KARL HAWLEY scored his first goal for Torquay United – a show-stopper to earn a comeback point – and then echoed manager Alan Knill's verdict that the Gulls need to start a lot quicker than they did at the Globe Arena.
If new striker Hawley scores many better goals than the one he clouted past Morecambe's big Irish goalie Barry Roche in the 55th minute, we'll all be in for a treat or two this season.
But United's strong second-half display only followed some strong words by Knill at half-time, and Hawley said: "The gaffer was right not to be happy. We weren't happy either.
"We knew it had to improve in the second half – luckily, we were still in the game – and it did.
"But that's what's got to happen from the get-go in future."
Even though Billy Bodin hit the bar in the 14th minute, seconds after Padraig Amond struck a post for Morecambe, unchanged United were second-best for most of the first half.
Even without the injured Kevin Ellison, Morecambe's midfield of Stuart Drummond, Andrew Fleming and, especially, Ryan Williams called the tune.
Williams, a player to watch in the future, confirmed their superiority when he took a pass from Fleming and hit a dipping, swerving right-foot shot over Martin Rice from 25 yards.
Rice, who had another good game in goal, did his best but he had no chance with that one.
Ben Harding tested Roche with a free-kick from outside the area just before half-time, and United came out after the interval in a much more businesslike mood.
Hawley and Jordan Chapell were inches away from finishing a Bodin cross, after good work by Callum Ball.
In the 55th minute Hawley struck.
Harding set him up with a pass to the edge of the area, Hawley took a touch on the turn and his right-foot shot beat Roche all ends up as it flew into the top left-hand corner.
"It was a good strike – it's always nice when they go exactly where you intended," said Hawley.
Williams, who showed that his left foot is nearly as good as his right, delivered some good crosses for headers by Amond, Tony Diagne and Jack Sampson.
But it was United, with Courtney Cameron on for Chapell, who looked more like scoring again as they went for all three points.
Ball headed over after a slick Hawley-Dale Tonge-Cameron move with the right.
Bodin and Aaron Downes both went close, Harding tested Roche from 20 yards and skipper Lee Mansell pulled a good chance wide after Andy Parrish's header fell for him just beyond the penalty spot.
It was a shame when right-back Tonge, always eager to get forward, was sent off in the 85th minute.
He'd been rightly cautioned for a foul in the first half, but he tried to check himself as he mistimed a touchline challenge on Joe McGee. Referee Richard Clark still showed a second yellow card and then the red.
Knill sent on Damon Lathrope and, for his League debut, Danny Sullivan in the closing stages.
But United did have a real escape in the third and final minute of stoppage time.
Cameron lost possession in Morecambe's half and a couple of seconds later McGee dashed clear to hit the outside of the right-hand post.
You wouldn't have wanted to be in United's dressing-room if that one had hit the net.
Morecambe boss Jim Bentley described his team as "pussycats", adding: "As a group, that wasn't good enough in the second half.
"If we had really stepped on the gas in the first half, as we should have done, we would have been two or three up.
"But Torquay came out a different team in the second half, which is exactly what we feared."
Knill said: "We all know the first half was acceptable – not up to the standard we expect.
"I was glad to go in at half-time only 1-0 down.
"But all credit to the players for coming back, and to the supporters for the way they kept with the players even when we weren't good.
"It was a great goal by Karl, and a decent result in the end."