenzie (Holt 71), Harrad. Subs not used: Hinton, Holt, McKay, Gherasim.

Morecambe: Roche; Holdsworth, Parrish, Charnock, Capaldi; Hurst, Drummond, Fleming (Hunter 74), Wilson; Jevons (Mullin 78), Spencer (Hendrie 82). Subs not used: Walker, Wainwright, Brown, McCready. Booked: Charnock, Parrish.

Referee: R Madley.

Attendance: 3,522.