PNE Academy eased to a commanding 4-1 victory against Lancashire rivals Morecambe on Monday afternoon.
Nick Harrison made five changes to the side that drew against Wrexham at the weekend.
The alterations included Josh Sampson, Harry Hogan, Lyle Magolis, Sam Livesey and Joe Whittington returning to the starting line-up.
The first ten minutes saw neither side have any real chances with the pitch extremely bumpy, but it was evident that PNE were the classier outfit.
Whittington tested the keeper but Will Kitchen saved comfortably, whilst Livesey found himself bearing down on goal, but failed to control the ball, giving the scrambling Shrimps’ defenders a chance to clear their lines.
Livesey looked dangerous early on, getting in behind the defence on a few occasions, but nothing was quite falling for him.
The Lilywhites first real chance was from Whittington’s 30 yard free kick, which look destined for the top corner until Kitchen flung himself to tip the ball round the post.
Magolis then left his man for dead on the right wing, before unleashing a venomous shot which was again palmed away by Kitchen for a corner.
Whittington’s resulting corner was headed clear, but found its way to Jordan Scott on the edge of the area, who skipped past one man and fired his shot into the top left corner to make it 1-0 in the 16th minute.
The goal only boosted the Lilywhites’ confidence more and PNE started to dominate the game.
The Academy started to pile on the pressure and Whittington used his trickery to get past Dan Towers, but his shot was tipped onto the post by Kitchen.
Skipper Tyler Forbes then got on the end of a loose ball before trying to place his shot, but Kitchen was again on hand to prevent Morecambe from going further behind.
Morecambe’s first chance fell to Alex Newby, but his 20 yard effort sailed over the cross bar.
Soon after, the Shrimps had a chance to get what would’ve been an underserved equaliser.
Ross Dalton rolled the ball out to Sean Holmes who was marked tightly and dispossessed, but Tom Woods couldn’t punish PNE, firing his shot straight at Dalton.
The half-time whistle saw the Lilywhites go into the break with the lead after a dominant display.
Straight after the break, the Academy resumed their supremacy over Morecambe, with Forbes and Whittington linking up smartly, but the single goal margin remained.
Shortly after, Whittington did make it 2-0, as he got the better of his defender yet again, shifting the ball onto his left foot and unleashing a stunning shot which hit the back of the net in a flash.
The sides had barely kicked off again before it was 3-0 PNE, thanks to a wonderful free-flowing move.
Livesey turned his marker and slipped in Whittington down the right wing, who then squared the ball to Magolis for a tap-in.
The Lilywhites had seized the chance to take the game by the scruff of then neck and were now dictating the game in every area of the pitch.
Whittington got past his man again who he was having a field day against, but his teasing cross was cleared by scrambling Shrimps defenders.
Gray then whipped a ball in to the box but after Holmes’ fantastic first touch, he slipped and his shot went wide of the target.
Holmes had another chance to make it four soon after, breaking down the right wing, but he blazed his shot over the bar.
It was completely one-way traffic and Morecambe were barely getting a touch of the ball.
The hosts made a double substitution with Mike Dowling making way for Jim Smith and Michael Newton replacing Dan Towers.
Nick Harrison also made PNE’s first substitution, bringing off Nick Anderton who was replaced by James Quigley.
Forbes’ speculative curling effort from the left side of the box, only just crept over the upright as PNE continued in the ascendancy.
Magolis made the scoresheet a reflection of PNE’s dominance, as he latched onto a defensive mistake to bundle the ball past Kitchen to make it 4-0 in the 83rd minute.
There was still time for one last piece of action in the match, but surprisingly it came from Morecambe.
Charlie Bailey picked up the ball all of 30 yards out and his quite unbelievable bullet seared into the top left corner to give the Shrimps a consolation and make it 4-1.
The full-time whistle completed what was a brilliant day for PNE Academy.
It was a thoroughly efficient and impressive display with Morecambe simply not able to handle PNE’s front four, while the defence reduced the Shrimps to long range efforts.
Harrison expressed his delight with his team post-match and thought his side were full value for their convincing win.
He said: “I’m pleased with the result and the performance, each and every one of them played very well and they deserved the result.
“We challenged them to go and get that second goal as early as they could, they did, and they deserved to get themselves in front and win by a big margin.”
Harrison also praised his players for the way they adapted to the surface.
He explained: “We still tried to play on there and pass the ball.
“We took a few risks with those passes, but I think it showed if you take those risks and try and play the right way, you get that success.”
Harrison was just as delighted with the attack as he was with the defence, adding: “They were very good [attackers] but so were the back four.
“They all done their job and defended properly and that helps with your attacking play.”
PNE Starting XI: Ross Dalton, George Gray, Nick Anderton, Josh Sampson, Harry Hagon, Lyle Magolis, Sean Holmes, Sam Livesey, Tyler Forbes (c), Joe Whittington
PNE Subs: Bradley Roscoe, Matthew Hudson, James Quigley, Luke Pritchard, Tom Bunclark
Morecambe Starting XI: Will Kitchen, Dan Towers, Mike Dowling, Ross Hilton, Kyle Lewis (c), Jay Roberts, Charlie Roberts, Alex Naylor, Jack Preston, Tom Woods, Alex Newby
Morecambe Subs: Michael Newton, Jim Smith, Adam Reynolds, Tyler Bowman