Ellison brace secures Morecambe win

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Sky Bet League 2

Morecambe 2-1 Newport County

Ellison 34,80     Bennett 36

38-year-old Morecambe forward Kevin Ellison scored an excellent brace to secure the Shrimps’ second league win of the season at the Globe Arena today. Ellison opened the scoring 34-minutes in with the rebound from Osbourne’s effort, but Scot Bennett equalised shortly afterwards for the visitors from close range. Veteran-forward Ellison got the winner for Jim Bentley’s side ten minutes from time getting his head on Adam Campbell’s excellent shot from long range to secure the three points.

Both teams started the game reasonably well. Newport had the first chance of the game through Tom Owen-Evans but his shot from close range went over the bar.

Five minutes later, the away side came close again. This time it was through David Pipe but his free kick went just wide of the mark.

Morecambe had some good attacking-play early on too, and partway through the first half they began to look like scoring. Garry Thompson got the ball in a good position on the right hand side in the 15th minute but his cross was not met by a fellow player in the box.

New Shrimps striker Adam McGurk looked lively for much of the first half and he nearly put the home side in front in the 17th minute. The former Cambridge man cut inside the box and his shot was pushed away by keeper Joe Day.

Two minutes later however, Newport came very close to taking the lead themselves. Scot Bennett had a header from close range on the end of a good ball go just over the bar.

In the 34th minute, Morecambe had one of their best chances yet. Steve Old got his head on the end of Osbourne’s corner and nodded it on towards Kenyon whose travelling header went just wide of the mark.

Moments later, Jim Bentley’s side found themselves in front. Garry Thompson started a good move before gifting the ball to Fleetwood loanee Elliot Osbourne whose shot was pushed away by Day and Ellison was in the right place to bury home the rebound.

The Shrimps’ lead didn’t last very long at all however – two minutes to be precise. The ball came in from a corner and Mickey Demetriou laid the ball off to fellow defender Scot Bennett who was able to slot home from close range.

Ellison almost put the home side back in the lead six minutes from half time. The veteran was on the receiving end of Thompson’s excellent ball and his volley was blocked by what, according to Ellison, was the defender’s hand. The referee awarded a corner however.

Newport looked the brighter side at the beginning of the second half. Top scorer Frank Nouble came close in the 56th minute, cutting in from the left-hand side only for his shot to go wide.

Five minutes later Morecambe midfielder Aaron Wildig found the ball in space and his shot went wide before Kevin Ellison attempted another volley three minutes later but it didn’t really trouble Joe Day.

Adam McGurk almost put Morecambe back in front moments later. Thompson worked well on the counter-attack and put in a pinpoint ball to the forward and his header was kept out incredibly well by Joe Day.

In the 76th minute, Thompson was involved in play again. He put in another good ball to Ellison, whose header went over the bar.

Newport put a rare chance wide in the 78th minute. There were calls for a penalty as Steve Old appeared to handle it in the box, but the ref played on and Lamar Reynold’s shot went well wide of the mark.

Two minutes later, Morecambe took the lead again. Substitute Adam Campbell hit a powerful shot from long range and the ball stroked Ellison’s head on its way in so the 38-year-old claimed the goal.

Captain Michael Rose nearly put the game to bed for the Shrimps in the 89th minute with a brilliant long-range effort forcing Day into a brilliant diving save to his left.

Despite there being four minutes of added time, Newport didn’t really threaten the Morecambe back-line and the Shrimps took home a deserved three points.

Morecambe now move to 16th and face Stevenage away from home next week whilst the visitors drop to 9th and face Grimsby Town at home next Saturday.

Morecambe: Roche, McGowan, Old, Muller, Brough, Kenyon (c) (Fleming 84), Osbourne (Rose 59), Thompson, Wildig (Campbell 76), Ellison, McGurk.

Booked: McGurk, McGowan.

Subs not used: Nizic, Lund, Lavelle, Lang.

Newport County: Day, Pipe (c), Bennett (McCoulsky 83), White, Demetriou, Butler, Dolan (Rigg 45), Tozer, Owen-Evans (Reynolds 66), Amond, Nouble.

Booked: Demetriou.

Subs not used: Willmott, Quigley, Bittner, Jahraldo-Martin.

