Honours even for Shrimps

Morecambe players celebrate Andy Fleming's goal for Morecambe in the 12th minute.
Morecambe players celebrate Andy Fleming's goal for Morecambe in the 12th minute.
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Morecambe and Rochdale both entered the second round draw for the FA Cup after they failed to be separated on Saturday.

The Shrimps produced a below-par performance against John Coleman’s outfit.

And although they took the lead early in the game, were left grateful to keeper Barry Roche for a match-saving performance.

Morecambe started the game much the better of the two sides and made their dominance pay with an early goal.

Andy Fleming, who seems to thrive in cup competitions, collected the ball 20 yards from goal and let fly with a low right-footed shot that beat Dale keeper Josh Lillis low to his right.

The Shrimps then had a chance to double their led moments later. Nick Fenton played in Jack Redshaw with a clever ball over the top but Lillis reacted sharply to smother the young striker’s shot.

From there the game changed dramatically as Rochdale, with Bobby Grant a constant threat, took the upper hand.

Grant was twice denied by excellent Roche saves before striking the crossbar with a superbly struck free kick.

As the half came to a close Roche was virtually single handedly keeping his side in the game and he produced one of the saves of the season from a Ryan Edwards header.

The second half saw the Shrimps start well again with Redshaw stabbing an effort inches wide after being played in smartly by Lewis Alessandra.

But then Jim Bentley’s side began to give the ball away far too easily in midfield and Rochdale took control again.

The visitors’ pressure finally paid off on 72 minutes when they scored a deserved leveller in the 72nd minute when Roche parried George Donnelly’s shot but the ball fell into the path of Jason Kennedy, who slid the ball home from eight yards.