Match report: Bamber Bridge 1 Morecambe 2

Garry Thompson, right, celebrates his winning goal.  Picture: Clean Sheet Media
Garry Thompson, right, celebrates his winning goal. Picture: Clean Sheet Media
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Garry Thompson’s first Morecambe goal in more than nine years saw Jim Bentley’s side emerge victorious in their first pre-season match ahead of the new season.

Having left the club in 2008, Thompson wasted little time in making an immediate impact on his return with the winner four minutes after coming on at the Sir Tom Finney Stadium.

Brig’s new signing, Brad Carsley, had given them a first-half lead, only to be cancelled out by an equaliser from the impressive Ben Hedley.

Both sides took the opportunity to field a number of players with Bentley naming different XIs in each half.

Three of those 22 were trialists, while the only absentee was Vadaine Oliver courtesy of a tight hamstring.

Bentley’s opposite number, Neil Reynolds, made nine second-half changes which, while it gave him a chance to look at a number of players, understandably disrupted some of the impetus they had built up in the first half.

Ben Hedley equalises for Morecambe. Picture: Clean Sheet Media

Ben Hedley equalises for Morecambe. Picture: Clean Sheet Media

Brig certainly gave as good as they got for much of the first half, in which there was some pleasing football on the eye from both sides.

Michael Rose and the lively Adam Campbell both struck the woodwork for Morecambe, while Brig keeper Lloyd Rigby kept out further efforts from Campbell and Rhys Turner.

At the other end, former Blackpool full-back Macauley Wilson was busy down the right-hand side with Carsley proving a headache for the Morecambe backline.

He had already fired straight at Barry Roche before twisting and turning away from two defenders to slot home on 14 minutes.

Patrick Brough on his Morecambe debut.

Patrick Brough on his Morecambe debut.

The lead only lasted eight minutes as Turner’s shot was kept out but Hedley was first to the loose ball and found the empty net to ensure parity at half-time.

Four minutes into the second half and Thompson’s clever close-range finish gave Morecambe the lead after the ball dropped to him on the corner of the six-yard box.

Another of Morecambe’s second-half XI, Steve Yawson, grabbed the eye with his pace and direct running.

His work rate was not rewarded with a goal, though it wasn’t for the lack of trying with one header going narrowly wide and a shot striking the woodwork before rebounding into Rigby’s hands.

Adam Campbell on his Morecambe debut.

Adam Campbell on his Morecambe debut.

Rigby also kept out another Thompson effort while at the other end, Brig pressed for an equaliser without seriously troubling Shrimps’ keeper Niall Maher.

Danny Forbes fired out of the ground from 18 yards, while Adam Stammers and Regan Linney were also off target with attempts from distance.

Though it was Morecambe who claimed victory in the end, both camps have plenty of positives to take into their respective games at the weekend.

Bamber Bridge: Rigby, Wilson (Stammers 64), Lawlor (Mahoney 54), Doughty (Jones (46), Higham (Marlow 46), Linney, Potts (Forbes 59), Staunton-Turner (Kay 59), Dodd (Milligan 46), Carsley (Riley 68), Dudley (Ekpolo 75).

Morecambe (first half): Roche, McGowan, Trialist, Winnard, Conlan, Hedley, Rose, Jordan, Campbell, Ellison, Turner.

Morecambe (second half): Maher, Lund, Brownsword, Kenyon, Brough, Fleming, Trialist, Yawson, Wildig, Trialist, Thompson.