Morecambe 1-4 Preston North End

Goal scorer Tom Barkhuizen challenges Clive Smith. Picture: Rob Lock
Goal scorer Tom Barkhuizen challenges Clive Smith. Picture: Rob Lock

Championship side Preston North End proved too good for Morecambe as The Shrimps slipped to defeat in their latest pre-season friendly on Tuesday night.

Jim Bentley’s side started on the front foot but goals from Callum Robinson and a stunner from Ben Pringle put Simon Grayson’s men in command at the break.

Jordan Hugill added a third 20 minutes from time before Tom Barkhuizen reduced the deficit on 79 minutes.

Robinson added a second of the night a minute later however as the Lilywhites’ superior quality ultimately told at the Globe Arena.

The Shrimps made a bright start, Ryan Edwards seeing a shot blocked from a deep corner from trialist Michael Rose inside the first five minutes.

Aaron Wildig was then played in behind by Barkhuizen but saw his effort saved at the near post by Chris Maxwell.

At the other end, Hugill was the first to go close for PNE but his well-struck shot from 20 yards was always rising as it sailed over Barry Roche’s crossbar.

The big front man then had a hand in North End’s opener on 23 minutes, taking Pringle’s pass in behind on the right side of the area he squared for Robinson to convert from a couple of yards out.

The former Aston Villa man nearly had a second shortly after but saw his free-kick from 20 yards hit the side netting with Roche beaten.

It was an end-to-end contest though, Wildig bringing a save from Maxwell with a shot from the edge of the area.

Eoin Doyle then saw a drilled effort go narrowly wide 10 minutes from the interval before the visitors doubled their lead in stunning fashion on 38 minutes.

After Ben Pearson had won the ball back, Pringle swivelled on the ball 25 yards out and hammered home a shot that went in off the far post.

North End came close to a third moments into the second half but Robinson could only find the side netting after having three bites at a Chris Humphrey cross.

The second half was a far more tranquil affair than the first though, Roche producing a sharp save to keep out Paul Huntington’s flicked header from a Robinson corner just after the hour.

As North End continued to dominate, Humphrey saw a shot from 20 yards go over the bar after cutting in from the right.

The third came on 71 minutes, with Hugill powering home a close-range header from an inviting Robinson cross.

Morecambe got their goal 11 minutes from time, Paul Mullin feeding Barkhuizen in on goal with the winger finishing well beyond Maxwell.

North End restored their three-goal advantage 60 seconds later however, Robinson taking a Clive Smith pass just inside the area before squeezing a low shot into the corner of the net.

Morecambe: Roche, Wakefield, Edwards, Winnard (capt) (Whitmore 71), Conlan, Fleming (Kenyon 71), Rose, Barkhuizen, Wildig (Turner 71), Molyneux (Ellison 71), Stockton (Mullin 71). Subs not used: Trialist, McGowan, Trialist.

Preston North End: Maxwell, Grimshaw (Smith 71), Huntington (Clarke 63), Wright (Spurr 46), Davies, Pearson, Welsh (capt) (Browne 46), Pringle (Humphrey 46), Robinson, Doyle, Hugill. Subs not used: Hudson.

Referee: Darren Handley

Attendance: 1,252 (554 away)