Date: 21st November 2019 at 5:30pm
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Saturday afternoon sees Morecambe travel south to Cheshire under the recently appointed Derek Adams, who has had 2 weeks in charge, as the visitors sit in 23rd position. In their squad could be former Alex Academy Alumni players AJ Leitch-Smith, Ritchie Sutton, Joe Lynch while Shaun Miller will be ineligible as part of his loan move from the Alex.

So far this season, they have beaten Macclesfield Town, Colchester United and Leyton Orient, they have drawn with Mansfield Town, Cheltenham Town, Salford City, Northampton Town and Crawley Town while they have lost to Grimsby Town, Exeter City, Swindon Town, Scunthorpe United, Walsall, Oldham Athletic, Port Vale, Bradford City, Forest Green Rovers and Stevenage.

In the cups, they lost to Burton Albion in the EFL Cup 2nd Round following a penalty victory over Mansfield in Round 1 and lost 4-1 to Blackpool in the FA Cup 1st Round. In the EFL Trophy, they again lost to Blackpool and Wolves Under-21s (the latter on penalties) before beating Carlisle United in the final game of the group.

Over the summer, Morecambe have signed 9 players over the summer, 7 of which are permanent signings with 2 full-season loans while letting 8 leave the club permanently. Arriving at the club are defenders Tom Brewitt, Adam Buxton and George Tanner (loan), midfielders John O’Sullivan and Lynch as well as forwards Michael Howard, Cole Stockton, Lewis Alessandra and Miller.

Looking back in the archives, the two teams have met 12 times with the Alex leading the head-to-head record by 7 wins to 3 with 2 draws. Crewe’s biggest win in the fixture saw the Alex win 6-0 in the opening game of last season while all of Morecambe’s wins have come by a single goal. Last season saw the aforementioned game in South Cheshire with a late Chris Porter penalty saw the game end 2-2 in Lancashire in January.

Who are the officials for the game?

The officials for this game see Martin Coy as the man in the middle where he is assisted by Gareth Mellor and Mark Cunliffe with Steven Rushton being the fourth official. Here is the Crewe game that has been refereed by Coy in the previous 5 years:

  • Tranmere Rovers 1-0 Crewe Alexandra (8th March 2019)

I asked Morecambe supporter Jack Steer, trustee for the Shrimps Trust, for his thoughts going into the game.

How would you describe your transfer activity this summer?

Jim Bentley managed to make some familiar signings by bringing back a number of former players that had been less successful elsewhere. Unfortunately, we had the annual problem of being unable to hold on to the players who ultimately made the difference in keeping us up last year.

Which position is the one that you should improve the most from the squad you currently have?

Many would argue that we have been conceding too many goals, and not scoring enough so our problems are at either end of the field. My view is that the problem is in the middle of the park where we have a lack of depth and perhaps could be stronger. The loss of Andy Fleming through forced retirement has been a noticeable loss.

What do you think the team will be for the game?

I wouldn’t expect too many changes from the last couple of games, though Derek Adams is clearly still making his mark on the team and therefore I wouldn’t rule it out. There are a couple of players who have started on the bench last time out that could easily start.

How would you set-up to nullify your team?

I think we are quite adaptable so there is no one way to nullify the team. I would expect us to be very hard working in the game, particularly with the recent change in manager, so any team would need to match that endeavour to get anything from the game.

Who is the danger man for this game?

Lewis Alessandra is always a threat but has not scored for a number of weeks, while Cole Stockton has picked up a few goals. AJ Leitch-Smith is one of our biggest threats but might not start as he edges his way back from injury.

What do you think is a realistic aim for Morecambe this season?

Given our current league position, the only aim at the moment is to get out of the relegation zone and retain our league status. With the change in manager, fans will be hoping that we can do that sooner rather than later, and potentially then look higher up the table. It would take a significant change in form for us to achieve anything more than a bottom-half finish, but there is still plenty of points to be won.