The Shrimps look to record back-to-back victories in Sky Bet League One when they travel to Accrington Stanley on Saturday 29 January.
Morecambe come into the game after beating high-flyers Wycombe Wanderers 3-2 at the Mazuma Stadium last weekend. Stephen Robinson’s men came from behind twice as goals from Anthony O’Connor, Jonah Ayunga and Cole Stockton were enough to secure an important three points.
Since 2007, the two sides have met 24 times and Stanley have largely had the better of the Shrimps with 14 victories. Morecambe have recorded three wins with seven games ending in a draw.
In the reverse fixture at the Mazuma Stadium, the points were shared after a 3-3 draw. Despite having a man less for the best part of an hour following Shane McLoughlin’s sending off, the Shrimps managed to get a point out of the game thanks to a goal from Adam Phillips and a Cole Stockton brace.
Stanley currently sit 13th in Sky Bet League One, ten points off the Play-Off places. John Coleman’s men have failed to pick up a win in their last four games and were beaten 2-1 away at Ipswich Town in their last outing. Like the Shrimps, they didn’t have a midweek game, therefore they’ve had the full week to prepare for Saturday’s game.
As a player, Coleman spent the majority of his career in non-league and had six years with Morecambe between 1990 and 1996. Coleman has spoken fondly of his time with the Shrimps and has said his best playing days were spent at the club.
He took his first steps in management in 1997 when he was appointed Player-Manager of Ashton United. The 59-year-old then joined Stanley and won three promotions during his 12-and-a-half year tenure which saw the club promoted to the Football League in 2006. He then spent time at Rochdale, Southport and Sligo Rovers before returning to the Crown Ground in September 2014. Accrington won promotion as League Two Champions in the 2017/18 season.
25-year-old Colby Bishop came through the youth setup at Notts County and has mostly plied his trade in non-league before making the move to the Crown Ground in 2019 from Leamington. During his time with the National League North club, the forward scored 28 goals in 49 appearances between 2017-19. This season, Bishop has scored eight goals for Stanley.
Summer signing Ethan Hamilton arrived at the club from Peterborough United. The midfielder spent time in the North West when he was on-loan at Rochdale and Bolton Wanderers from Manchester United. The 23-year-old also had a loan spell at Southend United and has represented Scotland at U15, U16 and U19 level. This season, Hamilton has contributed with six goals for Stanley.
Sean McConville is in his second spell at Accrington Stanley after joining the club for the first time in 2009. The midfielder made over 75 appearances before joining Stockport County, Barrow, Stalybridge Celtic and then Chester. McConville returned to Accrington in 2015 and has since made over 230 appearances scoring 43 goals. The 32-year-old has scored once this season and has contributed with seven assists.
John Coleman’s thoughts
The former Shrimps man said he wants Morecambe to do well, just not against his team.
“Having played in the fixture for Morecambe against Accrington, I know it’s a special game and I know they will be buoyed by a good win last week, it will be a bumper crowd and a good atmosphere,” he said.
“I did the Play-Off Semi-Finals for Radio Lancashire and there was no one happier than me that Morecambe got promoted.
“Everyone knows my affinity to them and I had my best footballing years there. I met a lot of really good people who I am still good friends with. I want Morecambe to do well, just not against us.”
Shrimps’ pre-match thoughts
Manager Stephen Robinson said his side need to carry on with the confidence and belief his side have played with in recent games.
“This is a big game for us I’ve been really impressed with Accrington, I know they haven’t had results in recent weeks but watching their last three or four games, they’ve been very unlucky," he said.
"John always has them fired up and they’re a big, strong side so it’s certainly going to be a challenge for us.
“It’s going to be full on, there will be a decent crowd there as well, the atmosphere will be good and we’re expecting a real tough game, there's not a lot of difference between teams at this level, every game is competitive.
“We need to carry on with the confidence and belief we have played with and take the game to them and put our stamp, our style of play on the game.”
Meet the men in the middle
London-based Sam Purkiss will take charge of Saturday’s game. Chris Isherwood and Joe Simpson will run the line whilst Scott Oldham will be the Fourth Official.
This season, he has overseen 20 games and has awarded 73 yellow cards and four red cards.
Purkiss last took charge of the Shrimps when they were beaten 2-1 away at Newport County last season. He awarded the Exiles a late penalty and Stephen Hendrie saw red for a second bookable offence.
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