Shrimps suffer narrow defeat in final pre-season game

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Morecambe 0-1 Rochdale

Davies 53

Morecambe suffered a narrow 1-0 defeat to Rochdale in their final game of pre-season. Steven Davies got the only goal of the game eight minutes into the second half. The Shrimps really deserved to get something out of the game, but unfortunately for them they couldn’t put their chances away.

Rochdale had a really good start to the game and they could’ve been in front just five minutes in. Mark Kitching came close for the visitors but his shot was parried away by Nizic. Niall Canavan then put in a strong header on the end of the resultant corner but it was pushed away by Morecambe’s keeper and then cleared away by Garry Thompson.

Chances were few and far between for much of the half however. There were only three real chances to report between the opening five minutes and half time. Morecambe’s Vadaine Oliver got the ball from a throw in and had a shot straight at Josh Lillis in the Rochdale goal in the 20th minute, and then Oliver Rathbone and Jamie Allen came close for the visitors. Rathbone cut inside and his effort on the edge of the D went over the bar in the 25th minute and then seven minutes later Allen picked up the loose ball and his shot went wide.

It was therefore goalless at half time.

The second half was much more interesting. Rochdale put a twist to the game as they took the lead in the 53rd minute. Oliver Rathbone put in a good ball from the left-hand side and Steven Davies was there to volley it into the top corner from close range to beat Nizic.

Rochdale really should’ve had a second goal 15 minutes later, but they failed to capitalise on a defensive error from Morecambe. Kenyon gifted the ball to a midfielder and Brough fell over, leaving them with plenty of space on the right-hand side but Davies’ effort went well wide of the goal.

Following this, Morecambe had a number of chances that they really should’ve put away. In the 69th minute Aaron Wildig picked up on the loose ball and ended up one-on-one with Lillis but he hit it straight at the keeper and it didn’t trouble him. Just moments later Turner worked really well on the left-hand side to get past Cannon and his shot was kept out by the keeper shortly before Wildig’s effort was cleared off the line.

Morecambe’s newly appointed captain Michael Rose had an ambitious attempt at goal five minutes later after Oliver held up the ball well for him, but his left-footed shot went well wide of the goal.

One of Rochdale’s only chances of the half came in the 82nd minute when substitute Calvin Andrew attempted a diving header on the end of Reece Brown’s free kick. Andrew did connect with the ball but his effort went wide of the mark.

Morecambe continued to pile on the pressure shortly before the death. Adam Campbell linked up really well with Garry Thompson, playing the veteran through. Thompson’s effort beat the keeper but went on to hit the post in the 87th minute.

In the last minute of added time Rhys Turner came close to scoring once again. He beat Joe Rafferty on the left-hand side but unfortunately for him his shot went wide of the mark.

In a game in which Morecambe had plenty of chances and did enough to get at least a draw, Rochdale won the game 1-0. Morecambe’s first league encounter is at home to Cheltenham Town next Saturday at 3pm.

Morecambe: Nizic, McGowan (Lund 72), Kenyon, Winnard (Trialist 61), Brough, Rose (c), Fleming (Conlan 78), Thompson, Wildig (Campbell 78), Ellison (Turner 61), Oliver.

Sub not used: Jumeau (GK)

Rochdale: Lillis, Cannon (Brown 72), Keane (Rafferty 72), Canavan, McNulty, Ntlhe, Allen (Adshead 63), Camps (Morley 63), Rathbone, Davies (Gillam 77), Kitching (Andrew 45).



FC United lose narrowly in pre-season game against Bolton XI

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FC United 0-1 Bolton Wanderers XI

Trialist 30

FC United were defeated narrowly by a young Bolton side on Friday evening at Broadhurst Park. Bolton’s trialist left-winger scored the only goal of the game connecting with the ball at the far post in the 30th minute.

It was a quiet start to the game, and it wasn’t until the 14th minute that the first real chance of the game occurred. A trialist winger cut through on the right hand side for Bolton, who fielded eight trialists, and cut in towards goal but he was stopped in his tracks by United centre-half Jordan Fagbola.

