Checkatrade Trophy Group C (North)
Morecambe 3-1 Stoke City U23s Dunn 3 Adam 48 Stockton 21 Murphy 44
Morecambe overcame a young Stoke City side featuring some experienced players in the Checkatrade Trophy on Tuesday night. Jack Dunn opened the scoring after an early defensive mistake, and Cole Stockton scored twenty minutes later with Peter Murphy slotting home just before half time. Charlie Adam scored Stoke’s only goal of the game early in the second half.
The Shrimps started the game well and Cole Stockton had a shot blocked two minutes in. Just moments later, the home side took the lead when Jack Dunn took the ball off a defender and buried the ball in the bottom-left hand corner past Haugaard.
Twelve minutes later Stoke very nearly equalised through Charlie Adam, but his free kick hit the cross bar. Almost immediately afterwards, Stoke’s fortunes got worse as they were reduced to ten men. Captain Liam Edwards was dismissed after a brutal two-footed tackle on Aaron Wildig, who was making his first start on return from injury.
The Shrimps doubled their lead in the 21st minute after Adam brought down Wildig, and the referee played a great advantage with a cracking ball played through to Stockton, who placed the ball in the bottom right-hand corner beating the keeper.
Fifteen minutes later, Stoke had arguably their best chance of the game so far. Charlie Adam found himself one-on-one with Nizic, but he could only hit the ball over the bar in a chance where most players would’ve scored.
Whilst Wildig forced Haugaard into a save in the 39th minute, Nizic did well to save from Mame Biram Diouf who was one-on-one shortly after, and Charlie Adam hit the rebound wide of the goal.
The night got even better for Morecambe when they extended their lead just before the break. Molyneux played a brilliant long ball to McGowan who picked up the ball on the right-hand side, and Wildig managed to meet the cross although the keeper took him down, and Peter Murphy was there to slot the loose ball home at the far post with the referee playing advantage.
Charlie Adam tested Nizic just before the break, but Morecambe led 3-0 at half time- and deservedly so.
Four minutes into the second half, Stoke reduced their deficit to two goals. Charlie Adam made a great run through an almost non-existent Morecambe midfield, and he placed the ball in the left hand corner to beat Nizic from 20 yards out.
The away side continued to pile the pressure on the Shrimps in the second half, and Mame Biram Diouf headed just wide of the mark moments later as the side looked for another goal.
Jim Bentley made some changes to his side early in the second half, and one of the substitutes almost made an instant impact. Rhys Turner made a great run to meet a Lee Molyneux cross, only for the former Oldham striker to hit the ball over the bar on the half-volley.
Five minutes later, Stoke youngster Oliver Shenton forced Nizic into a good save to his right as the visitors continued to search for a second goal.
In the 70th minute, Glyn Hodges’ side thought they’d found an opening but Mame Biram Diouf’s goal was ruled out because the former Manchester United man found himself in an offside position.
Morecambe keeper Danijel Nizic put in a great performance on the night, and he wasn’t fazed by Charlie Adam’s firepower, as he was able to deal with the Scottish midfielder’s long range shots with ease in the 72nd and 76th minutes respectively.
Cole Stockton failed to make it four for the Shrimps with two shots over the bar towards the end, and so did Michael Rose- his free kick just clipping the post on its way out of play in the 85th minute.
Stoke’s last chance of the game came in the fifth minute of added time when Phil Bardsley, who featured as a 90th minute substitute for the first team at Old Trafford at the weekend, hit a powerful shot wide.
Jim Bentley’s side move up to third (out of four) in their group, and face leaders Bradford in a decisive game next month. Up next in the league for the Shrimps, is Carlisle United at home on Saturday.
Morecambe: Nizic, McGowan, R Edwards (Barkhuizen 54), Winnard, Whitmore, Molyneux, Murphy(c), Kenyon (Rose 69), Wildig (Turner 47), Stockton, Dunn
Booked: Murphy and Dunn
Subs not used: Roche, Wakefield, Mullin, Massanka
Stoke City U23s: Haugaard, Bardsley, Taylor, Molina, Muniesa, Renee-Pringle, Adam, Ngoy, L Edwards(c), Shenton (Telford 72), Diouf.
Sent off: L Edwards(c)
Subs not used: Jarvis, Isted, Sweeney, Waddington
Attendance: 686 (144 away)