Goals from Jordan Burrow and Danny Carlton gave Morecambe a 2-0 victory in a fiery pre-season friendly at the Globe Arena.
The Shrimps scored in the first four minutes of the second half and the last four minutes, but there were plenty of positives for North End as many players got significant time under their belts.
The first half was a niggly affair, with Kevin Ellison, the Shrimps forward, lucky to stay on the pitch after kicking out at Thorsten Stuckmann early in the game. Another poor challenge also led to the early departure of Lee Trundle, to be replaced - for his first run out in a North End shirt – by David Amoo.
Ellison showed his abilities with the ball before the other side of his game in the ninth minute, the No.11 flashing a left-footed half volley past Stuckmann’s right hand upright, but two minutes later he lashed out at Stuckmann with the other boot after chasing an overhit through ball. He then pushed the German as well in an incident that would surely have led to a red card in a competitive fixture.
North End’s first good opportunity came after Nicky Wroe was upended 25 yards out in a right hand channel. Lee Trundle stepped up and curled a superb left footed free kick just an inch over the right hand corner of the bar.
Jeffrey Monakana again looked a bright spark for navy-clad North End and saw a shot blocked just before the half hour mark and then spread the ball from left to right three minutes later to allow Amoo to win North End a corner.
Amoo himself showed his abilities just before the break. He picked up the ball on the right hand side and rather than showing off his pace and crossing the ball, he cut in onto his left and unleashed a vicious shot that was heading for the top corner across the goal, but Barry Roche stuck out a big hand to tip the ball around the post for another corner.
However, after the interval it was the home side who broke the deadlock. Lewis Alessandra created some space down the right, almost by the corner flag, to deliver a very deep cross and Jordan Burrow rose highest at the back post to head into the empty net on 49 minutes.
The second half was proliferated by multiple substitutions by both sides, making it difficult to build tempo, but substitute keeper Jose Moreira was a spectator for much of the half as North End retained possession.
On 76 minutes Chris Robertson, making his first run out of the campaign, had a great chance to level things up as Joel Byrom delivered a left wing free kick to the back post to where the PNE No.5 met the ball first time with his right foot, but he couldn’t quite hit the target.
But it was the home side who were to add the game’s second goal. This time it was Dan Parkinson who delivered a hard low cross from the right all the way across the six yard box and Danny Carlton managed to get across the North End defence and slide the ball past Moreira into the bottom left hand corner with just four minutes left.
In the closing stages Scott Laird, who along with John Mousinho got 90 minutes under his belt headed inches wide from Keith Keane’s right wing cross, but the scoreline remained in favour of Morecambe.
PNE Line-Up: Stuckmann (Moreira, 53), Laird, Cansdell-Sherriff (Huntington, 46), Wroe (Buchanan, 60), Trundle (Amoo, 18 (Holroyd, 85)), Rosa (Keane, 46), Byrom (Procter, 85), Monakana (Hayhurst, 69), Beardsley (Cummins, 60), Mousinho, King (Robertson, 46).
: Mr T HarringtonReferee