The home side came close seven minutes later when ex Morecambe full back Danny Wisdom found an opening on the left-hand side following some good passing play, and his shot was kept out by keeper Jake Turner’s legs.

FC United keeper Lloyd Allinson looked shaky at times and one of these moments came in the 24th minute when he found himself battling for the ball with Bolton forward Connor Hall on the edge of the box. Hall won the battle with his height advantage but his header at an open goal went just wide of the mark.

Bolton took the lead six minutes later. Two trialist wingers linked up well with the number 7 right-winger putting in a good ball to the left-winger (11) at the far post and he was able to beat Allinson from close range.

It was still anyone’s game though as FC United piled on the pressure shortly before the break. Connor McCarthy worked brilliantly on the left-hand side for the hosts and he came close with an excellent volley in the 38th minute but it was pushed away by the keeper to his left. It wouldn’t have mattered either way as McCarthy was adjudged to be in an offside position.

Nathan Lowe later forced a great save from Turner to his left before his second attempt was blocked by a defender. At the other end, two minutes from half-time, Bolton’s Connor Hall forced a great save from Allinson from close range – cutting in from the right. Bolton led 1-0 at the interval.

FC United improved in the second half, looking a lot more lively. Connor McCarthy impressed for the hosts, and in the 54th minute the winger found the ball on the left-hand side only for his eventual shot to go over the bar.

Just moments later, striker Lewis Lacy picked up the loose ball and found himself one-on-one with Turner. The Bolton keeper denied Lacy with his legs once again – keeping the visitors in front.

Substitute Michael Jones forced another save from Turner to his left in the 62nd minute shortly before his fellow substitute Jason St.Juste’s effort on the volley went just over the bar.

FC United had many chances to equalise in the second half, with all substitutes making an impact. Tom Greaves controlled the ball in the air and his shot went wide in the 69th minute, just ten minutes after he was brought on.

Chances were few and far between for Wanderers in the second half, but they still looked very threatening when they did come close. In the 74th minute Connor Hall put in a good ball from the right-hand side and the substitute trialist forward could only shoot wide at the far post.

This meant it wasn’t game, set and match for Bolton yet, as United continued to test them. Substitute Jason Gilchrist came close on two occasions for the hosts – firstly heading just wide on the end of a good ball from St.Juste in the 78th minute before hitting the ball on the volley just wide of the mark four minutes later.

It was a quiet ending to the game, and as a result Bolton won the game 1-0.

FC United are in pre-season action again at home to Fleetwood Town on Tuesday night shortly before their season opener away to Brackley on the Saturday.

FC United: Allinson, Senior (Corbett 67), Baird (Williams 67), Fagbola, Wisdom (Crowley 67), Brown (c), Baker (Jones 38), Lowe (Nicholas 67), Logan (St.Juste 59), McCarthy (Greaves 59), Lacy (Gilchrist 59).

Bolton Wanderers XI: Turner, Trialist, Trialist (c), Trialist, Lonsdale, Trialist (Politic 86), Trialist, Trialist (Earing 72), Trialist (White 86), Hall, Trialist (Trialist 63).

Subs not used: Aspinall, Moulden, Fearnley.

Morecambe lose to Non League side AFC Fylde in penultimate friendly

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AFC Fylde 2-1 Morecambe

Rowe 9            Turner 64

Tunnicliffe 54

Morecambe lost 2-1 to National League side AFC Fylde in their penultimate game of pre-season. Danny Rowe took the lead for the newly promoted side just nine minutes into the game before Ryan Tunnicliffe added a second shortly after the break. Rhys Turner got a goal back beating Lynch with a header in the 64th minute but Jim Bentley’s side weren’t able to get an equaliser.