Attendance: 1,189

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All you need to know about Morecambe’s next opponents Carlisle

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Morecambe tomorrow face a side from a neighbouring county that just missed out on promotion last season, in the Checkatrade Trophy at the Globe Arena (7:45pm kick off).

Last season

Carlisle United enjoyed the first half of the 2016/17 season as they sat in the top 3 most of the time. Keith Curle’s side were unbeaten for the first 15 games of the season in the league, and they found themselves in the top three in League 2 for five months. The Cumbrians went into the Christmas month of December in top spot, and promotion was looking likely. Unfortunately for them, it all went to pot in 2017 as they won just six out of 23 games and only booked their place in the play-offs because of wins against Newport County and Exeter City in the last two games of the season. Keith Curle’s side were knocked out by the latter in the play-offs, losing 6-5 on aggregate following two very close Semi Final legs.

Their record in cup competitions last season was good – getting past the first round of every cup competition. They took Derby County to penalties in the League Cup second round losing 14-13, whilst they topped Group D in the Checkatrade Trophy with wins over Oldham Athletic, Blackburn Rovers U23s and Fleetwood Town. They were knocked out by Mansfield Town with a 3-2 loss in the first knockout round of the competition.

Charlie Wyke was the club’s top scorer last season with 18 goals, despite leaving for Bradford City on transfer deadline day in January.

Summer transfer business

Carlisle lost three key players at the end of last season. Keeper Mark Gillespie, striker Jabo Ibehre and defender Michael Raynes all rejected new deals and manager Keith Curle has been forced to replace them. The former England international has brought in eight players including 23-year-old shot-stopper Jack Bonham on loan from Brentford along with forwards Hallam Hope and Richie Bennett from Bury and Barrow respectively. Raynes has been replaced by Tom Parkes who has joined from now National League side Leyton Orient.

Their start to the season

The Blues have had a strong start to the season. To supplement an unbeaten pre-season, the Cumbrian side have won two of their first four league games and currently occupy 11th place in the League 2 standings. They made it to the second round of the Carabao Cup – defeating Fleetwood Town 2-1 after extra time before a narrow 2-1 defeat at home to Championship side Sunderland last Tuesday. Former Shrimps forward Shaun Miller is currently the side’s top scorer with three goals in all competitions and they come to the Globe Arena tomorrow in a fairly strong position.

It isn’t all hunky-dory for Keith Curle’s side as last time out they suffered a heavy 4-1 defeat against Lincoln City at Sincil Bank with their only goal of the game coming from Reggie Lambe.

How they’ve fared against Morecambe

In 11 meetings between the two sides in the 21st century, Carlisle have won four, whilst Morecambe have won one and there have been six draws. They’ve faced each other before in the Checkatrade Trophy’s predecessor, the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy, in 2009 where Carlisle won 4-2 on penalties in the encounter at Christie Park. In the last meeting between the two sides, they shared the points as Charlie Wyke cancelled out Aaron Wildig’s early opener at Brunton Park.

Is another draw on the cards? Let’s find out…

 

Imps and Shrimps share points in entertaining encounter

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Sky Bet League 2

Lincoln City 1-1 Morecambe

Green 70            Wildig 53

Morecambe took a well-earned point from an entertaining game against newly-promoted Lincoln City at Sincil Bank today. Aaron Wildig took an unlikely lead for the Shrimps in the 53rd minute, but this was cancelled out by Matt Green’s deserved equaliser in the 70th minute.

In a packed Sincil Bank for Lincoln’s first home game back in the EFL, the hosts had a great start to the game. Michael Bostwick came close for Cowley’s side twice in the first four minutes, shooting wide at both attempts however.

Three minutes later Matt Rhead headed over on the end of a good ball from Jordan Maguire-Drew, shortly before Rhead’s strike partner Matt Green had a shot blocked by Sam Lavelle from close range.

Morecambe’s only real chance in the first 20 minutes fell to Alex Kenyon in the 15th minute, but his weak effort from long-range didn’t trouble Paul Farman at all.

Moments later, Lincoln’s best chance of the half so far came from Jordan Maguire-Drew. The winger cut through from the right-hand side but his shot was tipped onto the crossbar by visiting keeper Barry Roche.

In the 17th minute the hosts came close yet again, this time through Matt Green. Dean Winnard gifted the ball to the forward and he cut through but his shot went wide of the mark.

