Recent league form has not been great for Morecambe, who have not won since October 28 when they beat AFC Wimbledon 4-1.
They have performed strongly in the Emirates FA Cup however, beating both Lincoln City and Wycombe Wanderers on the road to set up a third round tie at Swansea City – demonstrating their strength away from home.
LAST TIME OUT
Morecambe 1 Stockport County 1
Sky Bet League Two, Saturday, December 9, 2023
The line-up: Smith, Senior, Connolly, Bedeau, Tutonda, Songo'o (Taylor 76), King, Bloxham (Slew 58), McKiernan, Mayor, Mellon (Davenport 83). Subs not used: Pedley, Stokes, Melbourne, Smith.
Manager Ged Brannan is just a few weeks into his tenure at the Mazuma Stadium and determined to push the Shrimps into promotion contention this season.
The 51-year-old had a lengthy playing career, starting with more than 200 appearances for Tranmere Rovers and taking in Manchester City and Motherwell.
Prior to joining Morecambe, Brannan was the U23 manager at Accrington Stanley.
THE KEY MEN
The keeper: Adam Smith
The 31-year-old joined Morecambe on a short term deal in February 2022 and has remained since. After a youth career with Middlesbrough and Leicester City, he joined Northampton Town. After two years at Sixfields, he had spells at Bristol Rovers, Forest Green Rovers, Yeovil Town and Stevenage before arriving at Morecambe. Smith is approaching 250 career senior appearances.
Defender: Jacob Bedeau
The 23-year-old centre half arrived initially on loan from Burnley in January 2022 before making the move permanent. Bedeau broke through at Bury and was snapped up by Aston Villa, who paid a reported six-figure fee for the then 17-year-old. He failed to appear at senior level with Villa and switched to Scunthorpe United before linking up with Burnley’s U23 squad.
In midfield: Yann Songo’o
Back for a second spell with Morecambe, the 32-year-old has enjoyed quite the journey in the game. France-born Songo’o represented Cameroon at U20 level and spent the early part of his career in the Spanish lower leagues before going to the United States where he appeared for Orlando City. A spell with Blackburn Rovers followed before stints with Plymouth, Scunthorpe and Bradford City.
Up top: Michael Mellon
The son of current Oldham Athletic manager Micky, Mellon is on loan from Burnley and making quite the impact for Morecambe. The 20-year-old has scored 13 goals in 22 appearances so far this season and featured for Scotland U21 against Hungary and Malta in October, forcing him to reappraise his personal targets in what will go down as a breakout campaign.
The current Morecambe club was formed in 1920, and achieved Football League status in 2007, after winning the Conference play-offs
They had met Rovers 12 times during our exile from the Football League between 1998 and 2003. The first meeting came at Morecambe’s Christie Park on September 22, 1998. Rovers won 2-1 with goals from Glenn Kirkwood and Mark Hume. The teams met at Belle Vue in January 1999 and Rovers again won 2-1 with Dave Penney scoring both goals.
Rovers also beat Morecambe 2-1 away and 1-0 at home in the Conference League cup semi-final, but thereafter the Lancastrians had the edge, limiting Rovers to one win from the next eight meetings.
The clubs first met in the Football League on September 10, 2016 with Rovers winning 5-1 at the Globe Arena in what was James Coppinger’s 500th game for the club. Overall, from 16 meetings, Rovers have won seven times to Morecambe’s six.
TURNED OUT FOR BOTH
Defender Mitchell Lund played for both clubs. He signed professional forms with Rovers in May 2014. In five seasons with Rovers he made 47 senior appearances, scoring twice. He spent the 2017-18 season on loan at Morecambe, making 15 appearances. He is now playing for Bradford Park Avenue.
Contributors: John Coyle and Gavin Hepworth