Morecambe 3-1 Stoke City

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Stoke’s first ever match against Morecambe ended in defeat last night.

A dreadful start saw Stoke two goals down and a man light within the opening 21 minutes.

It took Morecambe just three minutes to open the scoring in the Checkatrade Trophy tie. A mistake from Liam Edwards allowed Jack Dunn to capitalise and score past Jakob Haugaard.

The error was clearly playing on the captain’s mind and, with the game 15 minutes old, Edwards was sent off for a mistimed challenge.

And, six minutes later, Morecambe doubled their advantage. Cole Stockton broke free of Phil Bardsley to slot past Haugaard.

Stoke had their own chances though. Charlie Adam smacked the crossbar with a free-kick, whilst Mame Diouf failed to slot home when presented with a one-on-one opportunity.

On the stroke of half-time Morecambe made it three. Haugaard failed to deal with a cross- clattering an opponent in the process- and the loose ball fell to Peter Murphy to tap into an empty net.

Stoke’s decision to implement a five-man defence was confusing, and the early departure of Edwards muddied the waters even more. Glyn Hodges seemed to want to revert back to a flat back four, but the wing backs were pushing too far forward- giving Morecambe plenty of opportunities to exploit a depleted defence.

Things did improve in the second half though, and Adam- who pulled the midfield strings all evening- let fly with a swerving effort from distance that deceived the keeper and hit the back of the net.

The goal came just three minutes in the second period but, despite Stoke’s best efforts, there were to be no further goals.

Stoke’s mixture of youth and fringe players find themselves with no points after two games in the Checkatrade Trophy. With one more group game to play- against Bury- it looks as though we won’t be winning it three times…

Stoke City: Haugaard, Renee-Pringle, Edwards, Bardsley, Muniesa, Taylor, Molina, Adam, Shenton (Telford 72), Ngoy, Diouf. Unused: Isted, Jarvis, Sweeney, Waddington.

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