|Adam Evans scored Burnley's goal|
Seeing the lads warm up it was clear that Steven Hewitt, Cameron Howieson and Shay McCartan were not present and likely away with the 1st team. As the teams lined up it also became apparent that both regular full backs Aryn Williams and Luke Conlan were out, along with illness sufferer Tom Anderson. This meant that there was another start for Waqas Azam at right back, along with fellow U-15 player Andreas Bianga in the middle of the park. Alex Mullin lined up at left back with Lewis Nuttall ahead of him on the wing, while Jason Gilchrist ploughed a lone furrow up front.
As may be expected from a side shorn of 6 ‘1st choice’ players we put in a slightly scrappy and inconsistent performance. We were still trying to play the right way with constant passing but the display was littered with misplaced balls and heavy touches. The weather didn’t help but it was the same for both sides and Morecambe stayed in the contest due to their pressuring of the ball.
We had the first chance of the game which came to us with a lovely ball from Bianga getting Adam Evans in behind the defence. He had to take it wide to get it round the onrushing keeper and his shot was just about cleared off the line by a covering defender. Five minutes late and the Shrimpers keeper pulled off a blinder of a save from a curling left foot rocket of a shot by Mullin.
We took the lead with around 20 minutes on the clock. Winning the ball in our half we broke with Gilchrist. He saw the run of Evans and played him in allowing him to advance on the keeper, dink it through his legs, then roll the ball home, despite the attempts of a defender to pull his short off. Following this we really just stopped creating chances.
Morecambe came back into it and we found ourselves lucky to retain the lead when a clearance from Josh Cook went straight to an opponent, who then fluffed his attempt. However, an almost identical occurrence wasn’t spurned as the Morecambe forward was presented with the ball 25 years out and found the corner of the net.
The second half saw more scrappy play and chances for us were few and far between. A cross shot from Nuttall was tipped over by the keeper when it seemed bound for the top corner. We saw some changes with more U-15 lads introduced as Jamie Frost replaced the tiring Bianga and Ntumba Massanka came on for Nuttall and was pushed up front.
Morecambe were unlucky as a couple of corners were scrambled clear by our defence and we also had a penalty appeal turned down following a handball shout. We then had a late chance as an Evans cross was nodded back across goal by Archie Love, but Massanka clipped his effort over the bar from 8 yards out.
It’s still in our own hands and we are getting a taste of what is to come with some U-15 lads who I’m sure we’ll see more of next year. The defence was solid with the goal just unlucky, and Love, sitting just in front, had a top performance.
Team:- Josh Cook, Waqas Azam, Alex Mullin, Alex Coleman, Jack Errington, Archie Love, Luke Gallagher, Adam Evans, Lewis Nuttall (Ntumba Massanka), Andreas Bianga (Jamie Frost), Jason Gilchrist.
Sub not used:- Ben Woodhead.