There was little action early in the game, but the home side looked more comfortable on the ball. This was clearly demonstrated in the ninth minute when Danny Rowe put the ball past Nizic with ease to take the lead. Rowe, who scored 50 goals for the Coasters last season, got on the end of a good ball from Nicky Hunt before beating the trialist defender from Morecambe and slotting home in a composed manner from close range.

Morecambe looked uncomfortable in the 3-4-1-2 formation used for the first time in pre-season, but Vadaine Oliver looked a threat up front. The new signing from York City came close in the 15th minute – heading into the side netting – but he was in an offside position anyway.

AFC Fylde almost doubled their lead just two minutes later. A threatening ball was played in from the left and forward Andy Bond headed just wide of the mark.

Arguably the best chance of the half for Morecambe came in the 21st minute. Aaron McGowan made a great run on the right-hand side and played a brilliant ball to the unmarked Kevin Ellison, who didn’t quite connect with his attempted volley.

Ellison then found himself one-on-one with AFC Fylde keeper Jay Lynch three minutes later but the veteran striker could only hit the ball over the bar.

Morecambe’s defence appeared to be wide open in the 39th minute, and this enabled midfielder Sam Finley to be set up on the volley but his attempt at goal went just wide of the mark.

Adam Campbell came close just before the break for the Shrimps, but his shot went wide of the mark. As a result, AFC Fylde led 1-0 at half time.

Despite the fact Morecambe appeared to up their game at the start of the second half, AFC Fylde started the half much like they had the first half. Nine minutes in, Ryan Tunnicliffe doubled the side’s lead with a close-range header from a corner.

Jim Bentley’s latest signing Reece Deakin came on as a substitute at the interval, and the winger was involved in some build up play in the 59th minute. He made a good run on the left-hand side before giving the ball to Ellison, who was through on goal, but keeper Jay Lynch managed to get the better of the battle this time round.

Morecambe continued to put the pressure on Fylde, and their hard work paid off in the 65th minute when Rhys Turner headed home on the end of a great ball from Luke Conlan to put the Shrimps in with a chance to get at least a draw.

Jim Bentley’s side posed little or no threat though to the hosts, and Dave Challinor’s side looked more likely to extend their lead once again. Danny Rowe nearly had his second of the night when his shot was saved by Danijel Nizic to his left in the 73rd minute before Rowe’s strike partner Andy Bond hit the ball over the bar on the end of a cross two minutes later.

Ten minutes from time, AFC Fylde played some really good one-touch football on the floor, and this really should’ve led to a goal. Fortunately for Morecambe, Aaron McGowan was back to block Sam Finley’s attempt and put it out for a corner.

The visitors’ only real chance before the end came in the 85th minute when Garry Thompson headed over the bar from another great cross from Conlan.

AFC Fylde won the game, and were the much better side on the night. Both sides have their final game of pre-season on Saturday. Fylde are away to Curzon Ashton, whilst Jim Bentley’s side are at home to Rochdale.

AFC Fylde: Lynch, Hunt (Ezewele 71), Francis-Angol, Langley, Tunnicliffe, Montrose, Jones (Hardy 45), Finley, Rowe, Muldoon (Tasdemir 79), Bond.

Subs not used: Taylor, Morgan, Hughes, McCready, Grand, Daniels, Hassell, Green.

Morecambe: Nizic, McGowan, Kenyon (Brough 58), Lund, Trialist, Conlan, Rose (c) (Hedley 74), Wildig (Fleming 58), Campbell (Turner 45), Ellison (Thompson 67), Oliver (Deakin 45).

Subs not used: Armstrong (GK), Yawson, Brownsword.

Attendance: 635

Shrimps suffer narrow defeat despite good performance

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Morecambe 1-2 Blackburn Rovers
Turner 38          Graham 10
Bennett 31

Morecambe suffered a narrow defeat to League 1 outfit Blackburn Rovers at the Globe Arena this evening. Danny Graham took the lead for the side, whose fans travelled in their numbers, before Elliott Bennett doubled the visitors’ lead. Rhys Turner gave the Shrimps some hope with a brilliant goal seven minutes later, but unfortunately for Bentley’s side they couldn’t get the equaliser that they deserved.

