The Shrimps return to action under the lights at the Mazuma Stadium as they take on Cambridge United in Sky Bet League One.
Morecambe fell to a 3-1 defeat last weekend away at 6th placed Oxford United, Cole Stockton cancelled out Steve Seddon’s 29th minute opener in impressive fashion, however goals from Mark Sykes and Matty Taylor meant the Shrimps returned to Lancashire empty handed.
The two sides have met 15 times with both teams having won six games apiece. Morecambe are without a win in their last four games against the U’s. Last season in League Two, Cambridge did the double over the Shrimps. Early on in the season, Morecambe were subject to a 5-0 home defeat before losing 2-1 in the reverse fixture which was played in April.
Cambridge United were promoted into the third tier along with the Shrimps last season after earning automatic promotion with a second place finish.
Mark Bonner’s men sit just inside the bottom half of the table in 15th, with the joint highest number of draws in the league. They’ll be heading into Tuesday night’s clash with confidence after securing three points on Saturday against AFC Wimbledon.
Bonner joined United in 2011 and held a number of positions in the club’s academy before being named as first team coach in 2018. The 35-year-old has taken temporary charge on a number of occasions before being named permanent boss in March 2020. Despite having no playing background himself, Bonner has already tasted success in management after guiding the U’s to promotion last season.
Mark Bonner’s pre-match thoughts
The United boss said in his pre-match interview that he’s expecting a tough game on Tuesday evening.
“They are a strong side, they came up with us, but they have had a lot of changes over the summer, a change of manager as well as lots of new players arriving, so some slightly different challenges we will have to prepare for from last season,” he said.
“Morecambe will be slightly disappointed with their current run of form but similarly to Doncaster and Shrewsbury, their home form is excellent, and they have picked up some brilliant results.
"We know how tough of a game it is going to be tomorrow and we have to give ourselves the best chance of going and getting something from the game to keep adding to the total that we are on.”
United’s key players
Current top scorer Joe Ironside is one to watch. The striker, who is on six goals so far this campaign, came through the academy at Sheffield United before representing a number of clubs in non-league. The 28-year-old joined Macclesfield Town (who were in League Two at the time) on a one year deal in 2019 and made the move to the Abbey Stadium the following season.
Experienced Wes Hoolahan is well-known for his time at Norwich where he made nearly 350 appearances. The 39-year-old was capped for the Republic of Ireland 43 times and scored three goals for his country.
Defender George Williams came through the MK Dons youth setup before leaving the club to represent Loughborough University where he was studying. After a stint at Worcester City, the 28-year old went on to represent Barnsley and then Barrow on-loan before returning to MK Dons where he made nearly 150 appearances. Following five months at Bristol Rovers, the defender joined Cambridge United in June 2021.
Shrimps’ pre-match thoughts
First-team coach Diarmuid O’Carroll said he is looking forward to being back on home soil.
“It’ll be great to be back, we’ve had over 4,000 at pretty much every game, I think every game, so it’s good,” O’Carroll said.
“There’s a nice buzz about the place, people are enjoying the product that we’re giving them, yes we want to get more wins than we lose, but if we can go into Tuesday confident, which all the boys are, they’re a close-knit group.
“We know we’re going to be up and down, we know we’re going to be in games, we haven’t been blown away by anybody, we’re competitive in every game we’re in.”
Meet the men in black
Wakefield-born referee Robert Madley will take charge of Tuesday night’s game with his assistants Johnathon Bickerdike and Alan Clayton running the line, Ollie Yates will be the fourth official.
The 36-year-old has refereed 13 games this season, in League One, League Two, the EFL Trophy and Carabao Cup.
Madley was the man in the middle when the Shrimps secured promotion to League One by beating Newport County in the League Two Play-Off Final at Wembley.
Don’t miss a kick with our iFollow coverage
Fans can watch Tuesday night's game against Cambridge United live on iFollow Shrimps, with Media Assistant Matt Smith joining host Dave Salmon on commentary.
Supporters can purchase a video match pass for the game for £10.00 via the Club's website.
Audio passes are also available from as little as £2.50 per match, £4.49 for a monthly pass or £45 for a season pass.
As well as full match commentary, the ‘Shrimps Verdict’ podcast will be available post-match, featuring online, on demand content, including audio match highlights, post-match interviews and reaction, and the chance for supporters to have their say.