Green did all the dirty work in the build-up to another chance eight minutes later, with great footwork, but he failed to provide a decent end-product with his shot going wide.

Morecambe had a rare chance in the 30th minute. Captain Michael Rose put in a really good ball from his throw-in and Wildig headed just over the bar.

The hosts then came close moments later with two efforts. Matt Green found himself one-on-one with Roche, but the keeper blocked his shot well and then Nathan Arnold forced the Shrimps keeper to make a good save to the left from close-range.

The visitors’ best chance of the half came in the 39th minute. Patrick Brough headed the ball down to Aaron McGowan, and the full back tried his luck from roughly 40 yards out. His shot curled round the defence and hit the crossbar.

Morecambe had a much better start to the second half. Aaron Wildig had two poor chances early on. The second one was particularly frustrating for him as Garry Thompson had worked really well on the left-hand side before giving the ball to Wildig in acres of space. All he had to do was put it away, but he essentially he passed it to the keeper Paul Farman.

He made up for these missed opportunities however moments later as he put the Shrimps in front in the 53rd minute. Michael Rose hit an overpowered corner but Vadaine Oliver kept the ball in, before Patrick Brough teed up the midfielder with a great ball. Wildig volleyed home in the bottom-left corner to send the 124 visiting fans wild.

Despite Morecambe’s lead, Lincoln continued to dominate the game and they almost equalised five minutes later. Sean Raggett had a header cleared off the line by Kevin Ellison in the 58th minute and then Matt Rhead tried his luck from close range only for his shot to be pushed away by the excellent Roche, and then Matt Green managed to shoot wide in the 62nd minute despite being in acres of space.

Two minutes later, Rhead nodded the ball towards Green on the end of a free kick, but Green headed over the bar despite the lack of opposition from the Morecambe defence.

Lincoln got the equaliser they deserved in the 70th minute through Matt Green. The striker capitalised on Sam Lavelle’s defensive error and put the ball past Roche in the bottom-right corner sending the 8,000 Lincoln fans wild.

Two minutes later, Barry Roche did brilliantly to prevent Cowley’s side from taking the lead. Roche, in what was definitely one of his best games in a Morecambe shirt. put on a brilliant triple save to keep out Rhead and Green’s efforts,

Morecambe had a rare chance in the 80th minute through Patrick Brough. His long-range effort was caught by keeper Paul Farman.

In the 90th minute Matt Green’s header was stopped on the line by Barry Roche. There were five minutes added by the referee at the end of the half, but Morecambe managed to hold on for a point despite it being a backs to the wall job for much of the game.

Morecambe now sit in 5th in League 2 whilst Lincoln City are in 19th. Up next for the Shrimps is Swindon Town at home on Saturday whilst the Imps travel to Exeter City.

Lincoln City: Farman, Long, Dickie, Raggett, Eardley, Maguire-Drew (Anderson 83), Bostwick, Woodyard (c), Arnold, Green, Rhead (Palmer 83).

Subs not used: Whitehouse, Waterfall, Howe, Knott, Vickers.

Morecambe: Roche, McGowan, Winnard, Lavelle, Brough, Kenyon, Rose, Thompson, Wildig (Fleming 84), Ellison (Turner 73), Oliver (Old 77).

Subs not used: Nizic, Campbell, Conlan, Osbourne.

Attendance: 8,060 (124 away)

 

Barnsley edge Morecambe in seven-goal thriller

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Carabao Cup 1st Round

Barnsley 4-3 Morecambe

Bradshaw 2,46  Lavelle 45+1Ugbo 22         Rose 49 penHedges 90+5  Oliver 82

Championship side Barnsley were on the right side of a seven-goal thriller on Tuesday night as they defeated League 2’s Morecambe 4-3. Tom Bradshaw took the lead early on for the hosts, and Ugbo doubled their lead in the 22nd minute. Morecambe fought back through Sam Lavelle on the brink of half time, but Bradshaw was quick to score in the second half as well. The visitors managed to get it back to 3-3 with goals from Michael Rose and Vadaine Oliver and the game looked like it was heading for extra time, but substitute Ryan Hedges made sure that didn’t happen with a goal in the very last minute of stoppage time.

