Morecambe 1 Colchester United 1: Five things we learned

Antony Evans won Morecambe's penalty on Easter Monday
Antony Evans won Morecambe's penalty on Easter Monday

Michael Rose’s late goal means Morecambe’s League Two status is effectively secured for another season barring a strange run of results in the last three games; what were the other talking points from Monday’s draw against Colchester United?

Safety in sight

It’s been a long old season on and off the field for everyone concerned at the Globe Arena.

The well documented financial issues, below-par training facilities, a small squad and a club record of consecutive home defeats have made it a trying 2016/17 season.

Taking all that on board, to be nine points ahead of the bottom with three games to go and with a better goal difference means Jim Bentley, his staff and players can be rightly proud of their achievement.

However, it cannot - and must - not happen again so it can only be hoped there is some light at the end of what’s been a very dark tunnel.

Persistence pays off

Yes, Monday’s draw was of the gritty, rather than pretty, variety but at least Jim Bentley’s players got their rewards for hanging in there.

The second half wasn’t football to live long in the memory but, once Antony Evans cleverly drew the foul for their late penalty, Michael Rose wasn’t going to miss from 12 yards again.

As some fans around the press box pointed out, a direct style of play wasn’t cutting open the Colchester defence.

The blame for that lies fairly and squarely with a playing surface that, for all the ground staff’s undoubted efforts, needs to be relaid and quickly.

One moment of quality

For all the issues with the Globe Arena pitch, there was still one moment of undoubted brilliance on Monday.

That was the goal which put Colchester in front as Richard Brindley gave Danijel Nizic no chance with a 25-yard free-kick into the top corner.

The Morecambe camp were keen to absolve Nizic of any blame with the coaching staff admitting it was unstoppable.

From the visitors’ perspective, head coach John McGreal was unsurprised after admitting he’d seen Brindley regularly hit similar set pieces in training.

Keeping a cool head

You’re a goal down, needing a point to effectively avoid relegation and you gain a penalty on 88 minutes.

If he felt any pressure, both with the situation and after missing his last spot-kick, then Morecambe midfielder Michael Rose certainly didn’t show it.

Everyone else was on tenterhooks but the veteran kept his nerve, sent keeper Sam Walker the wrong way and scored his sixth of the season.

Provided he hasn’t agreed terms elsewhere, then getting his signature for another year has to be the Shrimps’ top priority.

Farcical fixture planning

Some of the EFL’s fixture planning this season has been ridiculous as it is; both games between Morecambe and Portsmouth on a Tuesday night for instance.

However, some of Easter Monday’s matches took the proverbial biscuit irrespective of it being a Bank Holiday.

Colchester travelled just the 286 miles to the Globe Arena on Monday while, elsewhere, some of the games saw Norwich City at Preston North End, Millwall at Fleetwood Town and Crawley Town at Accrington Stanley.

The EFL recent held its annual awards ceremony with prizes for family club of the year across the three divisions; how about the EFL scheduling more family-friendly games over Easter?