Date: 27th July 2016 at 8:58am
Written by:

Morecambe entertained Preston North End for their latest pre-season friendly at the Globe Arena on Tuesday night. Manager Jim Bentley started the game with what could well be more or less the first team line-up which will appear against Grimsby in less than two weeks` time when the League Two season actually starts. He would have been looking for a far better performance than that produced by an admittedly weaker team against non-League Halifax last Saturday, when the Shrimps were hammered 6-2. He certainly got that and Morecambe played some bright, clever stuff at times. But they still found themselves 0-2 down at the break. Callum Robinson opened the scoring after 23 minutes with a simple tap-in from a cross from Jordan Hugill on the Lilywhites` right flank. This was followed by a screamer from the outstanding Ben Pringle from all of 25 yards out with thirty-eight minutes played.

Both sides made several changes during the second half but Robinson and Hugill remained on the pitch to swap earlier roles to increase the visitors` lead to 0-3 after 71 minutes, Robinson crossing from the left for Hugill to power a header past Barry Roche in the home goal. Tom Barkhuizen reduced the arrears shortly afterwards with a confident shot from within the box after being played-in by Paul Mullin but Preston underlined their superior quality by pulling further ahead again with just nine minutes left to play when Robinson beat Roche again with another shot from a long way out.

So Morecambe lost their second game in a row, 4-1 this time. Preston is a far better team – theoretically and in practice – than AFC Halifax and this was only a friendly. But Jim Bentley must be worried that the Achilles Heel of his team last season – its hopeless defending – clearly still needs a lot more work on it. To concede ten goals in just two games – regardless of the opposition – is not the ideal way to prepare for any sort of campaign, least of all when most bookies have already made Morecambe favourites for a return to the non-League wilderness next year. Let`s hope – as has been the case in the past when the Shrimps have confounded many peoples` lack of faith in them – that the Bookmakers turn-out to be wrong again?

1252 (554 from PNE) Ref: Darren Handley.
Ref: Darren Handley