Date: 24th August 2016 at 9:46pm
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Bournemouth paid their first ever visit to Morecambe at Christie Park on May 2nd 2009 and ran rings round the Shrimps to win 0-4: and it could have been a lot more. This was a phenomenal performance for a club with an unknown Manager called Eddie Howe which had been deducted seventeen points for past sins at the beginning of the season and were widely regarded to be non-League fodder even before a ball was kicked at the beginning of the campaign. The following season, they met again at much lamented Crusty seven months later just before Christmas and the tables were well and truly turned: the Shrimps, with Barry Roche between the sticks, hammered them five-nil and Bournemouth had Marvin Bartley sent off into the bargain. But this was a mere blip for a Cherries` side already showing the form which would take them to the runners-up spot and promotion during 2010 and begin a journey which finally led the Club to the Premiership and their Manager to be seen as a potential England Manager in future years (although quite why he might want to do such a job is another question altogether…) So Hats Off to Bournemouth and Eddie Howe: they show what is possible for a relatively small football club with excellent management and a lot of ambition in English League football even today.

They arrived at the Globe Arena for the first time on Wednesday night to compete in the EFL Cup Second Round at the bottom of the Premiership albeit with just two games played but with no points on the board. Morecambe, on the other hand, were looking down on the rest of League Two from the dizzying heights of the pinnacle having won their last four games, including a tremendous victory in the First Round at Championship Rotherham United.

The match started at a tremendous pace with both sides playing some accurate, probing football and the visitors` team featuring many players who would expect to be in any of Mr Howe`s First Eleven.The first good chance fell to the Shrimps when Adam Federici made a great save after Tom Barkhuizen was set-up by Cole Stockton for a left-footed shot after six minutes. But the visitors took the lead just two minutes later when Max Gradel took advantage of a slip by Michael Rose to belt the ball past Barry Roche and in off the right post from just eight yards out. The game ebbed and flowed after this but after fourteen minutes, Ryan Edwards headed back Barkhuizen`s long throw, Stockton swivelled on the spot and slammed the ball in at the near post to equalise. Grabban should have put the visitors ahead right at the death of the first half when he missed the target altogether but Barkhuizen came even closer during injury time, hitting the inside of the post with a shot which had beaten Federici only to hit the bar as well just before the whistle came for the end of the first period. So the two teams went in even-stevens and with any neutrals in the ground probably wondering which of the two teams were members of the soccer elite in this country.

Bournemouth started the second half the strongest and took the lead after 53 minutes when a corner to the visitors was cleared to Marc Wilson who beat Roche low to his left hand side with a tremendous shot from 25 yards out. Morecambe pushed forward after this in search of a second equaliser and Jack Dunn`s fierce shot with no back-lift after just 20 minutes left only just missed. Wilson then almost scored his second goal of the half at the wrong end this time when his back-pass to his own goalkeeper was only just scrambled away by Federici. Jim Bentley shuffled his pack, sending-on Kevin Ellison, Paul Mullin and Rhys Turner during the last fifteen minutes. But despite their constant pressure, the Shrimps couldn`t force a further break-through even though Edward`s header from a prompt by Roche who had come up for a corner to head the ball to him hit the top of the bar in injury time. So Morecambe lost their first game in five – but there is no disgrace in giving a club four tiers higher in the Football League pyramid a real run for their money and they can be really proud of themselves. This was a tremendous game of football played in an excellent spirit – as reflected by the fact that not even one player was booked.

Morecambe: 1 Barry Roche; 2 Liam Wakefield ; 5 Ryan Edwards; 9 Tom Barkhuizen; 10 Lee Molyneux (11 Kevin Ellison 73 mins); 14 Luke Conlan 16 Alex Whitmore; 17 Andy Fleming; 20 Jack Dunn (7 Paul Mullin 80 mins); 23 Cole Stockton (18 Rhys Turner 80 mins); 24 Michael Rose (C).

Subs not used: 12 Dan Nizic; 3 Aaron McGowan; 4 Alex Kenyon; 25 Ben Hedley.

AFC Bournemouth: 23 Adam Federici; 2 Simon Francis (C); Dan Gosling; 5 Nathan Ake; 9 Benik Afobe; 10 Max Gradel (22 Emerson Hyndman 92 mins); 14 Brad Smith; 18 Lewis Cook; 19 Junior Stanislas (7 Marc Pugh 60 mins); 20 Marc Wilson; 28 Lewis Grabban (31 Lys Mousset 76 mins).

Subs not used: 45 Jordon Holmes; 32 Eunan O`Kane; 43 Callum Buckley; 47 Jordan Lee.
Ref: Peter Bankes