Morecambe 1-1 Stevenage Boro

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GARRY Thompson was Morecambe's hero as he kept his cool to score a last-gasp penalty and seal an FA Trophy replay at Broadhall Way on Tuesday night.

The Shrimps' striker took advantage of a late lifeline after they were awarded a controversial penalty four minutes into injury time.

Sammy McIlroy's side looked set to be going out of the competition when the referee bravely pointed to the spot after Barry Fuller handballed in the area under pressure from Jason Walker.

The decision infuriated the frustrated visitors who carried on their complaints long after the final whistle but while Mark Stimson's side lost their composure Thompson kept his and sent Alan Julian the wrong way from the spot to set up what should be an intriguing replay.

The Shrimps had to come from behind after Boro's leading scorer Steve Morison fired them into the lead three minutes into first half injury time. Chris Blackburn made a rare mistake with a misplaced pass across his own back line and Morison, who scored a hat-trick at Christie Park earlier in the season, slid the ball past Steven Drench.

Morison always looked to be Stevenage's main threat and came close on several occasions. He forced Drench into a fine save with a header from John Nurse's cross and almost added a second goal three minutes into the second half when he fired into the side netting after finding space inside the box.

Morecambe had keeper Drench to thank for another fine stop late in the game as he saved superbly from Adam Miller who made a storming run from midfield.

Morecambe once again struggled to find the final ball after some neat build up play.

Thompson worked hard with little service and Julian was only called into action twice in the opening hour with neat tip overs from Garry Hunter's volley and Neil Sorvel's near post drive.

As time ran out the Shrimps staged a late rally with strikers Jason Walker and Danny Carlton coming off the bench to add some missing firepower.

Thompson saw a well struck left footer from the edge of the box well saved by Julian and Michael Twiss headed Craig Stanley's cross wide when he could have done better.

When skipper Jim Bentley headed against the crossbar and Walker directed the rebound just over it looked as through Stevenage would be celebrating the victory.

But to their credit the Shrimps maintained the pressure and were rewarded for their efforts to set up a mouth-watering replay between two of the Conference's in-form sides.

MORECAMBE: Drench 8, Yates 7, Howard 7, Blackburn 6, Bentley 7, Stanley 7, Twiss 6, Hunter 7, Watt 6 (rep Walker 67), Sorvel 7 (rep Carlton 86), Thompson 8. Subs not used: Brannan, Meadowcroft, Davies.

Goal Scorer: (Thompson 90pen)

STEVENAGE: Julian, Fuller, Nutter, Gaia, Binns (rep Cole 63), Miller, Beard, McMahon, Henry, Morison (rep Oliver 80), Nurse. Sub not used: Slatter, Dobson, Potter.

Goal Scorer: (Morison 45)

Booked: Fuller.

Ref: A Haines.

Att: 1,131.

Star man: Garry Thompson.

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