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Report: Morecambe 0 Rovers 0

16 July 2016

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A dominant second-half display didn't get the reward Rovers deserved, as they were held to a goalless draw by hosts Morecambe.

Following a first half where chances were few and far between, the second half was in stark contrast, as Rovers peppered Morecambe's goal, but they were unable to find a way past Barry Roche.

Darragh Lenihan, Ben Marshall and Anthony Stokes all went close on several occasions, but ultimately the worthwhile workout was the biggest positive to take from the performance. 

Rovers named an entirelty new starting XI for the second game of the day, featuring four of Owen Coyle's summer signings.

Stephen Hendrie started at left-back, with Liam Feeney wide right, Jack Byrne in centre midfield and Stokes up front.

David Raya started in goal, with Adam Henley at right-back and Under-21 duo Ryan Nyambe and Scott Wharton in the centre of defence.

Lenihan partnered compatriot Byrne in midfield, with Craig Conway wide left, whilst Marshall provided support for Stokes up front.

Trialist Faissal El Bakhtaoui, who made a lively late cameo in the 1-0 win against Bury earlier in the day, was again on the bench.

Rovers created the game's first chance on four minutes. Stokes showed some neat skill, before setting the ball back to Lenihan, who blazed his shot high over the bar - and the Bay Radio Stand - from just outside the area.

On 10 minutes, Stokes fired the ball into the back of the Morecambe net, but the offside flag was already up.

Byrne was pulling the strings for Rovers in midfield, looking to free Feeney down the right at every opportunity, however it was Morecambe striker Cole Stockton who came closest to opening the scoring on 24 minutes, with two chances in quick succession.

His first effort, a shot on the turn, was brilliantly blocked by Nyambe, and his second one, a header from a right-wing cross, was superbly saved by Raya at point-blank range.

A minute before the break, Byrne played the ball into the feet of Stokes, who turned and tried his luck from 25 yards out, but his shot was always going over the bar. 

After a lacklustre first half, Rovers came flying out of the traps at the start of the second.

Less than a minute after the restart, Lenihan let fly from 30 yards out, his effort looked to be heading for the top corner, but Roche pulled off a superb diving save.

Two minutes later, Marshall tried his luck from outside the area, but he failed to hit the target.

Rovers then had three chances in quick succession, all on 36 minutes. 

Lenihan launched another shot from distance, but it was straight at Roche. Conway then crossed from the left to Marshall, who teed himself up and volleyed on the turn, but again Roche made a comfortable save. Then, Stokes looked to curl one from the corner of the area, but Roche parried his shot to safety.

Marshall threatened again on 49 minutes with a swerving shot from 25 yards out, but it too was straight down the throat of Roche. Straight down the other end, a lofted ball over the top found a Morecambe trialist in on goal, but he shot tamely into the arms of a hesitant Raya.

A minute later, Byrne tried his luck from 25 yards out, but Roche watched the ball sail over his bar, before El Bakhtaoui replaced Conway for the closing stages.

Rovers could, and perhaps should, have snatched it in added time when Feeney's corner from the right was flicked on by Wharton to defensive partner Nyambe, but he headed over unmarked at the back post.

Next up is a trip to Rochdale on Tuesday night, where Rovers will look to step up their pre-season preparations once again.

MORECAMBE: Roche, Wakefield, Winnard, Daly, Trialist, Kenyon, Trialist, Mullin, Wildig, Trialist, Stockton.

Booked: Kenyon.

ROVERS: Raya, Henley, Nyambe, Wharton, Hendrie, Feeney, Byrne, Lenihan, Conway (El Bakhtaoui 52), Marshall, Stokes.

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