Skip to main content Skip to site footer
Match Previews

PREVIEW | Exiles head to Lancashire to take on Morecambe

15 September 2017

Match Previews

PREVIEW | Exiles head to Lancashire to take on Morecambe

15 September 2017

A trip to 20th placed Morecambe will be the next test for the Exiles on the road this season. The home side will be looking to improve on their 18th placed finish last season, their eleventh season in the league, which saw them just six points ahead of relegated Hartlepool United, and just four better off than County.

Here, you can find all the facts and statistics ahead of this League 2 fixture.


League form

The home side have failed to win any of their previous six matches, with three draws and three defeats.

They did, however, secure victory on the opening day, when a stoppage time goal from Garry Thompson saw off Cheltenham Town 2-1.

The Shrimps then drew 1-1 with Lincoln City, Aaron Wildig getting his first of the season, before suffering a first defeat of the campaign with a 1-0 reverse at home to Swindon.

Another draw soon followed, a 0-0 shutout against the league’s joint lowest scorers so far Cambridge United. A second consecutive home defeat came thanks to Accrington’s 2-1 win, before another defeat at Notts County 2-0.

On Tuesday, it looked like they were destined to suffer another defeat as Yeovil Town raced into a 2-0 lead at Huish Park. But goals from Adam McGurk and Kevin Ellison ensured they took a point back with them to Lancashire, as they remained in 20th position with the draw.

So far this campaign, the Shrimps have failed to keep a clean-sheet at home in all competitions, although strangely do have one of the better defensive records for the league. They have conceded nine goals from the opening seven fixtures, better than 14 other clubs in the division.



The Shrimps have a near perfect bill of health in terms of injuries ahead of our fixture as only midfielder Alex Kenyon will face a late fitness test for the home side.

However, striker Vadaine Oliver, scorer of one goal already this campaign, will miss the encounter as he serves the third and final game of his suspension after receiving a straight red card against Accrington Stanley two weeks ago.

Shrimps manager Jim Bentley made two changes to the side that started at the weekend for Tuesday’s draw with Yeovil Town.

That saw Kevin Ellison and Elliott Osbourne return to the side in place of Max Muller and Adam Campbell, who both dropped to the bench.


Team vs Yeovil Town:

Morecambe (4-4-2): Roche, McGowan, Old, Winnard, Brough, Rose, Osborne (Kenyon 88’), Thompson, Wildig (Lang 61’), Ellison, McGurk (Campbell 89’).


One to watch – Kevin Ellison

Age: 38

Position: Winger

Goals this season: 2

Selected previous clubs: Altrincham, Hull City, Chester City, Rotherham United

The 38-year-old shows no signs of retirement just yet, as he enters his seventh season with the Lancashire club.

He has reached double figures in four of the previous six campaigns, netting twice already this term, the first a 95th minute consolation in the 2-1 home defeat to Accrington Stanley.

The second came on Tuesday against Yeovil Town, as his goal completed the Shrimps comeback to draw 2-2.

Ellison is closing in on 300 appearances for the Shrimps, scoring over 60 goals in the process.

Before his spell with Morecambe, Ellison played for a remarkable 12 previous clubs.

Of his other teams, his best spells came with Rotherham United and two-spells at Chester City.

He had a successful first season with Chester in 2004/05 before being transferred to Hull City for £100,000. He returned to Chester in 2007. In his two seasons back with the club, he scored 19 goals in 75 appearances before securing a move to Rotherham United.

He got a further 15 goals with the Millers before his move to Morecambe in 2011.


Manager – Jim Bentley

Bentley has spent the majority of his life with the Lancashire club, having played for them before becoming manager on 13th May 2011.

That means he is the second longest serving League 2 manager, behind Exeter’s Paul Tisdale, and the third longest serving of the top four divisions, only behind Tisdale and Arsene Wenger.

During his six years at the club, he has managed 319 competitive fixtures to date, winning 30.7% of those games. He has suffered defeat on 138 occasions, twice against County.

Before turning to management, Bentley played at youth level for Manchester City, before making a professional debut with Telford United in 1997.

