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