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Match Previews

Match preview: Morecambe v Plymouth Argyle

22 October 2021

The Shrimps return to action on Saturday 23 October at the Mazuma Stadium when they take on league leaders Plymouth Argyle in Sky Bet League One.

In midweek, Stephen Robinson’s men slipped to a 3-1 defeat on the road against Cheltenham Town. Liam Sercombe opened the scoring for the hosts before the Shrimps struck back through Adam Phillips. A three-minute brace from Kyle Joseph in the second half proved the difference between the two sides as Michael Duff’s men came out victorious. 
Out of 13 League Two meetings between the two sides, Argyle have had the upper hand, winning seven of the encounters. The Shrimps have come out on top three times with the spoils also being shared on three occasions. The last time the two sides met was in December 2019 at Home Park when the Pilgrims won 3-0, however last time Plymouth visited Morecambe in 2016, the Shrimps sealed a 2-1 victory with goals from Michael Rose and Peter Murphy.
The Opposition
Form guide
Saturday’s opponents come into the game one point clear at the top of the division and will look to go 14 games unbeaten in League One. They’ve tasted defeat just once this season which was on the opening day away at Rotherham United. The Pilgrims have won three games on the spin, most recently beating Bolton Wanderers 3-0 in midweek.
As a player, Ryan Lowe plied his trade in the lower leagues, representing the likes of Shrewsbury Town, Crewe Alexandra and Sheffield Wednesday. He had three spells at Bury- one as player coach before hanging up his boots to concentrate on his managerial role. Lowe was unveiled as Plymouth manager in June 2019 and at the first time of asking, guided them to a third-place finish in League Two in what was a season interrupted by COVID.
Ryan Lowe's pre-match thoughts
The Plymouth Argyle manager said he’s looking forward to facing the Shrimps on Saturday. 
“They’ve had a decent enough start, scored loads of goals, they’re conceding goals as well but they’re going to be a threat in different departments and it’s one we’ve got to be ready for,” Lowe said.
“The camp is all good and I don’t see why it shouldn’t be really, where we are in the league and the games we are winning.”
Argyle’s key players 
24-year-old Ryan Hardie arrived at Home Park initially on a loan basis before he put pen to paper to sign permanently in January 2021. The Scotsman came through the youth system at his boyhood club Rangers where he made 13 first team appearances and spent time out on loan at a number of clubs. He made the move to Blackpool and scored his first goal for the club against the Shrimps in an EFL Trophy tie in September 2019. Hardie has been among the goals this season, having found the back of the net ten times so far this campaign.
Versatile wing-back Joe Edwards is in his third season at Home Park and was named Player of the Season last year. The 30-year-old is yet to get his name on the scoresheet this season, but contributed with eight goals last term and has proved a key player for the Pilgrims.
Last season’s top scorer Luke Jephcott is one of Argyle’s own after progressing through their academy following time at Wendron United and Helston Athletic. The 21-year-old has been capped for Wales U19s and U21s respectively. 
Shrimp’s pre-match thoughts 
Manager Stephen Robinson said his side have to be brave when they take on the league leaders at the Mazuma Stadium on Saturday.
“We know what we need to do to change, we’re looking forward to Plymouth, I think it’s a great game to play in, top of the league, prove people wrong and show how good a team we are,” Robinson said.
“Without being cavalier and leaving the pitch open, we need to go and take the game to Plymouth, we have to be brave.
“When we've done that, we took it to Ipswich, we took it to Sheffield Wednesday, we took it to Rotherham, albeit we didn’t win that game, but we have to be brave, I think we’ve got good, good footballers.”
Meet the men in black 
Marc Edwards will take charge of Saturday’s game and assistants Joe Simpson and Anthony Moore will run the line. Richard Woodward will be the fourth official.
The Tyne and Wear man has taken charge of eight games so far this season and has issued 26 yellow cards and one red. He took charge of the thrilling encounter between the Shrimps and Accrington Stanley earlier this season which finished 3-3. Morecambe were reduced to ten men in the 38th minute when Shane McLoughlin was handed a straight red card.
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.

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