He moved to Morecambe in 2002, making just shy of 300 appearances for the club, scoring 29 goals in the process.

He was originally made player-manager with the club when taking over in the dugout, but hasn’t made a competitive appearance for the club since, preferring to focus on the managerial aspects of the role.


Stadium – The Globe Arena

Opened in 2010, The Globe Arena has been home to Morecambe ever since, with the Shrimps previously playing at Christie Park.

The current capacity of the stadium is 6,476, with away supporters being housed in the Bay Radio Stand, where there is potential to accommodate 1,389 Exiles fans.

43 County fans made the first trip to the Globe Arena on 11th March 2014, with 48 making the most recent trip on 14th March 2017.

The Exiles have won on their previous two visits to the Globe Arena.


Previous meetings

This will be just the ninth time that the two sides have met.

However, the previous results don’t make pleasant readings for County supporters, having suffered five defeats, one draw and two wins in past encounters. That includes Morecambe winning the first five matches between the two sides, with County currently three games unbeaten against the Shrimps.

The first encounter came in the 2013/14 season. Goals from debutant Billy Jones and Robbie Willmott were not enough for the Exiles at Rodney Parade, as Morecambe came away with a 3-2 victory. They completed the double later that season with a 4-1 victory, Tom Naylor getting the goal for County on that occasion, before being sent off in the second half.

The Shrimps did the double again in 2014/15. Goals from Adam Chapman and Aaron O’Connor had put County into a 2-0 lead at the Globe Arena, only for the home side to retaliate in the second-half and again secure a 3-2 victory. A goal from Jack Redshaw gave the Shrimps a 1-0 victory at Rodney Parade later that season.

In 2015/16, a Paul Mullin stoppage-time penalty secured another victory for Morecambe at Rodney Parade, a 2-1 success this time round. County finally exacted revenge on the Shrimps later that season, as a double from Scott Boden gave the Exiles their own 2-1 victory.

Last season, after the original game was abandoned at half-time, the two sides drew 1-1 at Rodney Parade, Aaron Williams with the County goal. Then, in Mike Flynn’s second game in charge, the Exiles made it back-to-back wins at the Globe Arena through a Ryan Bird penalty on the hour.



Referee – Darren Drysdale

Assistant referee 1 – Anthony Moore

Assistant referee 2 – Geoffrey Liddle

Fourth Official – Barry Cropp

Drysdale is in his 14th season as a Football League referee, officiating as high as the Championship in 12 of those seasons.

His first Football League game came back on 7th August 2004 when he refereed a 0-0 draw between Rushden & Diamonds and Kidderminster Harriers.

So far this season, Drysdale has overseen seven matches, the last of which came on Tuesday as Northampton beat Portsmouth 3-1. He has given out 17 yellow cards thus far, brandishing a further three red cards already this campaign.


County Connection

Drysdale has officiated County on two previous occasions – with one win and one defeat from the two games.

Interestingly, he was the man in charge for County’s return to the Football League, as the Exiles eased past Accrington Stanley 4-1 at Rodney Parade on 3rd August 2013. Chris Zebroski was the only man booked from either side on the opening day.

The second game came in the 2014/15 season, as the Exiles suffered a 3-0 defeat at Luton Town. County received no bookings that day, as the home side received three.


Other League 2 fixtures that day (All kick-offs 3pm unless stated)

Lincoln City vs Mansfield Town (1pm kick-off)

Cambridge United vs Coventry City

Carlisle United vs Barnet

Cheltenham Town vs Colchester United

Chesterfield vs Accrington Stanley

Crawley Town vs Notts County

Exeter City vs Crewe Alexandra

Grimsby Town vs Yeovil Town

Port Vale vs Forest Green Rovers

Swindon Town vs Stevenage

Wycombe Wanderers vs Luton Town


Can’t make the match?

You can follow along on social media using @NCAFCLive on Twitter, or via the club’s official Facebook and Instagram pages.

Don’t forget – if you reside outside of the UK, you can watch the game live by subscribing to County’s iFollow service. Commentary by Tim Thraves can also be found at the Match Centre.

Advertisement block

iFollow Next Match Tickets Account