Morecambe 1 Blackpool 1: Encouraging afternoon for the Shrimps against Championship opposition
Honours were even at the Mazuma Stadium as Morecambe and Blackpool played out a draw in their final pre-season outing before the new season begins.
Wes McDonald’s goal gave the Shrimps the lead at half-time, after which CJ Hamilton levelled for the visitors.
All in all, it was a good afternoon’s workout for the Shrimps, who saw a number of players impress and get 90 minutes under their belts against Championship opposition.
It was Blackpool who had the first chance inside a minute with Anthony O’Connor getting across well to block Hamilton’s effort.
Hamilton was the Seasiders’ main threat early on, another searing break down the right ending with a cross being cut out.
Demetri Mitchell also chanced his arm, cutting in from the same flank but seeing his effort held at the second attempt by Kyle Letheren.
Morecambe took time to settle down, looking to press when out of possession and keep the ball on the ground when they had the ball.
Anyone who opted for a more direct pass earned the wrath of Morecambe manager Stephen Robinson as a couple of players found out inside the first 20 minutes.
However, there was no quibble about the way in which the Shrimps took a 23rd minute lead.
Gnahoua was released down the right-hand side and made his way into the area, where his pass was converted by McDonald.
Mitchell and Jerry Yates shot off target for Blackpool but, at the other end, Jonah Ayunga made his presence felt.
A four-man move from back to front ended with Ayunga holding off a defender but shooting over from the edge of the area.
Reece James fired weakly at Letheren with half-time approaching, after which both sides took the chance to make a change.
Morecambe brought on Cole Stockton for McDonald, while Blackpool replaced James Husband with Marvin Ekpiteta.
The visitors were forced into a second early change with Demetri Mitchell hobbling off, replaced by Josh Bowler.
Within two minutes, the Seasiders were level as Toumani Diagouraga lost possession and allowed Bowler to advance.
He found Keshi Anderson, whose shot struck the underside of the bar before being turned home by Hamilton.
Stockton got the better of his fellow half-time arrival Ekpiteta, only to shoot straight at Chris Maxwell, before Letheren tipped over Luke Garbutt’s free-kick.
Both sides took the chance to refresh their line-ups further as the half progressed, Morecambe making five changes on the hour and Blackpool doing likewise moments later.
The Shrimps’ replacement keeper, Jokull Andresson, turned away one effort from Bowler before holding a free-kick from the same player.
Maxwell was also called into action, saving Aaron Wildig’s header, before the midfielder saw another effort blocked by Callum Connolly.
Another chance fell Morecambe’s way in the final minute when Ryan Cooney dispossessed Ekpiteta and played in Stockton.
He squared the ball to Adam Phillips but his effort was well kept out by Maxwell before the final whistle ended an encouraging afternoon for the Shrimps.
Morecambe: Letheren, Cooney, O’Connor, Delaney, Gibson, Wildig, Diagouraga, McCalmont, Gnahoua, Ayunga, McDonald. Subs: Da Silva Mendes, Mellor, Leigh, Lavelle, Jones, Stockton, McPake, Da Silva Mendes, Mensah, Phillips, McLoughlin, Andresson, Price.
Blackpool: Maxwell, Connolly, Keogh, Husband, Garbutt, James, Ward, Mitchell, Anderson, Hamilton, Yates. Subs: Ekpiteta, Caset, Stewart, Bowler, Antwi, Lavery, Carey, John-Jules, Grimshaw, Moore.
Referee: Andy Haines.
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