The Shrimps are back on the road as they head to the Abbey Stadium to take on Cambridge United on Saturday 9 April.
Derek Adams’ side come into the game off the back of a second home win in as many games. The Shrimps earned three points against Oxford United on Tuesday night and after conceding three minutes into the first half, they pulled it back as Aaron Wildig and Cole Stockton both found the back of the net. Trevor Carson also had an incredible second half performance, which helped secure the home side a 2-1 victory.
Morecambe’s first meeting with Cambridge was an FA Cup clash in December 2000 which saw the Shrimps run out 2-1 winners. They have since won a further five games, drawn three and lost seven against the side.
Cambridge United are currently sat mid-table and have three losses and two wins in their last five games, their last league outing saw a defeat to Wycombe Wanderers at home in a mid-week clash. Sam Vokes scored a brace, and Josh Scowen struck the corner of the goal just two minutes later. Despite an goal from Harvey Knibbs for the home side, Gareth McCleary secured the points in the 89th minute, and Wycombe walked away victorious.
Manager Mark Bonner joined Cambridge United in 2011, and spent seven years working in a number of positions at the clubs Academy, before being named head coach for their first team. He had two spells as interim manager following the departures of Joe Dunne and Colin Calderwood respectively, and was named first team manager on a permanent basis in the middle of the 2019/20 campaign.
Bonner’s first full season was a success, in both team and personal honours. Cambridge finished in second place, winning automatic promotion to League One for the first time since 2002, and the 36-year-old was named League Two Manager of the Month twice. Following promotion, he signed a new three-year contract with the club.
Paul Digby came up through the ranks at Barnsley's Academy, where he began his senior career, before a spell on loan at Ipswich Town which led to a permanent move. He went on to play for a variety of clubs including Mansfield Town, Forest Green Rovers and Stevenage, before arriving at the Abbey Stadium in 2020.
George Williams started out as an Academy Scholar at Milton Keynes Dons before leaving to play for Midland Football League side Loughborough University, where he was studying at the time. In 2013, Williams headed back to professional football, signing for clubs such as Barnsley and Bristol Rovers before re-joining MK Dons. The defender came to Cambridge in June last year on a free transfer, and has made 38 appearances for the side this season.
Born in Middlesbrough, Joe Ironside moved south to train at Sheffield United’s Academy, and signed for their senior team at the age of 19. He spent time on loan at FC Halifax Town, Harrogate Town, Alfreton Town and Hartlepool United, and made a permanent move to Alfreton in 2015. After a few years playing at semi-professional level, Ironside agreed to a one-year deal at Macclesfield Town prior to his arrival at Cambridge United for the start of the 2020/21 campaign.
Ahead of Saturday's clash, Cambridge's assistant head coach Gary Waddock says it'll be a tough game for the U's.
“Morecambe have had a positive upturn on results recently, so they’ll arrive at the Abbey on Saturday in a real good frame of mind and in high spirits," he said.
"Derek [Adams] has gone in there and has got them winning games.
“They’re in a better mental space now, and Derek will demand that of them if they are to get over the line this season.
“Morecambe have played and beat a team on Tuesday who were fighting for promotion, it just shows that anything can happen in this league.
"There’s still so much to play for and they’ve shown a lot of fight and desire to pick up the points to keep themselves out the bottom four.
“We know how hard of a game it is going to be against a team that have picked up two wins on the bounce, so we’ll have to be at out best, which we will be.”
Meet the Officials
Carl Boyeson will be the man in the middle on Saturday, and will be assisted by linesmen Conor Farrell and Gareth Viccars. Darren Blunden will complete the line-up as Fourth Official.
Since the start of the season, the Yorkshire-based referee has taken charge of 22 games, and has handed out 83 yellow cards and four red cards.
Boyeson is one of the EFL’s longest serving officials, now in his 20th campaign. He has taken charge of Morecambe a handful of times, the last being a 1-0 defeat to Bolton Wanderers at the Mazuma Stadium in April 2021.
Can’t make it to the Abbey Stadium to back the boys against Cambridge United on Saturday afternoon? Not a problem!