Preston Ease Past Morecambe

Alex Neil made eleven changes from the side that lost at Swansea at the weekend but in reality the team as a whole did not look weaker. Storey, Ledosn, Barker and Burke were all given first starts for the club.

Barker particularly impressed int he first half. Most of the play came through him and although he was positioned on the left he popped up in central areas and on the right. He looked to have the beating of his man and could cross with both feet.

North End took the lead in the first half when Barker was given the ball and with no pressure decided to shoot from outside the box. His shot was like an arrow into the bottom corner past the outstretched keeper's hand.

Preston soon doubled their lead when Moult was allowed space in the box. The striker did not miss his opportunity and fired home to give Preston a two goal cushion.

All was going smoothly until Preston let Morecambe back in the game just before the break. Mandeville punced upon some confusion in the backline and fired a shot at goal. Maxwell dived but the ball seemed to squirm under his body to allow the visitors some optimism.

The only other disappointment in the first half was an injury to Callum Woods. The full back has rarely featured under Neil due to injury and was replaced well before the break by Fisher due to a hamstring injury.

Morecambe had a spell of around five to ten minutes after the break but never really threatened. Preston then killed the game off when Burke was played in. He cut inside in the box and fired home past the keeper.

North End should have had more. Burke was played clean through after a defensive error but he could not convert past the keeper. Moult was also played in but could only lob the keeper and over.

Neil will be satisfied with the performance and the competition for places in the starting elevn is more intense than ever given the number of positive performances against Morecambe.

Preston play Stoke on Saturday in an evening kick off as the game is screened live on Sky.