Match report: Bamber Bridge 1 Morecambe 2
Goals from Kevin Ellison and Adam Campbell meant Morecambe began their pre-season campaign with victory at the Sir Tom Finney Stadium.
Both struck from long range either side of half-time to get the better of a Bamber Bridge side for whom Regan Linney pulled one back from the spot.
It was a valuable exercise for both sets of staff as Shrimps’ boss Jim Bentley used all 21 of his squad, while Brig counterpart Neil Reynolds fielded 17 of his 18-man line-up with substitute keeper Stuart Barton the only man to miss out.
There were positives to take as both sets of players came through unscathed despite a few challenges best described as ‘enthusiastic’.
From Morecambe’s perspective, Bentley saw a number of his new signings settle in well with left-back Jordan Cranston particularly impressive during his 75 minutes on the pitch.
As for the hosts, Reynolds had the chance to try a couple of different formations and see how his players responded to Saturday’s loss against Preston North End.
Both sides had efforts off target in the opening skirmishes before Ellison broke the deadlock in the 10th minute.
A free-kick was awarded to the Shrimps 25 yards out with Ellison curling the ball over the wall and beyond Brig keeper Lloyd Rigby.
Cranston fired over a free-kick from a similar position, while Ellison, Carlos Mendes Gomes and Lamin Jagne also failed to test the keeper with efforts.
At the other end, Morecambe keeper Barry Roche was largely untroubled until just before the break when he used his feet to keep out Jordan Darr’s shot.
Having made eight changes at half-time, Morecambe doubled their lead a minute into the second period.
Campbell, one of the players who had not been withdrawn at the break, doubled their lead with an effort from 20 yards that left the keeper rooted to the spot.
Three minutes later, however, and Brig halved their deficit when Linney emphatically beat Morecambe new boy Mark Halstead from the spot.
Campbell curled another effort narrowly wide but it was the home side who came closest to netting again.
On this occasion, Halstead pushed Yves Zawa’s close-range header onto the bar before seeing the same player hit the woodwork from the rebound with the ball eventually going behind.
Another of Morecambe’s new faces, Jason Oswell, saw a header kept out by Rigby while another summer signing, Rhys Oates, scuffed one effort at the keeper and blasted another off target.
All in all, it proved a worthwhile workout for both teams at this stage of their respective preparations.
Bamber Bridge: Rigby, Dawson, Lawlor, Mahoney, Dodd, Potts, Morgan, Forbes, Waddecar, Linney, Darr. Subs: Wilson, Marlow, Boyd, Doughty, Zama, Churchman, Barton.
Morecambe: Roche, Hedley, Lavelle, Kenyon, Cranston, Fleming, Jagne, Campbell, Mendes Gomes, Ellison, Hawley. Subs: Halstead, Sinclair, Brownsword, Old, Edwards, Tutte, Codjovi, Wildig, Oates, Oswell.