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Kick off 15:00 (UK)

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

Match Preview | Harrogate Town (A)

25 August 2023

We travel to the EnviroVent Stadium on Saturday 26 August with Harrogate Town our opponents in our second Sky Bet League Two away fixture of the campaign.

The Shrimps head into the game on the back of an emphatic 3-0 home win over Bradford City. Michael Mellon scored twice either side of JJ McKiernan’s first for the Club, all without reply on a memorable afternoon at the Mazuma Mobile Stadium.

In their last outing, the Sulphurites travelled to East Lancashire to face Accrington Stanley, where Simon Weaver’s men fell to a late 2-1 defeat at the Wham Stadium as Jack Nolan netted the winner in the eighth minute of second half added time.

The Opposition

Town finished 19th in the League Two table last season, registering 12 wins, 16 draws and 18 defeats. 

The two teams did face off in the EFL Trophy back in October last year; Adam Mayor fired the Shrimps ahead inside two minutes before goals from Finn O’Boyle and Miles Welch-Hayes secured victory for the North Yorkshire outfit. 

There’s a couple of familiar faces in the opposition squad. Former captain Anthony O’Connor left Morecambe in January this year to join Harrogate, and has since played more than 20 times, scoring twice.

After spending three seasons at the Mazuma Mobile Stadium, defender Liam Gibson linked up with Saturday’s opponents in the summer and has featured in each of Town’s games so far this campaign.


Having spent more than 14 years in charge at the club, Weaver is the longest serving manager in the English football league, with five years separating him and the second longest serving gaffer in John Coleman. 

Since becoming full-time manager in Jun 2011, the 45-year-old has taken charge of 255 games, winning 98, drawing 57 and losing 100, averaging at 1.38 points-per-match.

Key Players

27-year-old striker Luke Armstrong came out on top of the scoring table for Harrogate last season with 16 league goals. After arriving in North Yorkshire in July 2021, the Durham-born man has found a home with the Sulphurites having previously been on the move every year since 2014.

Dean Cornelius signed for Harrogate Town in the summer from Scottish Premiership side Motherwell. At just 22, the midfielder made 52 appearances for the Steelmen and was offered a new deal before opting to make the journey south of the border. Upon his arrival at the EnviroVent stadium, Weaver described him as a ‘player with so much potential’.


Attacking-midfielder Matty Daly spent the 2022/23 campaign on loan with Harrogate from Huddersfield Town, before signing permanently in July. The Stockport-born man played 39 times in all competitions, scoring eight and providing two assists. Internationally, Daly has represented England at U17 and U18 level, with a combined nine appearances across the board and one goal.

Simon Weaver’s Pre-Match Thoughts

Town manager Simon Weaver was full of praise for the Shrimps after last weekend’s 3-0 win over the Bantams.

Speaking to Harrogate Town TV, he said: “I thought they were outstanding against Bradford; they thoroughly deserved their 3-0 victory.

“They are very much what we’ve tried to put on our players, and press upon them, is that energy and making sure it’s hard to play against.

“Full credit to Derek and his team, they did a great job last week.”

Meet The Officials

Ross Joyce will be the man in the middle on Saturday, with Lisa Rashid and Paul Stonier running the lines and Mark Cunliffe completing the line-up as fourth official. 

Having made his League Two debut aged 29 in 2015, then the youngest referee in the EFL, Joyce predominantly takes charge of games between the third and fourth tiers of English football.


He last took charge of the Shrimps in early April 2022, a convincing 3-0 win over Burton Albion at the Mazuma Mobile Stadium.

Joyce has refereed three games so far this campaign, all in League One, and has distributed a total of 16 yellow cards and no reds to-date.

Listen Live!

Full match commentary of Saturday’s game against Harrogate Town will be available with an iFollow Shrimps audio match pass for just £2.50!

Click here for more information.

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Match Reports

Report | Harrogate Town 2 Morecambe 0

26 August 2023

Two goals either side of half-time for the hosts without reply proved the difference at the EnviroVent Stadium.

A first half penalty scored by Luke Armstrong as well as a George Thomson free kick proved the difference in North Yorkshire, with Derek Adams’ side reduced to 10 men following Farrend Rawson’s second half dismissal.

Inside the first two minutes, the Shrimps looked quick in getting the ball forward and Tom Bloxham sent an early cross toward the back post, but failed to pick out a red shirt and it rolled out for a goal kick.

The Shrewsbury Town loanee once more got the better of his man down the right-hand side nine minutes later, this time the cross was behind an onrushing JJ McKiernan and Town managed to clear their lines.

It was Harrogate’s first real chance of the game which led to their opener – the referee deemed a block by Rawson to have hit his arm, leading to a penalty, which Armstrong converted.

Looking for a response, Eli King sent an excellent ball over the top into the path of Michael Mellon, he latched onto it perfectly, but his resulting shot was blocked.

Three minutes before the half hour mark, Levi Sutton produced an ambitious effort from well out with Stuart Moore well off his line, though the Town man couldn’t find the target.

With two minutes of normal first half time to play, Armstrong produced two big chances to extend Town’s lead – his first, a header, sailed narrowly wide before he dragged a shot beyond the far post.

Similarly at the other end, Jacob Bedeau was presented with two chances, firstly the ball landed at his feet following a Rawson flick on, but he couldn’t find the angle – seconds later, a rocket from distance flew wide.

Half-time: Harrogate Town 1 Morecambe 0

Five minutes into the second half, James Daly was picked out at the back post from a cross, but he couldn’t keep the header down.

As the clock ticked over the hour mark, Bloxham struck on the volley, but Mark Oxley at full stretch had it covered as the ball flew wide of his left-hand post.

A game defining moment came just minutes later as, after a coming together just outside the Shrimps’ box, Rawson was sent off after receiving a second yellow card. The resulting free kick was curled home by Thomson to extend the Sulphurites’ lead.

Despite the score line, the Shrimps continued to push for a goal back, and Michael Mellon let strike from a considerable distance; the shot was fierce, but the direction lacking.

With around three minutes of normal time to play, Derek Adams’ men carved out one of their biggest chances of the game – a corner was played short to Adam Mayor, his rocket was on target and forced Oxley into a fine save.

Substitute Jordan Slew nearly pulled one back in the dying moments, but he could only strike across goal on the angle and wide.

Full-time: Harrogate Town 2 Morecambe 0

Harrogate Town: Oxley, Falkingham ©, Thomson, J Daly (Odoh, 88’), Folarin (Muldoon, 77’), Sims, O’Connor, McDonald, Sutton (Burrell, 80’), Foulds, Armstrong.

Subs not used: Thomas, Smith, M Daly, Gibson.

Goals: Armstrong (20’), Thomson (66’).

Bookings: Sutton, Falkingham, Oxley.

Red cards: None.

Morecambe: Moore, Love ©, Bedeau (Davenport, 64’), Rawson, Songo’o, Bloxham, King (Stokes, 77’), Mellon (Slew, 77’), McKiernan (Taylor, 36’), Mayor, Senior (Tutonda, 64’).

Subs not used: A Smith, C Smith.

Goals: None.

Bookings: Rawson, Bedeau, Mayor, Love.

Red cards: Rawson.

Attendance: 2,224.

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