Date: 21st March 2015 at 5:28pm
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Danny Ward played for the first time in goal on Saturday at Brunton Park as Morecambe`s number 28 following his one month on-loan signing from Liverpool earlier this week. It didn`t take long for him to be tested, either: he made a truly outstanding save from Kyle Dempsey with less than seven minutes on the clock. At the other end, though, the visitors also had chances and although Carlisle probably just about shaded it, 0-0 was probably a fair result at half time. What arguably was not fair, however, was Jack Redshaw`s booking for diving after eighteen minutes when it seemed that he actually simply lost his footing.

Whatever, Brad Potts scored an excellent goal for United from about 25 yards out with just eight minutes of the second half played: newcomer Ward had little chance of stopping it. The visitors tried to get onto the front foot after this but Potts had at least two other good opportunities to increase Carlisle`s lead which he wasted and with an hour of the game played, the Shrimps had yet to force Dan Hanford in the home goal into any meaningful action. However, the key moment in the match arrived with just thirteen minutes left when referee Peter Bankes adjudged that Paul Mullin had been fouled in the penalty area by the Blue`s Captain, Danny Grainger. Carlisle` s supporters and players weren`t impressed: and they may have had a point. Whether they did or not, Padraig Amond duly despatched the ball beyond Hanford to even-up the scores. It could have got worse for United when a long-range shot from Redshaw beat the goalkeeper all ends up with 80 minutes played only to smack against the crossbar and bounce away to safety. Shortly after this, Morecambe supporters` hearts were in their mouths when Charlie Wyke seemed to have been pulled-down by Ward in the box. Referee Bankes created further controversy by not only not awarding a penalty but booking poor old Charlie for `simulation`. Maybe he was trying to even things up after booking Redshaw earlier.

The result bucks the trend of Morecambe`s pretty dire history against their northern neighbours. They haven`t met as often as the Shrimps` other local Nemesis – Accrington Stanley – but the fact remains that United have yet to be beaten by Morecambe in any league competition. For Keith Curle`s side, today`s draw at least gives them a point and maintains a bit of daylight between the Cumbrian club and the relegation pack: by the end of the contest, they were four points clear of Cheltenham in second bottom position. Morecambe remain in 14th place, eight points ahead of Carlisle. Their form this year has been poor but the result must have given Jim Bentley some cause for optimism: at least his team never gave up what could have turned out to be another lost cause.