It was a quiet opening to the game, and the first real chance was converted by visitors Blackburn. Bradley Dack met a good ball and forced a reflex save from the Morecambe trialist keeper before the experienced Danny Graham put away the rebound in the tenth minute.

Tony Mowbray’s side excelled following the goal, looking brilliant on the ball. Danny Graham almost had his second immediately after his first goal – bringing about a good save from the trialist keeper to his left.

Chances were few and far between in the following 20 minutes or so, but Blackburn dominated possession and played fast paced football on the ground. They doubled their lead in the 31st minute when Elliott Bennett rose above the trialist defender and headed home from close range.

Bennett almost added another goal five minutes later. A great ball was played through to him on the left-hand side and his shot was pushed out by the trialist keeper.

Morecambe got back into the game just moments later, thanks to a stunning goal from Rhys Turner. Vadaine Oliver chested the ball to him and the forward hit the ball on the volley with power to beat David Raya Martin in the Blackburn goal.

Blackburn did have one chance just before the break, but the Shrimps’ trialist goalkeeper made another impressive save. Ben Gladwin’s shot took a deflection on its way to the goal and the keeper made a good save to his left to deny the winger. The visitors led 2-1 at half time.

Jim Bentley’s side started the second half really well. Captain Michael Rose started a really good move three minutes in, playing a great ball through to Thompson who laid off Lund on the right-hand side. The ball eventually got to Turner and his shot hit the crossbar on its way over.

The visitors weren’t without their chances in the second half either. They came very close in the 55th minute when Elliott Bennett linked up well with Bradley Dack, whose volley went into the side-netting.

Two minutes later Alex Kenyon brought about an outstanding move out of nowhere. He flicked the ball over a player and hit the ball just over the bar on the volley.

Morecambe’s trialist keeper made a number of saves during the game, and his best one arguably was in the 59th minute when Dack’s powerful shot towards the top corner was kept out by an outstanding diving save by the keeper.

Ten minutes later Michael Rose kick-started a promising move for the hosts, playing a great ball to Vadaine Oliver on the right-hand side. Unfortunately Oliver’s cross didn’t quite get to Thompson in the box.

Joe Nuttall came on as a substitute for Blackburn in the 74th minute, and the forward was really effective in his short time on the pitch. The 20-year-old headed wide just four minutes after coming on, and then moments later he was one-on-one with Morecambe’s keeper only for the trialist to win the battle and prevent a goal.

Blackburn’s final chance of the game came two minutes from the death. Elliott Bennett found the ball in space and the former Blackpool winger had a shot that went just wide of the mark.

Tony Mowbray’s side won the game 2-1, but Morecambe manager Jim Bentley should be proud of his side’s efforts.

Next up for the Shrimps is National League side AFC Fylde away from home (7:30pm start).

Morecambe: Trialist 9, Lund 7 (McGowan 82), Trialist 7 (Winnard 68), Trialist 7 (Brownsword 82), Brough 7 (Conlan 82), Rose 7, Kenyon 8 (Hedley 82), Campbell 7 (Wildig 68), Turner 8 (Deakin 68), Thompson 6 (Yawson 75), Oliver 7 (Ellison 75).

Sub ratings: McGowan n/a, Winnard 7, Brownsword n/a, Conlan n/a, Hedley n/a, Wildig 7, Deakin 7, Yawson 7, Ellison 6.

Subs not used: Maher and Jordan

Blackburn Rovers: Martin 7 (Steele 63), Caddis 7, Lenihan 7, Mulgrew 7, Williams 6, Whittingham 6 (Nuttall 74), Smallwood 7 (Tomlinson 74), Bennett 8, Dack 8 (Evans 63(Hardcastle 88)), Gladwin 7 (Ward 74), Graham 7 (Feeney 63).