Whilst Morecambe appeared to have much of possession very early into the game, Barnsley had the better start. They were hitting the Shrimps on the counter-attack regularly and looked very threatening. Their superiority in attack was demonstrated just two minutes in when forwards Ike Ugbo and Tom Bradshaw linked up really well to get the ball past the defence with ease, and Bradshaw was able to bury it past Nizic in the bottom-left corner.

Ten minutes later Bradshaw came close again. Full back Andy Yiadom worked well on the left-hand side and put in a pinpoint ball to Bradshaw but his effort was saved by Nizic one-on-one.

Moments later, the Yorkshire side hit the Shrimps on the counter-attack. Morecambe’s defence looked wide open, but fortunately for them Ugbo’s effort went over the bar.

The first real chance of the game for Jim Bentley’s side came in the 18th minute, and it was almost a spectacular goal. Andy Fleming tried his luck from long-range, and his shot dipped just over the bar.

Alex Kenyon got his head on the end of Michael Rose’s corner two minutes later only for it to be pushed away by Davies, and then Barnsley were able to hit Morecambe on the counter with defender Sam Lavelle struggling to keep up with Ike Ugbo – who netted home from close range to double the home side’s lead.

It was almost three for the Championship side in the 25th minute with Tom Bradshaw’s one-on-one effort being pushed away by Nizic to his right.

Aaron McGowan tried his luck from long range for the Shrimps ten minutes later, only for it to be pushed away by keeper Adam Davies.

Morecambe had the better of the last ten minutes of the half. Vadaine Oliver’s effort was cleared off the line in the 43rd minute shortly before Sam Lavelle’s shot on the end of Rose’s corner beat Davies in the top-left corner to give Jim Bentley’s side some hope going into the interval with the score at 2-1.

The second half began much like the first half. Tom Bradshaw headed home on the end of a good cross from the left in the 46th minute to get his second of the night.

Three minutes later, Morecambe got a penalty however as Vadaine Oliver was brought down in the box by Angus MacDonald. Captain Michael Rose stepped up to take the penalty and he hit it in the top left corner to put the Shrimps in reaching distance of an equaliser.

Barnsley threatened on the counter-attack again ten minutes later, but Dan Nizic in the Morecambe goal kept the efforts out. George Moncur was twice denied by Nizic – being parried away first time and then denied one-on-one shortly afterwards.

Morecambe came close in the 66th minute through Vadaine Oliver, but the striker’s shot deflected off a defender and then was tipped over by keeper Davies.

Five minutes later ex-Blackpool winger Brad Potts had a shot well blocked by Alex Kenyon shortly before Ugbo’s effort was kept out by Nizic.

Garry Thompson came on as a substitute for the Shrimps, and had a real impact when he came on. He got the assist for Morecambe’s equaliser in the 82nd minute – crossing the ball into Oliver who headed home from close range to score his first goal for the Shrimps.

The game looked like it was heading for extra time, with Michael Rose’s free kick on the edge of the box being kept out by the keeper in added time.

It was heartbreak for Morecambe however in the fifth minute of added time, as Barnsley got a winner in what was effectively the last kick of the game. Substitute Ryan Hedges buried it past Nizic in the bottom-left corner to send the home support wild as it meant Barnsley booked their place in the second round of the Carabao Cup.

Up next for the Shrimps is Lincoln City away from home in the league on Saturday.

Barnsley: Davies, Pearson, MacDonald(c), Pinnock, Yiadom, Potts (Hedges 89), Moncur, Williams (Mowatt 89), Hammill, Ugbo (Payne 77), Bradshaw.

Booked: Yiadom and Potts.

Subs not used: McCarthy, Townsend, Mallan, Jackson.

Morecambe: Nizic, Lund (Ellison 50), Kenyon, Lavelle, McGowan, Brough, Fleming, Rose (c), Campbell (Thompson 69), Oliver, Turner (Deakin 79).

Booked: Lavelle, Campbell, Thompson.

Subs not used: Roche, Conlan, Brownsword, Wildig

 

 

Shrimps win first league game with Thompson brace

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Sky Bet League 2

Morecambe 2-1 Cheltenham Town

Thompson 55, 90+1  Eisa 43

A second-half brace from Wembley hero Garry Thompson meant that the Shrimps came from behind to beat Cheltenham Town 2-1. The visitors took the lead shortly before half time through Mohamed Eisa on his football league debut, but Thompson put the ball away at both far posts to secure the three points on his first game for the Shrimps since re-joining the club in the summer.

