Match report: Preston North End 3 Morecambe 1

Preston North End eased into the second round of the Carabao Cup with victory over Morecambe at Deepdale.

Tuesday, 14th August 2018, 9:45 pm
Updated Wednesday, 15th August 2018, 10:48 am
Louis Moult is congratulated after scoring PNE's second goal

Brandon Barker, Louis Moult and Graham Burke found the net for North End, with Liam Mandeville replying for the Shrimps.

It was an entertaining enough contest between the two Lancashire sides, this their third meeting in the competition in its various sponsors' guises.

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Louis Moult is congratulated after scoring PNE's second goal

For much of the first half, PNE were on cruise control as they bossed the play.

With a side completely changed from Saturday's defeat at Swansea, the home side carried the game to their League Two visitors.

Manchester City loanee Barker fired them into a 13th minute lead, one which was doubled by Moult 20 minutes later.

But Morecambe struck at the end of the first half to haul themselves back into the game, Mandeville - on loan from Doncaster - firing home on the half volley.

Brandon fires PNE into the lead against Morecambe

Any thoughts of a comeback were ended though by North End's third goal in the 58th minute, Burke finishing-off a smart four-man move.

North End had started in a 4-2-3-1 system, Daniel Johnson in the No.10 role behind Moult, with Barker on the left and Burke on the right.

Paul Gallagher was alongside Ryan Ledson in the centre of midfield, with Jordan Storey partnering skipper-for-the-night Paul Huntington at the back.

The home side got the front foot early on and stayed there for pretty much all of the first 45 minutes.

Brandon Barker celebrates his goal

Storey had the first chance of the game, meeting a Gallagher corner at the near post and volleying over the bar.

Gallagher was inches away from finding the net in the ninth minute, his curling right-foot shot from the edge of the box whistling just beyond the far post, Barker's industry down the left-wing having created the opening.

There was a sense of inevitability about PNE taking the lead in the 13th minute, such had been their control of the early play.

Ledson fed a pass to Barker who collect the ball on the half turn, stepped forward a few paces before finding the bottom corner of the net with a left-foot shot from 25 yards which beat the dive of Barry Roche.

Graham Burke after scoring PNE's third goal

It took a fine save from Roche to keep Ledson off the scoreline, the long-serving keeper spreading himself at the near post to block the midfielder's volley - the ball coming to him after Burke's shot had hit a Morecambe foot and spun into his path.

North End doubled their advantage in the 33rd minute, Moult breaking down a Morecambe move in front of the dug outs and moving in field.

He exchanged passes with Burke on the outside of him before taking the return pass in the box and steering a low shot across Roche into the far corner.,

Calum Woods limped off six minutes before the interval after pulling up with an injury, Darnell Fisher joining the action at right-back.

Fisher had only been on the pitch for five minutes when he was booked for a foul on Barry Conlon.

Morecambe's first effort on the first period saw them reduce the deficit 90 seconds into stoppage-time.

Jason Oswell and Huntington contested a high ball just outside the box, it falling into the path of Mandeville who drove a first-time shot past Chris Maxwell.

At the break, Morecambe made a change with AJ Leitch-Smith replacing Euxton-born Alex Keynon.

Five minutes into the second half, Barker cut inside from the left-wing and hit a low shot which lacked direction and went straight to Roche.

The Shrimps looked more confident in the early stages of the second period, moving the ball and working the Preston defence far more than they had been doing.

But North End re-established their two-goal cushion in the 58th minute with a well-worked team goal involving four players.

Barker made inroads down the left channel and worked the ball to DJ who played in Moult in the box.

Moult was forced slightly wide which prevented him shooting, the striker instead squaring it inside to Burke who side-stepped his marker before hammering a shot into the roof of the net from close range.

They should have had a fourth goal soon after, Fisher having won a free-kick to the right of the box.

DJ rolled it square into the path of the unmarked Gallagher in the box but the midfielder lifted his first-time shot over the bar.

Another chance came Preston's way in the 75th minute when the ball came off the top of Josef Yarney's head and left Burke with a clear run at goal.

As the Irishman got into the box he seemed caught in two minds whether to play in Moult to the side of him. He chose to shoot, Roche getting down to push it behind for a corner.

Another stray header in the Shrimps back line, this time from Steven Old, let in Moult but his lob cleared the bar.

Substitute Josh Harrop tried his luck with a shot from the edge of the box which travelled the wrong side of the far post.

PNE: Maxwell, Woods (Fisher 39), Huntington, Storey, Earl, Ledson, Gallagher, Barker (Harrop 62), Burke, Johnson (Nmecha 84), Moult. Subs (not used): Davies, Robinson, O'Reilly, Rudd.

Morecambe: Roche, Sinclair, Old, Yarney, Conlan, Fleming, Kenyon (Leitch-Smith 46), Mandeville (Ellison 65), Wildig, Oates (Mendes-Gomes 65), Oswell. Subs (not used): Oliver, Jagne, Cranston, Halstead.

Referee: Tom Nield (West Yorkshire)

Attendance: 6,077 (622 away)