The Shrimps are back on the road as they travel to the Jonny Rocks Stadium on Tuesday to take on Cheltenham Town in Sky Bet League One.
Stephen Robinson’s men will look to return to winning ways after suffering a 3-2 defeat at Burton Albion on Friday night. Liam Gibson opened the scoring for the Shrimps in the third minute, however the hosts struck back and were 3-1 up inside 15 minutes. Cole Stockton reduced the deficit in added time with a consolation goal.
The two sides have met 24 times previously with the Shrimps winning seven of those encounters. Morecambe did the double over the eventual champions last season in League Two, winning 2-1 at the Jonny-Rocks Rocks Stadium before claiming a 1-0 win in the reverse fixture.
The Robins ended their three game winless run at the weekend with a 1-0 victory over Accrington Stanley. Michael Duff’s side sit in the bottom half of the table and are just one point better off than the Shrimps. They’ve collected 10 points on home turf this season with three out of their four victories recorded at the Jonny-Rocks Rocks Stadium.
As a player, Duff made over 600 appearances, spending the bulk of his career at Cheltenham Town and Burnley respectively. The defender was also capped 24 times for his country Northern Ireland. The 43-year-old took charge at Cheltenham in 2018 after spending two years managing the Burnley reserves. Last season, he guided the club to promotion, eventually being crowned champions of Sky Bet League Two.
Michael Duff’s pre-match thoughts
The Cheltenham Town boss was complimentary of the Shrimps in his pre-match press conference.
"Morecambe are a really good team, they surprised everyone last year but they've built on that," he said.
"I think only Ipswich have scored more goals than them, we know we're going to be right up against it."
Town’s key players
The Robins have plenty of experience in their ranks with the likes of goalkeeper Scott Flinders, right-back Matty Blair and left-back Chris Hussey.
Striker Alfie May plied his trade in non-league before making the move to Doncaster Rovers in 2017. He joined the Robins in January 2020 for an undisclosed fee. The 28-year-old is Town’s leading goalscorer this season with four goals so far.
Versatile youngster Ellis Chapman joined the Robins in October 2020 from Lincoln City where he came through the youth setup. Danny Cowley handed the midfielder his debut off the bench at the age of 16 in an EFL Trophy group stage match against Everton U23s. The 20-year-old has started 10 games this season.
Shrimps’ pre-match thoughts
Morecambe manager Stephen Robinson has said he needs to find a “slight tweak” in what his side do as they look to claim maximum points on the road.
“I talk about blocks all the time and this one hasn’t gone as well as we would have wanted so far, but we needed to win two games at the start of it and we still need two games, nothing has changed,” Robinson said.
“It is up to me to find a slight tweak in what we do without coming away from what has been very good, the way we play and our principals but possibly change certain personnel and shape to give us a bit more of a defensive nous in there.
Meet the men in black
Merseyside-born Benjamin Speedie will be the man in the middle on Tuesday night. His assistants Kevin Howick and Alex James will run the line, while Adam Ricketts is the fourth official.
Speedie has taken charge of 12 games so far this season- four League One games, four in League Two and two in the Carabao Cup and Papa John’s Trophy. He has handed out 34 yellow cards and one red.
The last time he took charge of the Shrimps was in the FA Cup second round last season when they beat National League side Solihull Moors 4-2 after extra time.
Don’t miss a kick with our iFollow coverage
After teaming up with Beyond Radio for the 2021/22 season, supporters will be able to listen to exclusive, full and uninterrupted radio commentary of every single game, home and away, which will be broadcast simultaneously across North Lancashire on 103.5 and 107.5FM, as well as on the iFollow Shrimps platform.
Joining host Dave Salmon is the club’s media assistant Matt Smith, audio passes are 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.