Morecambe host Cheltenham Town on Saturday in Sky Bet League One, as they look to make it three straight league victories for the first time since May 2021.
The Shrimps made the perfect start to 2023 when they beat Burton Albion 5-0 on New Years Day. Both Kieran Phillips and Caleb Watts netted twice against the Brewers and Jensen Weir got his eighth goal of the season to make it six games without loss on home soil.
Cheltenham are searching for their first win of 2023 after they were beaten 2-1 by Bristol Rovers away from home on Sunday.
The Robins currently sit 18th in League One with eight wins, four draws and eleven defeats, accumulating 28 points from 23 games.
Cheltenham returned to the Football League in 2016 after a season away. After spending five seasons in League Two, they were crowned champions of the fourth tier in 2021. A 4-1 win over Harrogate on the final day secured their League One status for the following season.
The Robins did well in their first season in the division, securing a 15th place finish.
Head Coach Wade Elliot is currently in charge at Whaddon Road. Elliot began his playing career with Southern League side Bashley, before making over 200 appearances for Bournemouth and Burnley respectively, as well as spells with Birmingham and Bristol City.
In his managerial career, the 44-year-old has taken charge of Bristol City U21s, Bristol City’s first team on an interim basis and Stoke City U23s before taking the job at Cheltenham in June 2022.
Forward Alfie May has been the Robins main man this season with six goals and two assists. May spent four years at Doncaster where he scored ten goals in 92 appearances. The 29-year-old has already smashed those numbers in two years at Cheltenham with 38 goals in 102 appearances so far, including a 23-goal season in League One in the previous campaign.
Ryan Broom is one of the creative sparks the Robins have in the middle of the park. The Welshman is currently in his second spell at Whaddon Road after making 73 appearances and scoring ten goals between 2018 and 2020 before he was sold to Peterborough. The 26-year-old spent last season on loan at Plymouth and signed a one-year deal to bring him back to Cheltenham in September 2022.
Youngster James Olayinka is looking to make his mark in the EFL at Cheltenham. The 22-year-old spent his youth career at Arsenal and has spent time on loan with Northampton and Southend. Olayinka is yet to get off the mark this season but has looked dangerous in his role as an attacking midfielder for Wade Elliot’s side.
Derek Adams’ Thoughts
Shrimps boss Derek Adams is hoping for another positive result on Saturday and wants his players to continue to close the gap to the teams above them.
“They’re seven points ahead of us in the table,” he said.
“They sit in 18th position and its an opportunity to try and close the gap. They’ve done well so far, we all know it’s a long season and they’ve had a run of really positive results.”
Adams is assessing the fitness of Cole Stockton after he was substituted off at half time in the Burton win.
Max Melbourne is unlikely to feature on Saturday. Jake Taylor, Ash Hunter and Courtney Duffus all remain injured.
Meet The Officials
Matin Woods will have the whistle in hand for Saturday’s game and will be assisted by Paul Newhouse and Lewis Raper. Johnathon Bickerdike is the fourth official.
Woods is enjoying his first season refereeing in the EFL and has taken charge of 17 games so far, eight in League Two, five in League One, three in the Papa Johns Trophy and one in the FA Cup.
Saturday will be the second time this season Woods has refereed Morecambe. He took charge of the Shrimps 4-2 win on penalties in the Papa Johns Trophy against Hartlepool.
Supporters who aren't making the trip to the Mazuma Stadium for the fixture can purchase an audio pass to listen to all of the action live. Click here for more information.
Tickets remain on sale up until kick-off for Saturday's fixture in-store, online or over the phone.