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Match Preview: Morecambe v Oxford United

5 April 2022

The Shrimps take on Oxford United in a mid-week clash at the Mazuma Stadium on Tuesday 5 April, as we celebrate our Her Game Too day.

It was long awaited win for Morecambe Saturday's home fixture against Burton Albion at the Mazuma Stadium. Arthur Gnahoua opened the scoring in the 41st minute when his shot deflected off Sam Hughes and went over the top of the Brewers goalkeeper, finding the back of the net. The Shrimps pulled ahead less than 10 minutes later when Adam Phillips took his chance, firing low from the edge of the box past the reach of keeper Ben Garratt, and a third goal from Cole Stockton in the first minute of the second half was enough to secure a 3-0 victory for the home side.

The Shrimps’ history with Oxford United goes back to 1999, and since then, the teams have met 14 times. In the reverse fixture at the Kassam Stadium in October, Steven Seddon’s first half goal was equalised by Cole Stockton in the 64th minute, but additional goals from Mark Sykes and Matt Taylor respectively saw the hosts run out 3-1 winners.

The Opposition

Oxford head into the game on mixed form, having two wins, two losses, and one draw in their last five games. Last weekend saw a defeat for the Yellows, who were playing away to Plymouth Argyle. A deep cross was caught by Niall Ennis and chested down to skipper Joe Edwards who volleyed the ball into the top corner to make it 1-0 for the Pilgrims. 

As a player, Karl Robinson began his youth career at Everton before joining the Blackpool Academy. He went on to play for Welsh Premier league club Caernarfon Town, and various English semi-professional clubs including Bamber Bridge, Oswestry Town, Prescot Cables and Warrington Town.

Robinson started coaching at the Liverpool Youth Academy and went on to coach at Blackburn Rovers before being appointed manager of League One club Milton Keynes Dons at the age of 29. In his first two seasons, Robinson guided the side to 5th place in League One, and in the 2014/15 campaign, led them to a 4-0 EFL Cup victory over Manchester United, as well as automatic promotion to the Championship after finishing in second place. The former striker spent time as manager at Charlton Athletic before arriving at the Kassam Stadium in 2018. History repeated itself as Robinson reached the Play-Offs with Oxford two seasons in a row, but the U’s fell short, keeping their status as a League One club.

Key Players 

Matty Taylor is top scorer for the U’s so far this season with 19 goals to his name. He began his senior career with home town Club Oxford United, having been signed to their youth Academy. Between 2009 and 2014, the striker played at semi-professional clubs until he signed for League Two side Bristol Rovers. After 10 years away, Taylor returned to the U's following a stint on loan at the Club from Bristol City.

Born in Australia, Ryan Williams started his youth career at Perth RedStar FC with brothers Rhys and Aryn, before moving to England, where he joined the Academy at Portsmouth and went on to sign for their senior team. Williams made the move to Championship side Fulham, and spent time out on loan at Gillingham, Oxford United and Barnsley, before making the move to South Yorkshire a permanent one. The midfielder has since made appearances for Rotherham United and Portsmouth, and re-signed for former club Oxford United on a two-year deal in June 2021.

Defender Luke McNally arrived at the Kassam Stadium in the January 2021 transfer window, and signed a 3-year contract. The 22-year-old was born in Ireland and spent his youth career playing for local club Enfield Celtic as well as Drogheda United and St Patricks Athletic before joining the senior team of Athletic when he was 18. McNally was also called up for the Republic of Ireland’s national team at U19 level.

Pre-Match Thoughts

Following on from Morecambe's victory over Burton Albion at the weekend, manager Derek Adams is hopeful his side can benefit from the home advantage once more in what will be a tough test for the Shrimps. 

“We have got home advantage, the home supporters were here on Saturday in really good numbers once again, and it will be the same again on Tuesday," he said.

“Three points gets us out of the drop zone and that is what we are targeting, we are trying to use that to our advantage, we respect and understand what Oxford United are about. 

“Karl Robinson has always got good technically gifted players and we will see that tomorrow night, we have to overcome them.”

Meet the Officials

Rebecca Welch will be the woman in the middle on Tuesday night, and will be assisted by linesmen Johnathon Bickerdike and Matthew Parry. Andy Haines will complete the line-up as Fourth Official.

Since the start of the season, the Sunderland-born referee has taken charge of 16 games, and has handed out 49 yellow cards and just one red card.

Welch became a referee 12 years ago and continued her day job as an administrator in the NHS until 2019. She was the first woman to be appointed to referee an English Football League and FA cup clash, when she officiated a League Two game between Harrogate Town and Port Vale in April 2021, and Birmingham City and Plymouth Argyle in January 2022 respectively.


Can’t make it to the Mazuma Stadium to back the boys against Oxford United on Tuesday night?

Not a problem! You can stream the action live to your living room with an iFollow Shrimps pass for £10.

You can purchase a pass by clicking here.

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