Both sides started the game well, having early chances. Morecambe had the first chance of the game four minutes in when Garry Thompson played in Andy Fleming whose shot went wide of the mark.

Cheltenham’s first chance of the game came four minutes later when debutant Jerell Sellars made a good run on the left-hand side but his cross was headed away and later cleared by Aaron Wildig.

In the 11th minute Morecambe thought they’d made a breakthrough. The hosts had some good play in the box, with Cheltenham’s defending being scrappy. Kevin Ellison put the ball away past Flatt but the goal was disallowed due to an alleged foul by Vadaine Oliver on the defender.

Morecambe debutant Oliver then had a chance of his own ten minutes later. The new signing from York City headed just over the bar on the end of Michael Rose’s free kick.

15 minutes later Cheltenham had a rare chance and it came through Sellars again. The former Aston Villa man took a great free kick that was on its way in but Morecambe keeper Barry Roche managed to keep it out.

Vadaine Oliver had a great game in his first competitive game for the Shrimps, winning everything in the air. He came very close to getting his first goal for Jim Bentley’s side five minutes before the break. His header on the end of Rose’s brilliant cross was tipped over the bar by visiting keeper Jonathan Flatt.

Shortly before the interval however, Cheltenham took the lead against the run of play. They got a controversial free kick on the left hand side and the ball in wasn’t defended by the Shrimps and Mohamed Eisa was able to slot home from close range to open his account on his Football League debut. The visitors led 1-0 at half time.

Eight minutes into the second half, Eisa almost doubled his side’s lead. The new signing from non-league side Greenwich Borough cut in on the left hand side without much opposition and his shot was saved by the legs of Barry Roche.

Morecambe got an equaliser just two minutes later however, and it was a brilliant team goal. Roche started the move with a poor pass to defender Alex Kenyon, but Kenyon managed to keep it in and play the ball to Fleming who played a great through ball to Wildig. Wildig was one-on-one with the keeper, and the 25-year-old gifted the ball to the unmarked Thompson on the right who put the ball past the keeper to score his 57th league goal for the Shrimps.

This lifted the home support, and there was now a real sense that the hosts could win the game. Oliver excited the Shrimps fans when he was one-on-one with Flatt three minutes after Thompson’s goal but his shot was saved by the keeper, who spent time on loan at Barrow last season.

Cheltenham got a free kick in a threatening position in the 61st minute, but the free kick was blocked by Kenyon and went out for a corner.

Morecambe later got a free kick of their own in a threatening position seven minutes later but Rose’s attempt went over the bar.

Chances were few and far between until the last ten minutes when it really livened up. Jim Bentley’s new captain Michael Rose had a powerful shot at goal go just wide of the mark in the 81st minute, and then three minutes later Cheltenham keeper Flatt was involved in a confusion between him and his defence meaning that Wildig was able to lob him but it was cleared away by defender Will Boyle.

The away side had a golden opportunity to get a winner two minutes from time but Boyle absolutely bottled it. The defender got the ball in front of an open net but still somehow managed to hit it over the bar.

It was Morecambe who got the winning goal, and deservedly so. Rose’s long range free kick was headed into the danger zone by Vadaine Oliver and Cheltenham defender Kyle Storer helped the ball on its way to Thompson who put the ball away from close range at the far post to secure the three points for the Shrimps in added time.

A great win for the Shrimps puts them in 6th whilst Cheltenham are 18th. Next up for Jim Bentley’s side is Championship side Barnsley in the Carabao Cup at Oakwell on Tuesday evening.

Morecambe: Roche, Lund, Kenyon, Winnard, Brough, Fleming, Rose (c), Thompson (Lavelle 90+3), Wildig (Campbell 86), Ellison (Turner 71), Oliver.

Booked: Roche, Winnard, Wildig

Subs not used: Nizic, McGowan, Conlan, Deakin

Cheltenham Town: Flatt, Grimes, Boyle, Storer (c), Cranston, Winchester, Atangana (Holman 90+3), Forster, Sellars, Wright, Eisa.

Booked: Atangana

Subs not used: O’Shaughnessy, Page, Bower, Lovett.

Attendance: 1,450

Shrimps suffer narrow defeat in final pre-season game

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Friendly

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).

 

 

Morecambe lose to Non League side AFC Fylde in penultimate friendly

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Friendly

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