Shrimps win final pre-season friendly
Morecambe: Roche, Parrish (Reid 72), McCready, Haining, Threlfall, McDonald (Redshaw 72), Drummond (Fleming 67), Wright (McGee 83), Alessandra (Carlton 67), Burrow, Ellison (Mwasile 79). Subs: Arestidou, Parkinson, Williams, Doyle, Short.
Carlisle: Collin, Simek, Livesey, Edwards, Robson, Berwick, McGovern (Symington 61), Thirlwell, Donaldson, Beck, Welsh (Potts 61). Subs: Bugno, Staunch, Dempsey, Gillespie.
Former-United striker Danny Carlton came off the bench to win the game for Morecambe in a keenly fought contest at the Globe Arena as Carlisle battled hard without quite managing to get into full gear on a night of frustration.
U18 team captain Tom Berwick was handed an unexpected start as manager Greg Abbott mixed youth and experience on a night when the summer sunshine finally showed its face.
A tight opening was followed by an increase in tempo from the Shrimps and Adam Collin had to be on his guard as Ellison started to see more of the ball.
Two blocks in quick succession from the big stopper maintained the first half clean sheet for the Cumbrians and a dipping Mark Beck header from a Welsh delivery was the closest the visitors came in a very tight first period of play.
The game burst into life after the break when a clipped ball into the box was nodded back across the face of goal by Haining. Chris McCready jumped to the front of a rather large queue to bundle the ball over the line and hand the home side the lead.
United restored parity just five minutes later when Matt Robson took charge of an 18-yard free kick. He bided his time as the wall sorted itself out and then unleashed an unstoppable thunderbolt which Roche could only palm into his net.
The introduction of Carlton midway through the second half proved to be the catalyst the Shrimps needed as urgency came into their play every time they want forward.
And it was the move of the game which clinched it when Wright and Fleming exchanged one-touch passes to send Threlfall on the overlap. His crisp low ball sat up nicely for the popular striker and he made no mistake as he wheeled away to celebrate what would prove to be the winning goal.
Adam Collin came into his own as the clock ticked down and he pulled off the save of pre-season when Fleming crunched a whistling shot through a ruck of bodies. He saw the ball late but a fingertip touch from a full length dive took the ball onto the woodwork and away to safety.
Carlton brought another parried save from United's number one as his confidence grew and Symington and Potts almost unlocked the door at the other end only to see Reid get in the way of the eventual cross as Beck raced in to cause problems.
"We didn't want to lose because we wanted to go into the weekend with a bit of confidence behind us," manager Greg Abbott said. "Credit to Morecambe though, they didn't let us play our game and they got their goals.
"It was a good opportunity to see some players who most probably will play at the weekend and some who we still aren't sure about. The rest of the week is now about picking what I think will be the best eleven to go out and do the job for us come Saturday."