Sunderland youngsters win comfortably against Ryhope CW

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Ryhope CW 1-3 Sunderland XI

Weirs 61            Diamond 30  Connelly 35,45

A Lee Connelly double and a Jack Diamond goal ensured a comfortable victory for Sunderland’s youngsters on Wednesday night against Northern League side Ryhope Colliery Welfare at the Recreation Ground in a friendly played just three miles south of Sunderland City Centre. Substitute Matthew Weirs did get one back for the spirited home side but it didn’t help them towards any kind of result.

Ryhope had a strong start to the game, and looked really up for it in the first half-hour.

Winger James Ellis executed Ryhope’s first chance of the game when he beat the Sunderland defence before his powerless effort did nothing to trouble visiting keeper James Talbot.

Ellis then had another chance for the hosts 12 minutes later, making a brilliant run on the left-hand side before his shot was saved by Talbot to his right and Josh Holme-Jackson, who made a similar run on the right-hand side, couldn’t quite latch on to score the rebound.

Ryhope were punished for their missed chances when Sunderland took the lead against the run of play in the 29th minute. Jack Diamond did brilliantly to get the ball onto his right-foot before burying it past keeper Jonathan Ball in the bottom-right corner roughly 25-yards out.

Diamond nearly had his second goal of the night in the 34th minute when he cut into the box from the left and his effort was pushed away and out for a corner by Ball.

Moments later Liam Connelly doubled Sunderland’s lead when he placed the ball past Ball from close-range when found in space in the box.

Ryhope came close just before half time when Ben Riding met the corner sweetly only for his diving header to be kept out brilliantly by Talbot.

On the brink of half time, Sunderland extended their lead to three goals thanks to Liam Connelly yet again. The former Queens Park man latched onto a brilliant ball and his powerful effort made it into the top corner.

Five minutes into the second half, Christopher Allan’s free kick was pushed away excellently by Ryhope keeper Ball.

Midfielder Allan continued to impress, and his next effort was blocked well by Ryhope’s Nathaniel Skidmore and went out for a corner.

Just moments later Matthew Weirs got a goal back for the hosts – putting the ball past the keeper on the end of a good ball from the left-hand side from close range.

Sunderland came close six minutes later with England U18 international Daniel Wright volleying just over the bar on the end of a great ball in from Josh Robson.

Substitute Sunny Best’s 74th minute effort went just over the bar for the visitors, and ten minutes later Robbie Dunne’s attempt at goal brought a brilliant save from Ryhope sub keeper Anthony Lowerson from close range.

The game ended 3-1 to Sunderland’s youngsters in a good run out for both teams at the Recreation Ground.

Ryhope CW: Ball, Cairns, Cox, Lay, Riding, Trewick, Wallace, Nicholson, Davies (c), Holme-Jackson, Ellis.

Subs used: Gordon, Bott, Skidmore, Melville, Weirs and Lowerson (GK).

Sunderland XI: Talbot, J Robson, Storey, Taylor (c), T Robson, Allan, Connelly, Wright, Diamond, Hackett, Kokolo.

Subs used: Patterson, Poame, Dunne, Young, Best, McAughtrie.





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.

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.