The young Shrimps picked up all three points in their final outing of 2023, as they defeated Preston North End at Springfields earlier today.
Lewis Ballantyne was a late inclusion into the starting line-up as right-back Joe Lynchey was deemed unfit following a late test prior to kick-off.
Preston broke the deadlock from the penalty spot but goals either side of the interval from Lennon Dobson and Matthew Williams secured the win for Morecambe’s under-18s.
The Shrimps - who were listed as the hosts, despite playing at Preston’s venue - started the game the strongest with midfielder Nathan Mercer having the first attempt after only two minutes, but his shot flew over.
Preston grew in confidence and created a number of openings with the best chance falling to forward Max Wilson, but he was unable to make the vital connection and turn the ball towards goal following a low cross from the left.
The Lilywhites were awarded a penalty with 26 minutes on the clock and attacker Felipe Rodriguez-Gentile smashed home down the centre of Alfie Scales’ goal to give his side the advantage.
Despite going behind, Morecambe refused to lose confidence and continued working hard as they now went in search of the equaliser.
Mercer and centre-back Leyton Holden both had chances soon after, with the latter’s effort coming agonisingly close after connecting strongly from a corner.
On the stroke of half-time Morecambe won another corner, which was knocked towards the front post and midfielder Lennon Dobson connected, causing the ball to loop over Tommy Davis and into the back of the net to restore parity for the Shrimps.
Half-time: Morecambe 1-1 Preston North End
Three minutes into the second-half, the Lilywhites thought they had regained the lead as they turned the ball beyond Scales, but a Preston man was deemed to have fouled our ‘keeper.
Preston midfielder Theo Mawene looked to carve open the Shrimps on a number of occasions and his free-kick on the hour mark proved tough for Scales, who managed to tip the effort over the bar.
On 71 minutes Morecambe took the lead. Mercer slipped a ball through to Williams on the left before the latter rolled into the far corner beyond Preston’s shot-stopper.
Preston's Mawene picked out Ellis Horan on the edge of the area on 76 minutes, but the defender's effort arrowed wide.
The Lilywhites piled on the pressure as they hunted for the leveller late on but were unable to bypass the robust Shrimps defence.
Four minutes were added at the end of the second-half, but Morecambe stood firm and secured all three points in their final fixture of 2023.
Full-time: Morecambe 2-1 Preston North End
Morecambe: Scales, Ballantyne, Evans (C), Holden, V. Wright, Dobson, Mercer, McKean, Fairclough, Williams, Fox-Akande
Subs not used: O. Wright, Whaite, Marshall
Preston North End: Davis, Blake, Pasiek, Horan, Wilkinson, McGhee, Eccleston, Khan (60’ Goldsmith), Wilson (C) (71’ Carroll), Mawene, Rodriguez-Gentile
Subs not used: Banks, Tarry, Garrigan