Mansfield Town are our visitors on Saturday 13 January, as we return to Sky Bet League Two action at the Mazuma Mobile Stadium.
Morecambe will be hoping to build on their New Year’s Day point as they return to league action against a high-flying Mansfield Town side.
Since the 2-2 draw at the Mazuma Mobile Stadium, the Shrimps made the long trip to South Wales to face Swansea City in the third round of the FA Cup. Despite a strong defensive performance in the first half, second half goals from Charlie Patino and Jerry Yates were enough to see Ged Brannan’s men bow out of the competition. Brannan will no doubt be hoping to build on the positives from this performance as he moves on to Saturday’s Mansfield clash.
The Stags did not feature in the third round of the FA Cup, and instead hosted Crewe Alexandra at the One Call Stadium for their Sky Bet League Two clash. A second minute goal from Joe White gave the visitors a 1-0 victory, only the second defeat for Mansfield so far this season, their first at the One Call Stadium.
The two sides last faced each other in August, when the Shrimps made the trip over to Nottinghamshire for their first league away day of the season. A Lucas Akins brace and a strike from Davis Keillor-Dunn gave the hosts a 3-0 victory on the day.
Mansfield have had a strong start to their Sky Bet League Two campaign, sitting comfortably on 49 points after their first 25 fixtures. 13 wins, 10 draws and two losses have deservedly placed them second position in the Sky Bet League Two standings, with a game in hand over league leaders Stockport County.
Nigel Clough’s side were unbeaten in the league until the final weekend of November, and made it to the fourth round of the Carabao Cup, beating Sheffield Wednesday and Peterborough United along the way.
Clough has been in charge at the One Call Stadium since November 2020, after spending spells managing at Burton Albion, Sheffield United and Derby County. The ex-England international had an extensive playing career before moving into management, with spells at Nottingham Forest, Liverpool, and Manchester City amongst others.
The Stags’ goalscorers from the Shrimps’ visit to the One Call Stadium in August have proven to be crucial assets in Mansfield Town’s season so far.
Davis Keillor-Dunn tops the goalscoring charts for the Stags, bagging 14 goals in 30 games, assisting 4 along the way in all competitions. The 26-year-old joined the Nottinghamshire club in January 2023, and this weekend could mark his 50th appearance for the side.
Lucas Akins, who scored a brace against the Shrimps back in August, has totalled nine goals in his 28 appearances in all competitions this season. The 34-year-old has been at the club since January 2022, and has a wealth of experience in English football. The centre-forward has made over 600 appearances in English football.
Ged Brannan’s Pre-Match Thoughts
Morecambe manager Ged Brannan spoke on the January transfer window so far.
“[The outgoing loanees] have all done really well obviously,” he said. “There are other players coming in, and the ones we have got our eye on are really good players so it will be close.”
“It’s all about how they’ve done. They’ve all been successful; they’ve done really well at Morecambe and that’s the bottom line – they’re going because they’ve done really well.”
He went on to speak on the challenge ahead, in facing a strong Mansfield Town side.
“They’re probably the best team in the league,” he said. “So we will have our work cut out, but we will give it the best we can and go out with a solid team and hopefully put a solid performance in.”
Brannan also emphasised the importance of the role the fans play on a matchday.
“At Swansea, that’s the best I’ve seen this season,” he said. “They were absolutely brilliant, they never stopped singing from start to finish and they were there to clap the team off at the end. It was just great; I hope they’re like that on Saturday.”
The Man in the Middle
Sebastian Stockbridge will take charge at the Mazuma Mobile Stadium on Saturday, the referee officiating his 22nd fixture of the season. He has brandished a total of 115 cards in his previous 21, one red card on top of an additional 114 yellows.
Stockbridge may be a familiar face to Shrimps’ fans, the man in black taking charge on three occasions last season for games involving Morecambe. The most recent of these fixtures was the Shrimps’ trip to Barnsley in April 2023, the hosts coming out on top on that afternoon.
Mark Cunliffe and Ivan Stankovic will run the line at the Mazuma Mobile Stadium, with fourth official Steven Copeland completing the officiating team.
Stu Moore and Donald Love will be joined on the sidelines by JJ McKiernan, the midfielder recovering from an ankle injury he sustained on New Year’s Day.
Full match commentary of Saturday’s clash against Mansfield Town will be available with an iFollow Shrimps audio match pass for just £2.50.
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