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Youth Team

Youth Team Report | Dale 1-2 Morecambe

5 September 2023

Youth Team

Youth Team Report | Dale 1-2 Morecambe

5 September 2023

The Youth Team suffered an early exit from the Lancashire FA Professional Youth Cup as Morecambe defeated Dale 2-1 on Saturday.

A late wonder strike from John Dunlop proved to be the last kick of the game and wasn’t enough to see Dale progress from the first round stage of the Lancashire FA Professional Youth Cup.

Dale found themselves wanting from the get-go as Morecambe drew a foul in the penalty area 90 seconds into the game. An attack down the left saw the ball cut back to the edge of the area, and a dangled leg sent the Morecambe player tumbling, leaving the referee with no hesitation but to award the penalty.

It was Dale’s third spot kick give-away in two games and up stepped their forward to send Nicholson the wrong way and ensure a dream start for the Shrimps.

Dale’s response to the opening goal was positive though, creating plenty of half chances but they struggled to test the opposing goalkeeper. Edwards and Ehimamieghio both had similar attempts that proved to be too comfortable for their number one.

Dunlop was everywhere for Dale during the 90 minutes and he should’ve grabbed an assist 21 minutes in. From Morecambe’s corner, he drove 60-plus yards before slotting in Clift whose tame effort was saved just in front of goal.

Just before the half-hour mark, Morecambe could’ve doubled their advantage. First, concentration became an issue for Dale as they gave it away in their own area with Nicholson to the rescue this time. Minutes later they hit the post, their striker was inches away after a shot from a tight angle came off the near upright.

A goal had been coming and Morecambe grabbed it 10 minutes before the interval. A free-kick from a central area was lofted towards the area of the penalty spot and a commanding header from their defender looped over Nicholson, who tried to come and meet it, and into the top right corner.

Three goals before half-time looked certain when their striker closed down Nicholson and his attempted clearance came back off the number nine and into his path. Thankfully for Dale, Burgess read the danger and made a goal-saving interception to keep the score at two. 

Into the second-half and Dale came out flying after a half-time team talk delivered on the field at Platt Lane. Horne and Dunlop both had chances that were saved and well-blocked.

And on 52 minutes Clift’s long-range effort was tipped over the bar by the Morecambe ‘keeper.

14 minutes later Dale still couldn’t find that elusive goal to get them back into the contest, Dos Santos’ header this time flew just wide, he was unchallenged in the middle.

Morecambe had a lucky escape as Edwards’ ball in was sliced behind by a defender and onto his own crossbar, a sigh of relief for the visiting side. Two minutes after, they hit the woodwork themselves, a cross from the left flew over Nicholson, onto his bar and out.

Nicholson didn’t have much to do in the second half apart from making a huge save to deny Morecambe, their forward raced through and the shot-stopper closed the angle and was equal to the strike.

It was Dale who had the final say in this one. As the match official signalled for one more minute of play, Dale swung the corner in and as it was cleared, Dunlop unleashed a rocket from 25 yards out which flew in off the crossbar and Dale had their goal.

Unfortunately, this proved to be the final kick of proceedings and the two goals before half-time saw Morecambe progress to the next round of the Lancashire FA Professional Youth Cup.

The Youth Team are back in action in the Youth Alliance Cup next weekend as they take on Accrington Stanley with kick-off at 11am.

DALE XI | Nicholson, Ayub, Dos Santos, Burgess, Horne, Clift, Dunlop, Edwards, Kelly, Ehimamiegho, Bispo Martinez

Subs | Edghill, Mane, Mann, Marsh

Report by Joe Heaton.

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