Morecambe Football Tournament
Morecambe Football Club hosted a pre-season tournament this weekend, which also included Blackburn Rovers and Bury Football Club at the Globe Arena. The teams played each other once and the games were thirty minutes each way.
Long standing Morecambe manager Jim Bentley featured a number of trialist as well as the clubs new signings Rhys Turner, Liam Wakefield, Alex Kenyon and loan signing Cole Stockton as featured in the tournament.
Bury manager David Flitcroft had a look at a number of trialist including former Burnley midfielder Richard Chaplow and Neil Danns, playing alongside summer signings Nicky Clark, Ben Williams and Greg Leigh from Bradford City.
Its been a summer of change at Ewood Park with Blackburn Rovers bringing in a new management team in Owen Coyle, Sandy Stewart and Rob Kelly. Blackburn also had a number of new signings on show including Danny Graham, Anthony Stokes, Elliott Bennett and trialist Faissal El Bakhtaoui.
Game 1 – Blackburn Rovers 1 v 0 Bury
In a fairly even half, Bury were the first to have an effort on target following a Neil Danns corner which was headed clear, fell to Leon Clarke but his long range shot stung the hands of Blackburn goalkeeper Jason Steele.
Blackburn then went close from a free kick which was tipped over the crossbar by debutant goalkeeper Ben Williams for a corner. From the resulting corner, Blackburn took the lead when Danny Graham headed the ball home despite a couple of defenders on the line.
The Shakers then went close as debutant Nicky Clark got on the end of a good cross from Leon Clarke but his shot well blocked. Bury continued to press for the equaliser but it was Rovers who almost doubled their lead on nineteen minutes, when John O’Sullivan headed a corner against the post and blazed the rebound high over the crossbar from six yards.
As the first half ebbed and flowed it was Leon Clarke’s turn to have a crack at goal, this time from a free kick thirty yards out which just flew over the Rovers crossbar. Neil Danns then won a corner, before Hallam Hope’s effort was well saved by Jason Steele, to make the half time score 1-0.
The second half started with Bury on the attack, a Neil Danns free kick went close but it was well saved by Jason Steele under his crossbar. At the other end Danny Graham almost notched his second for Rovers, but his shot cannoned back off Ben Williams right hand post.
On fifty minutes, Bury nearly drew level when an excellent cross by Greg Leigh found Nicky Clark unmarked in the Blackburn area, but his overhead kick was well saved by Steele in the Blackburn goal.
Leon Clarke had a final effort for the Shakers in the last minute but it was well held by Steele, at the final whistle there was little or nothing between the two sides, with Danns impressive in midfield for the Shakers and Danny Graham showing his Premiership quality for Blackburn Rovers.
Blackburn Rovers – Steele, Lowe, Ward, Magloire, Doyle, Bennett, Akpan, Guthrie, Mahoney, O’Sullivan, Graham (Sub) El Bakhtaoui
Bury – Williams, Jones, Maher, Demetriou, Leigh, Etuhu, Mellis, Danns, Hope, Clark, Clarke (Subs) Chaplow, Trialist 1
Goals – (Blackburn Rovers) Graham (10)
Attendance – 1,120
Game 2 – Morecambe 0 v 0 Blackburn Rovers
Blackburn Rovers rounded off their participation in the three team tournament at the Globe Arena with a goalless draw against their League Two hosts. Owen Coyle named an entirely different line-up for his side’s second game of the afternoon.
But unlike the first game were they beat League One Bury 1-0, Rovers barely threatened before the break. Instead it was Morecambe who went closest to scoring, as Cole Stockton saw his first shot blocked by Ryan Nyambe and a header from point blank range palmed away by David Raya, leaving the half time score 0-0.
Blackburn were very poor in the first half and after a half time team talk from Owen Coyle that left the players in no doubt they had to improve in the second half. Darragh Lenihan twice tested Morecambe keeper Barry Roche from distance, with his first effort requiring the Roche to fly to his right to push the ball away.
