Morecambe boss: Players didn't grasp their opportunity in Everton defeat

Stephen Robinson admitted some of his players showed signs of rust after watching Morecambe start their Papa John’s Trophy group stage campaign with defeat.

Sean McAllister’s second-half goal, moments after he came off the bench, gave victory to Everton’s U21s at the Mazuma Stadium.

Robinson made nine changes to the side beaten by AFC Wimbledon at the weekend, giving some of the fringe players game time and a chance to impress ahead of Saturday's trip to Doncaster Rovers.

There were some solid performances with Josh McPake producing a man-of-the-match display, while Wes McDonald looked bright and Jacob Mensah had an encouraging display in the centre of defence.

Arthur Gnahoua had a couple of late attempts in trying to salvage an equaliser

However, the Shrimps struggled to create much in the way of genuine opportunities despite enjoying the bulk of possession.

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Robinson said: “The result’s disappointing, of course, but we made a number of changes and they needed game time in their legs - and some of them looked like they needed it.

“Everton probably deserved the win because they hit the target and, for all our good play, there has to be an end product.

“We had to take people out. We’ve only got one fit centre-forward in Cole (Stockton) and Toums (Toumani Diagouraga) can’t play every game, so people who may have given me a headache certainly didn’t.

“I’m not making excuses for losing the game but they were rusty. They needed the game time but there won’t be too many knocking on my door for Saturday. My selection is easy.”

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