Cheltenham Town 1 Morecambe 1They went close, but Paul Buckle's promising young side ran out of steam as they closed in on Paul Buckle's inaugural home win against Morecambe.
The Robins turned in a better performance after last weekend’s miserable showing in the North East, but they were unable to cling on to their slender lead in the closing stages on a freezing evening in Gloucestershire.
Jack Dunn coolly dispatched an 18th minute penalty to claim a goal on his first start at Whaddon Road since his arrival from Liverpool.
It was the first time the home faithful had been given the opportunity to run the rule over the Premier League trio, and the striker in particular stood out.
But Morecambe squared the contest nine minutes from time, scoring from the spot at the second attempt to deny the manager his first success in Cheltenham.
The Lancashire team had not scored against the Robins in five previous games and they looked set to extend that record, wasting several chances before finally beating Trevor Carson from 12 yards.
Buckle made two changes to the side that returned empty-handed from Hartlepool last Saturday.
Matt Taylor made a welcome return after missing three games with a hamstring injury, effectively replacing Matt Richards who didn’t feature in the manager’s match day squad for the first time in the league since he arrived at the club.
The skipper joined Troy Brown and Lloyd Jones in the back three, while Harry Williams was started in place of Terry Gornell in the role behind the new forward pairing of Dunn and Omari Sterling-James.
Cheltenham reverted to 3-5-2 here, and merited their narrow advantage at the break.
There wasn’t a lot to report until Cheltenham's penalty, when Lee Vaughan was bundled to the ground by Shaun Beeley in the 18th minute.
Dunn stepped up and calmly converted the spotkick, sending Andreas Arestidou the wrong way to notch his second goal in three games since his arrival from Liverpool.
Jack Redshaw went close to an equaliser moments later, bending a 20 yarder inches past the right post while Jamie Drevett was wayward from distance 10 minutes later.
The Lancashire side had the ball in the net 10 minutes before the break when Amond latched onto Ryan Edwards deflected strike and beat Carson from six yards, but the linesman raised his flag for offside.
At the other end, Dunn got around Arestidou but was denied by Alex Kenyon on the line, and Harry Williams dispossessed Edwards and accelerated towards goal but the defender got back to block his shot.
And on the stroke of half-time, Craig Braham-Barrett was a whisker away from making it two, missing the target by a foot from 20 yards.
Cheltenham should have doubled their advantage after 50 minutes when Dunn smashed one over from close range with the goal gaping, after Sterling-James had forced Arestidou into a save.
The lively Liverpudlian started and finished a move down the left a moment later, but the Morecambe number one saved well.
The two sides exchanged chances approaching the hour-mark, first Ferdinand and Vaughan saw their efforts charged down and then Aaron McGowan’s faded wide from 20 yards.
Alex Kenyon’s long ranger then flew into the roof of the stand housing the travelling faithful from Morecambe.
Cheltenham were indebted to Carson for a superb save 25 minutes from time to preserve the lead.
Jamie Devitt floated a free-kick to the far post where Paul Mullin arrived to meet it with a powerful header, but Carson flew to his left to turn it around for a corner.
Next the Northern Irish shotstopper prevented Devitt from scoring from the penalty spot after the midfielder had been upended by Braham-Barrett. Worse was to follow for the Morecambe midfielder when he scuffed the loose ball, striking the right post when it was easier to tap home.
It was a huge let-off for the Robins.
But the Shrimps were back on terms nine minutes from time when Vaughan conceded the evening's third penalty, handling Devitt’s strike down the left.
This time Amond made no mistake, beating Carson to his left to square the match.
There were late chances for Ferdinand, Stewart and Dunn, but Arestidou wasn’t tested and frustrated Cheltenham were left to settle for a share of the spoils.
CHELTENHAM TOWN (3-5-2): Carson; Lloyd Jones, Taylor (c), Brown; Vaughan, Ferdinand, Williams (Hanks 52)., Stewart, Braham-Barrett (Bowen 81); Dunn, Sterling-James (Gornell 90). Subs not used: Deaman, Kotwica, Gray, Reynolds (Gk).
MORECAMBE (3-5-2): Arestidou; Edwards, Hughes (c), Parrish; McGowan (Mullin 59), Drummond, Devitt, Kenyon, Beeley; Amond, Redshaw (Sampson 88). Subs not used: Sampson, Goodall, Fleming, Doyle, Bondswell, Lee Jones (Gk)
REFEREE: T Robinson
ATTENDANCE: 2,122 (36 from Morecambe)