A Robbie Threlfall rocket earned Morecambe a late point in a 1-1 draw at struggling Torquay.
The Shrimps’ left back earned a share of the spoils with a superb left footed effort from the edge of the area with just six minutes remaining to prevent his side from losing a third successive game.
Threlfall chose the perfect moment to score his first goal of the season when he picked up the loose ball on the edge of the Torquay area and let fly with a stunning volley with the outside of his left boot which dipped viciously into the top left hand corner of the Gulls’ goal.
It was a vital goal as the home side, under caretaker manager Geoff Harrop after the sacking of Alan Knill this week, had created the majority of the game’s best chances.
They were the quickest out of the blocks and went close early in the game when Billy Bodin’s header from Michael O’Connor’s right wing cross was excellently saved by Barry Roche.
Roche was beaten however on 16 minutes by his former Chesterfield team mate. Damon Lathrope hung up an inviting corner and Downes rose strongly to plant a powerful header into the sodden ground and past Roche.
The home side continued to press and went close to doubling their advantage through former Preston striker Karl Hawley. O’Connor delivered another good cross from the right and Hawley nipped in at the near post only to see his header failed to test Roche.
Morecambe’s only effort of note in the first half came from Threlfall who produced a decent curler from distance that dipped narrowly wide in the opening act of the second period.
The second half saw Morecambe look to step up the pace but it was Torquay who had the better chances on the break.
On 67 minutes Bodin guided a header well wide form an excellent Kevin Nicholson cross and the same player then fired over from a god opening. Elliot Benyon was guilty of missing a great chance when he sliced a shot wide from a decent position after being played in down the right.
Bodin then missed a glorious chance when he slipped past central defenders Mark Hughes and Chris McCready to have a free shot on goal but he drilled his effort over when he could have taken the ball closer to the Morecambe goal.
The miss gave the Shrimps’ hope and they made Bodin pay for his poor finishing when they equalised six minutes from time. A right wing corner was headed away to the edge of the Torquay box and Threlfall pounced to volley superbly past the helpesss Michael Poke.
TORQUAY: Poke; O’Connor, Pearce, Downes, Nicholson; Mansell, Lathrope, Labadie, Bodin (rep Mozika 80); Hawley, Benyon. Subs not used; Tonge, Chapell, Rice, McCourt, Craig, Sullivan. Booked: Downes
MORECAMBE: Roche; Parrish, Hughes, McCready, Threlfall; Ellison (rep Amond 69), Kenyon, McGee (rep Drummond 69), Fleming; Redshaw, Sampson.Subs not used: Diagne, Mwasile, McGowan, Doyle, Arestidou.Booked: Threlfall, McGee, Hughes
Referee: G Ward