Sub ratings: Steele 7, Nuttall 7, Tomlinson 6, Evans 6, Hardcastle n/a, Ward 6, Feeney 6.



Shrimps overcome Lancaster with last-minute winner

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Morecambe 1-0 Lancaster City

Fleming 90

Morecambe defeated local rivals Lancaster City thanks to a last minute winner on a patchy afternoon at the Globe Arena. Andy Fleming scored the only goal of the game for the Shrimps heading home from close-range to seal what was a deserved win.

The game started in a quick manner with both sides looking to play good football. Morecambe were the only side to really come close however in the first half, and they did this on more than one occasion.

20 minutes into the game Morecambe winger Steven Yawson found himself in plenty of space on the left-hand side and his powerful attempt at goal was well saved by Lancaster keeper Chris Cheetham.

Ten minutes later Shrimps veteran forward Kevin Ellison ended up one-on-one with Cheetham, and the visiting keeper impressed yet again – keeping his side in the game with his right leg.

Garry Thompson nearly had his second goal of pre-season shortly before the break but his header on the end of a cross went just wide of the mark. It was therefore goalless at the interval.

Morecambe were straight out of the traps in the second half, and had a whole series of chances – demonstrating their clear dominance. One clear chance came when Alex Kenyon headed over from a corner against his former club four minutes into the second half.

New Shrimps full back Mitchell Lund, who is on loan from Doncaster Rovers, started some good play ten minutes later playing a good ball through to Garry Thompson – who turned and shot straight at the Lancaster keeper.

Lancaster had one of their only chances of the game just moments later. Full back Gavin Clark took the ball from Steven Yawson and resorted to an ambitious shot from long range, which went wide of the goal and didn’t trouble Niall Maher in the Morecambe goal.

Michael Rose and Adam Campbell both came close for the Shrimps shortly after in the 60th and 61st minute respectively. Garry Thompson started a good move for the home side, with a great run on the right-hand side but unfortunately Rose couldn’t come up with the end product – shooting over the bar. Campbell then got the ball in space and looked very comfortable on the ball, but his shot from long range went just wide of the goal.

New signing from York City Vadaine Oliver came off the bench for the home side and had a few chances, but wasn’t much of a threat to Lancaster. He showed good strength, but his finishing wasn’t good enough. The 25-year-old headed over the bar from a cross in the 72nd minute before shooting straight at the keeper three minutes later.

Young midfielder Ben Hedley, who was another Morecambe man to come off the bench, found himself on the end of a corner in the 78th minute and his powerful shot went just over the bar.

Morecambe created plenty of chances in the second half, but it looked like they were never going to score. Reece Deakin worked well on the left-hand side and gifted the ball to Campbell in the 86th minute but his shot was pushed away by Lancaster’s sub keeper.

Jim Bentley’s side got what they deserved four minutes later, when they got a winner through Andy Fleming. Luke Jordan worked well on the right-hand side and put in a great ball that was met by the head of Fleming and beat the keeper.

Therefore Morecambe won the first Bay Trophy match between the two sides, and it is hoped the game between the two sides will become a regular feature of future pre-season schedules.

Morecambe face Preston North End next on Tuesday evening at the Globe Arena.

Morecambe: Maher, Lund (McGowan 63), Trialist (Trialist 63), Kenyon (c), Brough (Conlan 63), Rose (Hedley 63), Fleming, Yawson (Jordan 63), Campbell, Ellison (Deakin 63), Thompson (Oliver 63).

Lancaster City: Cheetham, Henry, Clark, S Bailey, Westwood, Mercer, Howarth, Carney, Tam (C Bailey),Winder, Harries.

Subs used: Sub keeper, Hoyle, Hudson, C Bailey, Shearwood, Creech, Woods, Wood.



