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There is an old cliché of a game of two halves, well Saturdays pre-season friendly against Morecambe ended up as a game of two teams. Even the Morecambe announcer humorously stated at the start of the second half that he wouldn’t announce the Rovers changes as the whole team had been changed. So it was left to the more Rovers players educated spectator to advise adjacent supporters who were playing for Rovers.

Rovers took the lead in the 25th minute through a Paul Dickov penalty after Morecambe’s keeper Ryan Robinson had brought down Craig Bellamy in the area. Although the referee did consult his assistant before awarding the spot kick.

First Half Team.


Taylor Todd Nelsen Matteo

Johnson Flitcroft Tugay Gallagher

Bellamy Dickov

Half time 0-1 to Rovers

Morecambe equalised in the 54th minute through Micheal Twiss who fires home a Wayne Curtis cross. Rovers eventually regained the lead in the 71st minute after a fine solo effort by Shefki Kuqi on his debut in a Rovers Shirt. However Morecambe’s Jimmy Kelly equalised in the 84th minute slotting the ball past a static Peter Enckelman in the rovers goal.

Full time Morecambe 2 Rovers 2

Second Half Team.


Harkins Mokoena McEveley Gray

Derbyshire Reid Douglas Peter

Kuqi Jansen

As this was the first pre-season game it would be unfair to pass any judgement on player performances as they attempt to gain fitness ready for the season. The game was a friendly and played in a manner that no one over commited themselves, but there were encouraging signs to take away from the ground. The defence in the first half were seldom troubled, Nelsen and Todd once again solid in the middle whilst 19 year old left back Andy Taylor playing out of position at right back, gave a solid performance. Causing Morecambe one or two problems with his runs down the line. Up front Bellamy was a live wire, with some intelligent runs into the box, which eventually resulted in the penalty.

With the change of players in the second half Morecambe came back into the game and to be honest the Rovers defence was suspect, especially when Morcambe attacked down the left. A matter that Hughes strengthened by moving Reid to right back with Harkins moving into midfield.

Shefki Kuqi making his debut in a Rovers shirt powered himself around the park and was rewarded by a fine solo goal, whilst Jansen looked sharp and Segio Peter caused Morecambe problems with his runs down the left.

However this was just the start of pre-season, a run out in the sunshine in an attempt to gain match fitness and the opportunity for the fans to see the players and the new signings in the new home shirts.

I would take this opportunity to thank Morecambe for their hospitality and suggest that anyone wanting to watch a good conference league game when Rovers aren’t playing, then a visit to Christie Park wouldn’t go amiss.

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