Match Report: Morecambe 2-4 Preston North End - PNE through to third round of Carabao Cup after classic cup tie

Preston North End came out on top in a six-goal thriller at the Mazuma Stadium as they secured their place in the Carabao Cup third round, beating Morecambe 4-2.

By Tom Sandells
Tuesday, 24th August 2021, 10:24 pm
Updated Wednesday, 25th August 2021, 12:24 pm

In a frantic encounter filled with chances, fans making a racket, crunching tackles and goals, it was the Lilywhites who progressed.

Emil Riis scored twice in the first half before Morecambe got one back in first half stoppage time through Anthony O'Connor, completing the comeback in the second half as Cole Stockton scored. Ryan Ledson then knocked in a stunner and Sepp van den Berg finished off the scoring.

Frankie McAvoy made five changes from the side that secured PNE's first league win of the season - Declan Rudd, Joe Rafferty, Greg Cunningham, Brad Potts and Emil Riis coming into the side.

Emil Riis finds the back of the net for PNE. Credit: PNE/Ian Robinson.

Van den Berg was given the chance to play in the centre of defence, with Jordan Storey moving into the centre of the back three.

The North End defence were the first to be tested after six minutes, a short corner routine from the home side resulting in their skipper Sam Lavelle heading at Rudd from far post which was comfortably saved.

PNE replied in fashion a minute later however, Daniel Johnson releasing Riis down the right channel and the Dane coolly slotting the ball past Jokull Andresson to give McAvoy's men the advantage.

Ryan Cooney, forward from right back, was the next to take aim at the PNE net but his shot was off target from the corner of the 18 yard box.

North End looked good in possession and were trying to create chances wherever possible, not quite breaking through however. Potts picked up a loose ball from Riis and beat two men before shooting low from the edge of the area which was easily saved, 11 minutes into the contest.

Rudd was again called into action, following a Cooney long throw, as Arthur Gnahoua latched onto the ball and tried his luck from a tight angle, though the Lilywhites kept their advantage.

Then came a collector's item, a change of referee. The man in the middle was originally James Oldham but he came to the touchline injured and in stepped Paul Graham to take the whistle for the remainder of the game - that change coming after 29 minutes.

He was quickly thrust into the spotlight four minutes later as Riis once again had the ball in the net. Sepp van den Berg's clearance turned into an inviting through ball for the forward who saw Andersson and his defender collide as he challenged for the ball. The Shrimps keeper spilled the ball into Riis' path who tapped into an empty net - much to the dismay of the home support.

The game briefly settled down but Morecambe would have something from the half - scoring four minutes into stoppage time.

Andrew Hughes was booked for a slide tackle in corner and the Shrimps took full advantage from the free kick, crossing to the far post where O'Connor bundled the ball home.

They were back at it in the second half too, Counrtney Duffus stinging the palms of Rudd four minutes into the second half.

North End responded with two chances in three minutes, their first coming after 50, Potts draggin a shot wide of the far post before Johnson forced a good loan save from Andresson.

But it was the Shrimps next to find the net, levelling just after the hour mark. Morecambe's no.9 brilliantly collected a well struck ball into his fet running at the PNE goal before dispatching the ball into the bottom corner.

The game continued at a frantic pace as a classic cup tie continued, fans cheering both sides on, half chances galore and crunching tackles.

Before anyone could catch their breath North End were back in the lead, Ledson almost breaking, rather than finding, the net just four minutes later. The ball broke to the midfielder on the edge of the box who let fly a wrasping effort into the top left corner. Pandemonium breaking out amongst the capacity Lilywhites support.

Riis tried his luck from a tight angle after 78 minutes but North End were not done there.

A fine flowing move saw Maguire release Cunningham down the left, his low cross was deflected by a desperate defender and van den Berg was in position to turn the ball into the net to restore the Lilywhites' two goal lead.

Morecambe nearly scored another stoppage time goal, finding the back of the net a minute past the 90 but the assistant referee had his flag up and it remained 4-2.

PNE Starting XI: Rudd, van den Berg, Storey, Hughes, Rafferty (Bauer, 75'), Ledson, Potts, Johnson (Bayliss, 83'), Cunningham, Riis, Sinclair (Maguire, 59').

PNE subs not used: Iversen, Earl, Leigh, Thomas.

Morecambe starting XI: Andresson, Cooney, Lavelle, O’Connor, Leigh, McCalmont, Diagouraga, McLoughlin (McPake, 80'), Duffus (Phillips, 80'), Stockton, Gnahoua (McDonald, 75').

Morecambe subs: Roche, Jones, Mensah, Wootton.

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