ZELI Ismail's first professional goal earned Burton Albion a valuable away victory at Morecambe yesterday.
The on-loan Wolves winger came off the bench to thunder home a powerful shot after Shrimps goalkeeper Barry Roche had kept the Brewers at bay with saves from Adam McGurk, Gary Alexander and Alex MacDonald in an entertaining game amid the mud and rain.
Gary Rowett made three changes from the team who drew 1-1 at home to Exeter City last weekend, including handing full debuts to two new signings.
Rob Lainton, signed yesterday morning on loan from Bury, started in goal in place of Dean Lyness, who was troubled by a thigh injury, while Alexander, who came off the bench last time out, ousted Billy Kee from the forward line.
The third change saw MacDonald come in for Ismail on the right wing.
After Morecambe's Jack Redshaw had seen a goal ruled out for offside, Alexander chested a ball down to McGurk, whose weak shot was smothered by Roche.
The keeper then had to be alert with two low saves in quick succession as first Alexander pounced onto Phil Edwards' cross with a powerful shot, and then MacDonald picked up on a loose ball but was denied from 10 yards out.
Lainton was rarely tested, until a chipped through ball found Kevin Ellison onside and one-on-one, but the new number one stood tall and got a hand to it.
McGurk was then kept out again after getting a head to Alexander's cross, but Roche claimed the ball again.
Rowett gave the second half 15 minutes before making his changes, hauling off wingers MacDonald and Jimmy Phillips for Ismail and Chris Hussey.
And the talented Ismail had an immediate effect, forcing a corner and generally causing the hosts problems, before opening the scoring in the 71st minute.
He beat replacement left-back Tony Diagne - on after a physical challenge from Alexander injured Robbie Threlfall - and Ellison before cutting in on his left foot and finding the far corner with a powerful drive.
Lainton pulled off a decent save to deny Redshaw after the Shrimps forward tricked his way into a shooting position, but the hosts were largely ineffective as an attacking force.
MORECAMBE (4-3-3): Roche; Beeley, Parrish, McCready, Threlfall; Wright (c), Drummond, Williams; Devitt, Redshaw, Ellison; subs: Arestidou (gk), Diagne, Sampson, McGee, McGowan, Doyle, Amond.
BURTON ALBION (4-4-2): Lainton; Edwards, Sharps (c), Cansdell-Sherriff, McCrory; MacDonald, Weir, Palmer, Phillips; McGurk, Alexander; subs: Diamond, Lyness (gk), Knowles, Kee, Ismail, Hussey, Bell.