Lone striker Anthony Stokes, who showed some neat touches, also worked Roche’s reflexes before Ben Marshall collected a cross from Craig Conway and trickled a shot into the keepers hands.
Aaron Wildig was inches away from tapping in an inviting cross from Paul Mullin while one of Morecambe’s four trialist wastefully side-footed straight at David Raya after the Rovers keeper hesitated when coming off his line.
But it was Roche who was the busier in an improved second half with his final stop coming from Marshall. Rovers had one last chance when Liam Feeney’s corner was flicked on by Scott Wharton to fellow centre-back Nyambe who headed over.
Morecambe – Roach, Wakefield, Winnard, Kenyon, Mullin, Windig, Stockton, Trialist 1, Trialist 2, Trialist 3, Trialist 4.
Blackburn Rovers – Raya, Henley, Nyambe, Wharton, Hendrie, Feeney, Byrne, Lenihan, Conway, Marshall, Stokes (Sub) El Bakhtaoui
Goals – None
Attendance – 1,120
Game 3 – Morecambe 4 v 0 Bury
In the third and final game of the afternoon, Morecambe took on Bury and it was the Shakers who had the first real effort on goal. Scott Burgess who is back from his summer footballing exploits in Norway almost found the net following an excellent through ball from Tom Soares.
It was then the turn of another Shakers triallist, Richard Chaplow, to try his luck from fully thirty yards but the former Burnley, West Bromwich and Preston North End man scuffed his shot somewhat and the ball went well wide.
Bury did get the ball in the Morecambe goal after George Miller’s shot rebounded to Scott Burgess, but the Shakers young midfield was adjudged to be offside by the linesman on the far side.
Bury continued to press with Chaplow, Miller and Pope all having efforts saved but it was that man Ellison, who gave Morecambe the lead against the run of play. However he was allowed to turn and fire home from inside the Bury area.
Morecambe, who had held Blackburn to a goalless draw in the intervening game came close again on twenty four minutes, when Turner shot from close range only to see Ruddy make a good save at his near post.
The corner was cleared by the Shakers defence but when the ball was played back in to the Shakers far post a Morecambe triallist found the net with a neat diving header.
A Morecambe free kick in the final minutes was well held by Jack Ruddy in the Bury goal and after a bright start the Shakers went into half time two goals behind.
Morecambe started the second half in the same way they ended it and Ellison again caused problems for the Shakers youthful full-back Johnstone, but Turner fired well over the Bury bar.
It was the Shakers who had the next attempt on goal following a corner, won after good work by Chaplow resulted in Soares shot being turned around the post, when Tom Pope’s header flashed over the crossbar.
Morecambe hit back when one of their triallists shot high over Ruddy’s bar following more good work by Ellison down the right.
Bury were then awarded a free kick ten yards or so outside the Morecambe box after Scott Burgess was fouled but Tom Soares effort, cleverly placed under Morecambe’s wall, lacked pace and it was easily saved by the Shrimp’s ‘keeper.
Morecambe then extended their lead to three goals when their cross wasn’t totally cleared and as the ball was delivered in from the left it was met by the head of a triallist and it flew past a helpless Ruddy in the Bury goal.
Richard Chaplow then had another attempt for Bury which was well saved by the Morecambe ‘keeper, following a Bury corner won by Tom Pope.
The Shrimps rounded off the scoring and secured the tournament title on goal difference when their newly introduced triallist skipped past a couple of tiring Bury players and played in Tom Barkhuizen who curled a neat shot into the corner past Ruddy.
Tom Pope had the last effort of the game but his weak shot was easily saved before the referee blew for full time.
Morecambe – Trialist 1, McGowan, Edwards, Trialist 2, Molyneux, Trialist 3, Trialist 4, Barkhuizen, Turner, Ellison, Trialist 5
Bury – Ruddy, Bourne, Levell (Triallist), Sedgwick, Best, Burgess, Chaplow (Triallist), Soares, Miller, Pope, Johnstone (Sub) Osgathorpe
Goals – (Morecambe) Ellison, Trialist 1, Trialist 2, Barkhuizen
Attendance – 378