A SLOW start cost Morecambe dear as they fell to a slick Bolton Wanderers side at the Globe Arena on Wednesday night.
The Trotters, fielding several names from the side relegated from the Premier League last season, were 2-0 up inside 15 minutes thanks to goals from Chris Eagles and David Ngog.
And despite settling into the game and creating several excellent first-half openings the Shrimps never really recovered.
Just three minutes in, a harmless punt out of defence from Tim Ream landed at the feet of Ngog who slid in Eagles on the right edge of the box and he cut inside a despairing Shrimps tackle and poked the ball past Barry Roche to give the visitors the lead.
Wanderers were 2-0 to the good around ten minutes later when former Rangers winger Gregg Wylde beat Izak Reid to the byline and crossed for Ngog to hammer home.
The Shrimps’ best early opening came on 20 minutes when Jack Redshaw slid an excellent through ball for Jordan Burrow whose effort one-on-one with Adam Bogdan was well saved by the Hungarian stopper with his legs.
Within five minutes of that the Shrimps, without Nick Fenton, who came off against Bury on Saturday, and Richard Brodie who was rested as a precaution, hit the post twice as Jim Bentley’s side settled into the contest, ditching the three-centre back set-up they started the game with.
First Andy Wright glanced an inswinging Lewis Alessandra corner against Bogdan’s left hand post and then within a minute the visiting ‘keeper spilled a ball diving at Burrow’s feet on a greasy Globe Arena surface into the path of substitute Kevin Ellison, who could only hit the other post with the goal gaping.
Bolton nearly increased their lead before the break though.
Barry Roche was out sharply to deny Ngog after he was played in by Darren Pratley and then the former Liverpool front man sliced a shot horribly wide when he should have done better.
The visitors started the second half the brighter with some devastating counter attacking play, Eagles usually at the heart of any of Bolton’s meaningful attacks.
Mid-way through the second 45 minutes it was Wanderers’ turn to hit a post when Zat Knight diverted a Matt Mills header from an Eagles corner against Roche’s left upright.
Eagles himself forced Roche into a good save from a free-kick with Kevin Davies heading the resultant corner wide 15 minutes from time as Wanderers had the best of the chances in the second period.
The former Manchester United winger nearly capped his excellent display with a second goal late on but his cute dink over substitute goalkeeper Andreas Arestidou was cleared off the line by Shrimps skipper Will Haining as the visitors cruised to what in the end was a comfortable victory.
Morecambe knocked the ball around nicely at times but with Bentley’s stated desire to win friendlies, the Shrimps boss will have been disappointed to see his side slip to their second 2-0 defeat of the week.
Morecambe: Roche (Arestidou 83), Parrish, Threlfall (Ellison 19), McCready (Doyle 85), Haining, Wright, Alessandra, Redshaw (Carlton 76), Burrow, Reid (Drummond 79), McDonald. Subs not used: McGee, Parkinson, Williams, Mwasile, Doyle, Short.
Bolton: Bogdan (Lonergan 45), Alonso, Ream (Mills 45), Eagles, Andrews (O’Halloran 62), Ngog (Davies K 45), Knight (capt), Wylde, Pratley, Riley (Davies M 45), Vela. Subs not used: Mears, Petrov, Ricketts