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Kick off 15:00 (UK)

16 September 2023 Venue Priestfield Stadium Attendance

Kick off 15:00 (UK)

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English Football League - League Two

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Match Previews

Match Preview | Gillingham (A)

15 September 2023

We travel to the Priestfield Stadium on Saturday 16 September with Gillingham our opponents.

While the Shrimps were well rested during the international break given five call-ups within the squad, Saturday’s hosts secured a late win over Harrogate Town; Shaun Williams scored in the 95th minute to send Neil Harris’ men to the top of Sky Bet League Two.

Since 2008, the two teams have faced off 10 times, with Morecambe winning one, drawing four and Gillingham winning five. Our last encounter against the Gills came in February 2022; a 1-1 draw at the Mazuma Mobile Stadium.

The Opposition

The Kent-based football club have started the season strongly, winning five from seven and losing just two, which is a stark contrast to last season where they finished 17th with 14 wins, 13 draws and 19 defeats.

Following his arrival as manager at Priestfield, Harris has taken charge of 86 games and boasts a points-per-game average of 1.40 (33 wins, 21 draws and 32 losses).

Neil Harris.jpg

The 46-year-old has previously managed Millwall and Cardiff City respectively.

Key Players

Summer arrival Jonny Williams has more than 300 professional appearances under his belt at just 29 years of age. His experience spans across all top four tiers of the English footballing pyramid, including 12 games in the Premier League Crystal Palace. On the international stage, Williams was capped 28 times at youth level before making 33 senior appearances, scoring two goals.

A familiar name to Shrimps fans is goalkeeper Jake Turner, who spent six months on loan at the Mazuma Mobile Stadium from August 2020 until January 2021. The 24-year-old has made six League Two appearances so far this season, conceding five goals and keeping five clean sheets. Turner played three times for England at youth level, alongside the likes of Mason Mount, Reece James and Eddie Nketiah.

Jake Turner.jpg

Forward Ashley Nadesan currently leads the goal-scoring tally at the time of writing with three goals across nine appearances in all competitions. The 29-year-old broke through at Horley Town before signing for Fleetwood Town. He then joined Carlisle United before moving to Crawley Town, where he made 167 appearances, scoring 31 goals.

Neil Harris’ Pre-Match Thoughts

Speaking to Gillingham’s Twitter account, Harris spoke of the positivity in their camp as well as the threat Derek Adams’ side may pose.

He said: “"The lads and the staff were out on their feet after Harrogate; it’s been a positive few days.

"Morecambe have some real ability, energy and quality.

"[It will be] another tough game. They are as good as anybody in the league on their day.

"Morecambe have recruited really well to help them bounce back."

Team News

The Gaffer confirmed there are a few 'slight doubts' within the group who picked up injuries in a behind-closed-doors friendly against Huddersfield Town during the international break.

They will be evaluated in the build up to Saturday's fixture to give them every possibility of reaching full fitness.

Meet The Officials 

Declan Bourne will be the man in the middle on Saturday afternoon, with linesmen Andrew Hickman, Daniel Cook and fourth official Christopher Wade completing the line-up of officials.

Declan Bourne.jpg

His last game in charge of the Shrimps came in 2021 when we beat Shrewsbury Town by two goals to nil in our first ever home Sky Bet League One fixture. 

Listen Live!

If you’re not making the long trip to Kent, pick up an audio match pass for just £2.50 and listen to full-match commentary.

Click here for more information.

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Match Reports

Report | Gillingham 2 Morecambe 1

16 September 2023

Two first half goals either side of a Michael Mellon equaliser was enough for Gillingham to secure all three points.

George Lapslie stuck first before Mellon equalised minutes later in impressive fashion; Connor Mahoney’s 23rd minute strike without response proved the difference.

An early chance for the home side saw the ball worked toward Scott Malone at the back post, he looked to find a yard of space but eventually saw his shot blocked.

The deadlock was broken on nine minutes when, following the first corner of the afternoon, the ball fell to Lapslie who struck on the turn and found the back of the net at close range.

Minutes later and the Shrimps carved out a perfect response – Mellon latched onto a long ball over the top before lobbing Jake Turner in spectacular style.

Stuart Moore was called into action on 19 minutes when Connor Mahoney looked to fire the hosts in front, but a smart save denied the Gills’ man. 

Four minutes later, the hosts were in front again – Mahoney once more with the effort, this time after feigning a shot to unbalance the defender, he managed to find the top corner.

With the first half ticking on, Derek Adams’ men looked for a second and produced a number of promising counter attacks, the most dangerous seeing Eli King pick up possession on the edge of the box before blasting over.

Mellon went close in the dying embers of the first 45 with a stunning volley from the right-hand side of the area on the angle, but the ball crashed against the crossbar before going behind for a goal kick. 

Half-time: Gillingham 2 Morecambe 1

Gillingham looked to extend their lead 11 minutes into the second half as Scott Malone looked to thread a ball through to Conor Masterson, but the latter was offside.

JJ McKiernan was called upon for defensive duties just past the hour mark as the ball was sent deep toward the back post, which was headed away to safety – the resulting corner came to nothing as a foul in the box gifted the Shrimps a free kick.

For the second time in the game, the Shrimps looked to net an equaliser through Mellon with a free kick from around 25 yards out in a central position, but the strike was straight at Turner.

With around 15 minutes left to play, Michael Mellon was dismissed for a second yellow card which came after he looked to get a shot off and accidentally caught an opposition defender.  

Debutant Ethan Walker made his debut after coming on in place of Eli King, and he looked to level proceedings with a fierce strike from distance, but it was held by Turner.

The hosts looked to wrap up proceedings just before the 90 through Tom Nichols, who twisted and turned away from the defenders before pulling the trigger; the strike took a deflection and sailed behind.

Full-time: Gillingham 2 Morecambe 1

Gillingham: Turner, Alexander, Masterson, Williams ©, Lapslie (Clarke, 26’), J Williams (Nichols, 74’), Malone, Coleman, Ogie, Mahoney (McKenzie, 90+4’), Bonne (Nadesan, 74’).

Subs not used: Morris, Ehmer, Hawkins.

Goals: Lapslie (09’), Mahoney (23’).

Bookings: J Williams.

Red cards: None.

Morecambe: Moore, Love ©, Bedeau, Songo’o (C Smith, 84’), Bloxham (Taylor, 59’), King (Walker, 65’), Mellon, McKiernan, Senior (Tutonda, 65’), Slew (Davenport, 59’), Connolly.

Subs not used: A Smith, Stokes.

Goals: Mellon (11’).

Bookings: Mellon, Connolly, Love, Tutonda.

Red cards: Mellon.

Attendance: 5,915 (120 away).

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