Morecambe travelled to Brunton Park to take on Carlisle United in the much-maligned Checkatrade Trophy which probably only the winners – with an appearance at Wembley guaranteed – really appreciate. What was a mixture of first-teamers and Reserves as far as both line-ups were concerned kicked-off on a warm September evening in front of a typically sparse crowd for this competition. For the hosts, this was Jamie Devitt’s one hundredth game. How he is still missed back at the Globe Arena.
The visitors were the first to find the back of the net after just six minutes. Kevin Ellison’s goal-bound shot was blocked and Vadaine Oliver ended his long-standing goal drought by heading the rebound past Adam Collin into the Blues’ net. Morecambe’s centre forward has been unlucky so far this term and would have already been off the mark were it not for tremendous work by opposing goalkeepers and it was good to see the lad finally get that particular monkey off his back: there’s no doubt that Vadaine can play a bit. The Cumbrians drew level with almost a quarter of an hour played when Jerry Yates’ cross was cleared to the edge of the visitors’ box where George Glendon was the first to react and volley the ball past Mark Halstead low into the bottom corner of the goal. The Shrimps’ stopper was hurt trying to keep the ball out of his net and had to be replaced after nineteen minutes. The visitors kept on playing positively as they had done all night and took the lead again after 24 minutes when Wigan loanee Joe Piggott scored for his new club for the first time, sweeping a low cross from the Morecambe right into the net past a helpless Collin. But the Blues pulled level again after 38 minutes when full-back Macauley Gillesphey scored a wonder goal from 25 years with a tremendous shot which the combined efforts of both Morecambe goalkeepers would not have kept out of the net. So that was it at half time – two each and everything to play for.
The first decent chance of the second period also fell to Gillesphey. From a left wing corner, he nipped ahead of his marker and got a header away which Big Baz did brilliantly to keep out of the net. The game ebbed and flowed after that with the hosts probably just about shading it. They went ahead for the first time on the night when Jerry Yates latched onto a flick-on by Richie Bennett, cut in from the Carlisle left and unleashed another screamer which fairly whistled past Big Baz into the Shrimps’ net. Collin thwarted substitute Jason Oswell at the cost of a corner with a good save after 87 minutes and then pushed a header from the same player onto the bar and away in injury time but that was the end of the scoring and Carlisle collected all points on offer tonight in Group A. In the greater scheme of things, did it really matter very much? Who knows? More importantly, who really cares?
Carlisle United: 30 Adam Collin; 2 Gary Miller; 4 Gary Liddle (C); 6 Tom Parkes; 10 Jamie Devitt; 11 George Glendon; 12 Macauley Gillesphey; 14 Richie Bennett; 15 Regan Slater; 17 Jerry Yates; 23 Ashley Nadesen (Liam McCarron 82 mins).
Subs not used: 19 Luke O’Reilly; 5 Anthony Gerrard; 21 Kelvin Etuhu; 24 Sam Adewusi; 26 Jack Egan.
Morecambe: 21 Mark Halstead (Barry Roche 19 mins); 16 Sam Lavelle; 14 Josef Yarney; 27 Jordan Cranston; 22 James Sinclair; 20 Lamine Jagne (15 Aaron Wildig 62 mins); 8 Andy Fleming; 19 Carlos Mendes-Gomes; 11 Kevin Ellison; 24 Joe Piggott; 9 Vadaine Oliver (12 Jason Oswell 69 mins).
Subs not used: 2 Zak Mills; 5 Steven Old; 25 Ben Hedley; 18 Rhys Oates.
1213 (171 from Morecambe)