The Shrimps make their second visit of the season to Carlisle on Saturday having already been with us last month for a Checkatrade Trophy group fixture.
The Blues won that one - the first time we had ever had success over our stubborn visitors on our own soil, at the seventh time of asking.
Morecambe have made a much better fist things of late, having picked up just one league victory in August, which kept them too close to the foot of the table for comfort.
They lost all four games in league and cup at the start of September, but back-to-back victories over Macclesfield and Grimsby brought a much-needed sense of relief.
A battling away draw at Cheltenham kept the momentum going at the start of this month, but they were on the wrong side of a 3-4 reverse last weekend in what was an entertaining and fiery encounter at the Globe Arena, with Tranmere the visitors.
That game started well for the Shrimps, with an early goal from Rhys Oates, but the away side bit back to take a 2-1 lead into the break. Rovers extended their lead not long after the restart, but a storming come back saw Vadaine Oliver and AJ Leitch-Smith hit the back of the net to level the scores. However, Morecambe hearts were broken when Harvey Gilmour struck with just 60 seconds left to play to leave the hosts with nothing to show for their efforts.
There was more disappointment on Tuesday night as Morecambe bowed out of the Checkatrade Trophy following a home defeat at the hands of Stoke City under-21s. They still have Sunderland to play but, with no points on the board, are unable to qualify for the final 32.
Liam Mandeville, Rhys Oates and A-Jay Leitch-Smith have ten goals between them as the Shrimps look to continue their push up the table, and seasoned campaigner Kevin Ellison remains one to watch with his no-nonsense approach often the spark which ignites a good team performance.
Manager’s thoughts ...
Speaking ahead of the game, United boss John Sheridan said: “We saw when we played them in September that they're a side who like to get forward and attack.
"I know Jim Bentley well and it's no surprise that he's got them picking up a few results recently. He has them organised and they can hit you quickly if you aren't concentrating. Again, we saw that in the last game where they made it very hard for us.
"As ever we go into it concentating on ourselves and on what we can do. We got back to winning ways with some excellent goals last Saturday and I thought our overall performance was magnificent.
"We're looking to do that again at the weekend, even though I don't think we've been playing too badly at home. If we can keep getting in the right aeas, which we are, the goals will come. It's just about working hard and making the right decisions at the right times."
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Did You Know?
+ Morecambe FC was formed on 7 May 1920 following a meeting at the local West View Hotel.
+ Mr JB Christie bequeathed the old ground - Christie Park - to the club in 1927.
+ Morecambe were promoted to the Football League for the first time in their history after winning the Conference play-off final, beating Exeter City 2-1, on 20 May 2007, in front of over 40,000 fans.
Head to Head
These two sides have met on a total of 17 occasions, since they first came together during our Conference season in 2005, with United claiming six victories over Morecambe's solitary victory thus far - a victory here at Brunton Park in October 2015.
The draw is by far and away the most common outcome between these local rivals with just under two-thirds of the clashes ending up that way.
|Carlisle wins||Draws||Morecambe wins|
The sides met on three occasions last season, with both league games running out as 1-1 draws.
Watch the highlights from our home league fixture here:
Watch the highlights from our away league fixture here:
Morecambe twice took the lead in our last meeting - the Checkatrade Trophy group game at the start of September - but stunning goals from George Glendon and Macaulay Gillesphey took us into the break all-square. Then a first goal for the club for Jerry Yates, with 15 minutes left to play, proved to be the match winner as the Blues closed ranks to claim their points.
Watch the highlights from that game here:
Man in the middle
Our official for this fixture is Mr Seb Stockbridge. He has taken charge of 10 games so far this season and has 27 yellow cards, and one red.
He was last with us in August for our 1-0 home victory over Crewe. Ashley Nadesan scored the winning goal, with 20 minutes left to play, and there were no United names taken on the day.
We saw him on three occasions last season – Danny Grainger [who also scored], Mike Jones, Mark Ellis and Jamie Devitt were all carded in our 1-1 draw with Luton in April.
Gary Liddle’s name was the only one written down as Kelvin Etuhu and John O’Sullivan scored the goals to secure a 2-0 victory over Chesterfield in February.
And Hallam Hope and Jason Kennedy were the goal scorers as United stayed trouble free in their 2-0 Checkatrade victory over Morecambe.
Referee – Sebastian Stockbridge
Assistant Referee 1 – Paul Hodskinson
Assistant Referee 2 – Jonathan Hunt
Fourth Official – Dean Hulme
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