Morecambe 1 Notts County 1: Supersub Ellison earns the Shrimps a deserved draw

Morecambe's goalscorer Kevin Ellison
Morecambe's goalscorer Kevin Ellison
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Kevin Ellison’s 88th minute equaliser rescued a point for the Shrimps just as they seemed on the verge of defeat.

The veteran, one of three second-half replacements, levelled from close range to cancel out Kristian Dennis’ 52nd minute header for the visitors.

It was a point that Morecambe deserved for their second-half efforts but they could be forgiven for feeling short changed.

In the 90th minute, Steve Old’s header back across goal struck the hand of County defender Jamie Turley, only for referee Dean Whitestone to wave away furious penalty appeals.

The Shrimps had made three changes from the side beaten in their FA Cup replay at FC Halifax Town in midweek.

The injured Zak Mills, Aaron Wildig and Rhys Oates all made way with Alex Kenyon, Andrew Tutte and Josef Yarney restored to the starting XI.

Whether there was a hangover from that midweek loss or not, Jim Bentley’s players were not at the races in the first half.

There was a lack of urgency and, when they did get forward, the end product was too often missing.

Not that the visitors shone in that regard either as they had the only shot on target of the half when Dennis was foiled by the onrushing Mark Halstead.

Nathan Thomas had a shot deflected behind the Morecambe goal and shot wastefully off target as half-time came as something of a relief.

In contrast to their opening 45 minutes, the Shrimps were much more at it after the break with A-Jay Leitch-Smith off target and Liam Mandeville having an effort tipped behind inside the first five minutes.

However, they fell behind moments later when Dennis, who scored at the Globe Arena for Chesterfield last season, did the trick again in heading past Halstead.

That was the signal for Ellison and Garry Thompson to come off the bench with their introductions also signalling a change of shape from back three to back four.

Jordan Cranston shot wide, Ellison sent a free-kick over the bar and Luke Conlan fired over when well placed.

Salvation finally arrived when, from yet another Morecambe corner, Old headed towards goal and Ellison hooked the ball home.

There was still time for more Morecambe pressure, culminating in their vociferous penalty appeal, but a point apiece was just about the right outcome.

Morecambe: Halstead, Yarney (Thompson 53), Old, Lavelle, Conlan, Kenyon (Oswell 82), Tutte, Cranston, Mandeville (Ellison 53), Oliver, Leitch-Smith. Subs: Szczepaniak, Mendes Gomes, Piggott, Hedley.

Notts County: Fitzsimons, Davies, Turley, Ward, Jones, Milsom, Hewitt, Boldewijn (Husin 10), Patching, Thomas, Dennis (Etete 90). Subs: Pindroch, Tootle, Duffy, Vaughan, Brisley.

Referee: Dean Whitestone.

Attendance: 1,658.