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26 August 2023 Venue EnviroVent Stadium Attendance

Kick off 15:00 (UK)

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English Football League - League Two

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Match Previews

Morecambe (H) - Match preview

24 August 2023

Late defeat at Accrington Stanley last weekend means Town will be looking to bounce back when they entertain Morecambe at the Envirovent Stadium on Saturday.

And Simon Weaver will be expecting a response from his players to the display that saw them fall to an injury time defeat.

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Our opponents

Morecambe are back in League Two this campaign, after suffering their first relegation as a Football League club at the end of the 2022/23 season.

It was a summer of change following them dropping down, with 13 players departing, including leading scorer Cole Stockton and Liam Gibson, now in Town colours, and 13 arriving to give the squad a youthful air.

And they have started well in League Two, taking seven points from four games including a 3-0 win against Bradford last weekend. On the road they have played just one fixture so far, going down to defeat at Mansfield.

Previous meetings

The two sides faced off in League Two in the 2020/21 season with the Shrimpers posting back to back 1-0 wins. At the Mazuma Stadium Aaron Wildig’s strike on the hour was good enough to earn the points whilst in the return fixture late in the season Carlos Mendes Gomes struck in the first minute to claim victory.

Town did get victory in the Papa Johns Trophy last season though when goals from Finn O’Boyle and a last minute winner from Miles Welch-Hayes secured a 2-1 win in the group stages.

The man in charge

Derek Adams is now in his second spell at Morecambe, after departing following promotion to take over at Bradford City. After less than a season at Valley Parade he returned to Morecambe and steered them away from the League One drop zone before they succumbed to relegation last season.

Adams was previously in charge at Ross County and Plymouth following a playing career primarily in Scotland including spells at Ross County, Motherwell, Aberdeen and Livingston.

Ones to watch

Teenage loanee Michael Mellon, who arrived from Burnley for the season, has netted twice this season as well as tallying an assist.

Another teenager, Tom Bloxham – on loan from Shrewsbury – has started well in midfield alongside veteran Yann Songo’o rejoined the club in the summer from Bradford City whilst 18 year-old Adam Mayor will be a threat from the left-hand side.

The defensive unit, featuring the well-travelled Donald Love and former Carlisle man Joel Senior, has also settled in well, being unchanged through the opening four game.

History

A non-league side for much of their history the club was founded in 1920, entering the Lancashire Combination where they played for almost 50 years before joining the newly-formed Northern Premier League, also going on to win the FA Trophy in 1974.

They progressed through to the Conference in the mid-nineties and after two playoff failures they were promoted to the Football League for the first ever time in 2007.

Despite often finishing in the lower reaches of the table, aside from a playoff place in 2009/10, they earned promotion via the playoffs at the end of the 2020/21 season before last season’s relegation.

Team news

Long-term absentee Stephen Dooley is unavailable for Simon Weaver but they will finally hope to have Rod McDonald available after his recent spell on the sidelines.

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Match Reports

TOWN 2-0 Morecambe - Armstrong and Thomson strike to secure Town the points

26 August 2023

Goals either side of half-time from Luke Armstrong and George Thomson were good enough to secure a 2-0 win for Town against ten-man Morecambe.

Armstrong fired home a penalty on 20 minutes before Thomson struck a sensational free-kick midway through the second-half after Ferrand Rawson had been sent off after receiving a second yellow card. The win saw Town bring a run of three successive defeats to an end.

There were five changes to the side that suffered a late defeat at Accrington a week ago. Dean Cornelius was ruled out having fractured his wrist, with skipper Josh Falkingham coming back into the side along with Levi Sutton, James Daly, Thomson and fit again Rod McDonald. Defender Will Smith returned to the matchday squad for the first time this season.

Unsurprisingly, the visitors named an unchanged side to the one that defeated Bradford City 3-0 in their last outing.

Prior to kick-off there was a wonderfully observed minutes applause for members of the Town community who sadly passed away recently, Fergus Donaldson, Paul Richardson, George Dunnington and Kevin Motley.

The visitors created the first chance of note on ten minutes when the lively Tom Bloxham fed JJ McKiernan but the Shrimps striker slipped at an inopportune moment to end the early attack.

Despite ceding possession in the opening stages Town got the lead when an impressive move featuring George Thomson and Toby Sims saw the recalled winger fire a shot on goal. The effort was blocked but Sam Folarin’s rebound shot was blocked by the arm of Ferrand Rawson. Despite protests that saw Rawson and Jacob Bedeau yellow carded Armstrong stepped up to crash the spot kick beyond Stuart Moore.

Sparked into life Town created went close shortly after but Daly headed straight into the arms of Moore.

With ten minutes remaining before the break McKiernan was forced off after being caught accidentally in a challenge with Sutton. The forward was replaced by Jake Taylor.

Played in by an incisive Sutton pass Matty Foulds then delivered a low testing cross that skidded across the face of goal to safety.

A probing cross from Folarin was then met at the far post by Armstrong who made strong contact but couldn’t direct his header on target. Armstrong then won possession and fired a shot just wide as a half that Town didn’t want to end drew to a close.

The second-half began with an immediate yellow card for Sutton who was late in his challenge on substitute Taylor.

Daly then powerfully met Falkingham’s deep cross but he was under the ball and his effort landed some way over the bar.

Bloxham woke the travelling fans from their slumber on the hour mark with a volley that caused Oxley initial consternation before flying wide of his right-hand post.

Mellon then turned quickly to fire beyond the stranded Oxley who was relieved to see the ball cannon back off the advertising hoardings.

Derek Adams made a pair of changes that saw David Tutonda and Jacob Davenport replace Bedeau and Joel Senior.

Almost immediately though Rawson was shown a second yellow card for a foul on Sutton and once the dust had settled on the protests Thomson coolly stepped up to perfectly execute the resulting free-kick, the effort having the bend and whip to leave Moore with no chance of keeping it out.

Simon Weaver turned to the industry of Jack Muldoon and Warren Burrell with just over ten minutes, Folarin and Sutton the men to make way whilst the visitors made their final changes with Charlie Stokes and Jordan Slew replacing Michael Mellon ad Eli King.

Both Fakingham and Oxley found themselves in the book as the final stages wore on with Town holding on to the lead.

The numerical disadvantage meant the visitors were always chasing the game and Town should have wrapped the game up with a third goal when Thomson’s slide rule pass was inch perfect but Armstrong fired over. Their lead remained intact though and the final whistle brought with it a welcome three points.

 

 

 

 

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