Exeter City 1 Morecambe 1

Aaron McGowan
Aaron McGowan
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Aaron McGowan scored his first ever Football League goal as Morecambe picked up another battling away point.

The promising 19-year-old was drafted into the squad due to an injury to Shaun Beeley and he took full advantage with a well taken 17th minute goal that gave Jim Bentley’s side a lead they held on to until Exeter substitute Alex Nicholls scored a late leveller.

Morecambe started the game on the back foot with former Shrimps’ midfielder Tom McCready, making his first start for the Grecians, heavily involved.

McCready, who joined Exeter in January, went close with a shot from just outside the area on 16 minutes and then delivered a good corner that Christian Ribeiro headed over moments later.

Preston loanee Lee Holmes was also handed his first Exeter start and he threatened with a low cross that was inches away from being converted by Tom Nichols.

Morecambe always looked dangerous on the counter attack and took the lead with a well worked move. Laurence Wilson, Aaron WIldig and Andy Fleming all combined to create space for McGowan who took his chance well with a low shot that beat James Hamon to his right.

From there Exeter had plenty of possession but could not find a way to threaten Andreas Arestidou’s goal.

Exeter began the second half sharply and defender Ribeiro played a one-two with veteran Clinton Morrison but a poor final touch allowed Morecambe to clear.

The Shrimps then should have made it 2-0 on 53 minutes with another break.Jack Redshaw did well to latch onto a ball over the top and then played in Jamie Devitt but the striker’s shot ended inches wide of the post with Hamon beaten.

Exeter were forced into a change moments later as Ribeiro went off with a knee injury and replaced by Alex Nicholls and with another former PNE man in Graham Cummins also coming off the bench the home side had an attacking edge they previously lacked.

Cummins was soon in the action crashing a header against the crossbar and David Wheeler’s follow up effort, which ended up in the back of the net, was ruled out for offside.

The home side’s pressure paid off 12 minutes from time when the home side forced an equaliser after a rare defensive lapse. As a ball was played in the area the Shrimps’ defence looked for offside but Ryan Edwards had remained deep and Nicholls had time and space to fire home from close range.

The Shrimps had the best chance to win the game when Redshaw creatyed space for himself in the box City started to push men forward in search of victory as Morecambe sat deeper and deeper but it was Jim Bentley’s side who almost snatched victory when Redshaw found space in the box but could only shoot straight at Hamon.

The Shrimps had managed to frustrate Exeter all afternoon as they extended their unbeaten away run to five and those feelings came out when Nichols was shown a straight red card for kicking out at Andy Wright needlessly in injury time.

Exeter: Hamon; Davies, Ribeiro (rep Nicholls, 53), Moore-Taylor, McAllister; McCready (rep Cummins, 64), Oakley, Harley; Holmes; Morrison (rep Wheeler, 64), Nichols. Subs not used: Keadell, Butterfield, Woodman, Bennett. Sent-off: Nichols

Morecambe: Arestidou; Edwards, Hughes, Parrish; McGowan, Fleming, Kenyon (rep Wright, 63), Wilson, Devitt (rep Ellison, 63); Wildig, Redshaw (rep Mullin 87). Subs not used: Stewart, Goodall, Amond. Booked: Kenyon, Fleming, Hughes.

Referee: M Bull.

Attendance: 3,538