Shrimps come from behind to beat Bamber Bridge in pre-season run out

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Bamber Bridge 1-2 Morecambe

Carsley 14                Hedley 23
Thompson 49

Morecambe came from behind to beat Bamber Bridge in their first pre-season friendly at the Sir Tom Finney Stadium on Tuesday night. The home side took the lead 14 minutes in through Brad Carsley before Shrimps youngster Ben Hedley equalised from close range nine minutes later. Morecambe legend Garry Thompson scored four minutes into his return, and this sealed the victory for Jim Bentley’s side.

Both sides started lively, and looked in good nick. Bamber Bridge had the first chance of the game three minutes in as full-back Macaulay Wilson cut past the Shrimps’ defence before he was stopped in his tracks by Roche. At the other end Morecambe came close after some good work by Luke Jordan and Adam Campbell on the right, before they put a great ball in towards Ben Hedley whose shot went just over the bar.

Michael Rose had a very good chance three minutes later, but it didn’t look like he meant it. He put a cross in following a corner and it hit the crossbar. It was Bamber Bridge who were first to take the lead however as Brad Carsley managed to cut past Aaron McGowan and bury his shot into the bottom-right corner to beat Barry Roche.

The home side’s lead lasted just nine minutes. Rhys Turner worked well in the box, cutting in and having his shot pushed away by Rigby before Ben Hedley netted the rebound from close range.

Adam Campbell impressed in his first game for the Shrimps, and came very close to scoring in the 34th minute when he cut past the defence and had a shot that hit the crossbar.

Rhys Turner came close to taking the lead for Morecambe just before the break but his shot was parried by Lloyd Rigby. It was all square at half time.

Shrimps manager Jim Bentley made eleven changes at the break, and his second half eleven included Morecambe legend Garry Thompson who has rejoined the club from Wycombe this summer. The 36-year-old forward had a very good start to the game, taking the lead for his boyhood club just four minutes in. Youngster Steven Yawson worked really well on the right-hand side and found the veteran forward whose shot met the top-corner of the net from close range to send Shrimps fans wild.

Both sides had chances in the midst of the second half. Andy Fleming and Steven Yawson both had shots wide for the Shrimps, whilst Bamber Bridge’s Regan Linney and Danny Forbes had shots going just over the bar.

Garry Thompson almost got his second goal for the Shrimps in the 70th minute. He linked up well with Steven Yawson again but his shot was blocked by the defence and he failed to put away the rebound.

Chances were few and far between for Bamber Bridge in the latter stages of the game, as Morecambe dominated possession, but in the 75th minute substitute Adam Stammers had an ambitious effort at goal only for it to go just wide and not trouble Niall Maher.

Reece Deakin who featured for the Shrimps in the second half impressed, and found himself heavily involved in the action in the final ten minutes of the game. The youngster twice linked up well with Steven Yawson, putting good balls in to his fellow winger whose first header went wide and then volleyed against the post.

Deakin later nearly scored himself. He found himself in space on the left-hand side in the 79th minute and his shot was pushed away by Rigby before his second shot eight minutes later was deflected out for a corner by the Bamber Bridge defence.

The home side had a last ditch attempt to equalise in the last minute of normal time, but it didn’t test Niall Maher. Former Kendal midfielder Danny Forbes made a run with the ball but he didn’t have a good enough finishing product as his attempt sailed over the bar.

Morecambe face Lancaster City up next at the Globe Arena on Saturday.

Bamber Bridge: Rigby, Wilson (Stammers 64), Higham (Milligan 45), Lawlor (Mahoney 54), Doughty (Jones 45), Potts (Forbes 59), Linney, Staunton-Turner (Kay 74), Carsley (Riley 68), Dudley (Ngolo 76), Dodd (Marlow 45).


1st Half XI: Roche 7, McGowan 6, Trialist 6, Winnard 6, Conlan 5, Rose 7 (c), Hedley 7, Jordan 6, Campbell 8, Ellison 6, Turner 7.

2nd Half XI: Maher 7, Lund 6, Brownsword 7, Kenyon 7, Brough 7, Trialist 6, Fleming 7, Yawson 8, Wildig 7, Deakin 8, Thompson 7 (c).