Ten-man Morecambe earned an excellent point with a brave display against League 2 title-chasers Carlisle.
The Shrimps had the perfect start when they took the lead after just seven minutes with Aaron Wildig’s first goal of the season but a red card for Dean Winnard proved vital as Carlisle scored a late equaliser.
Kevin Ellison made a great run down the left-hand side and produced a perfect cross for the on-rushing Wildig who volleyed home his first goal of the season with a well-placed finish.
The Shrimps maintained the pressure and Peter Murphy saw a goal disallowed for offside after diverting a Michael Rose cross past Mark Gillespie and Rose himself went close when he produced a superb free-kick from the edge of the area that beat Gillespie but hit the foot of the post.
Carlisle then came into the game and dominated the second period of the half.
Charlie Wyke went close to levelling the scores when he lashed a shot against the crossbar from close range after Barry Roche had saved superbly from Jason Kennedy’s close range header.
Tom Miller drilled a shot onto the side netting after a neat move down the left and Reggie Lambe curled a shot from the edge of the box inches wide before the whistle ended an entertaining first half.
The home side brought on former Shrimps striker Shaun Miller for the second half and they maintained their pressure but Morecambe held on well until Winnard was sent off on 73 minutes for a reckless tackle on Nicky Adams that earned him a second yellow card.
He was made to pay as seconds later the home side equalised when Adams curled in the resulting free kick and Wyke headed past Roche.
From there the Shrimps were denied two good penalty claims when first Gillespie appeared to take out Wildig after the midfielder had won the ball and then Aaron McGowan seemed to be fouled on the byline.
But it was the home side who had the best chance to take the points when Roche saved superbly from another close-range Wyke header and then saved again from Jamie Devitt’s follow up.
The 10 men continued to defend bravely with some superb blocks as the game ended level with the Shrimps claiming a fine point.
Carlisle: Gillespie, T Miller (Raynes 46), Gillesphey, McQueen (S Miller 46), Adams, Liddle, Joyce, Kennedy, Devitt, Wyke, Lambe (Asamoah 79). Subs not used: Crocombe, Ellis, McKee, Salkeld.
Morecambe: Roche, Winnard, Edwards, Kenyon, McGowan, Rose, Murphy, Molyneux (Wakefield 90), Wildig (Conlan 78), Mullin (Turner 59), Ellison. Subs not used: Nizic, Jordan.
Ref: R Joyce