We continue our look at next season’s opponents as we put Morecambe under the spotlight.
Nicknames: The Shrimps, The Seasiders
Club Colours: Red & Black
Who are they?
While there is evidence of football being played in the town of Morecambe from the start of the 20th century, Morecambe FC weren’t formed until 1920. They entered the Lancashire Combination League and slowly progressed through the leagues.
It was in the mid-20th century that the Shrimps really flourished, reaching the Third Round of the FA Cup in 1962 before an FA Trophy triumph in 1974.
Promotion to the Conference came in 1995 after several years of trying. Morecambe became high-flyers in non-league’s top flight, finishing as runners-up in 2002/03 and narrowly missing out on the play-offs on several occasions.
The 2006/07 season saw the Shrimps complete their meteoric rise and earn promotion to the Football League courtesy of a 2-1 play-off final win over Exeter City. The club have played in League Two ever since, and have proved to be a steady side at this level.
Did You Know?
+ The club’s former home, Christie Park, was named after then-President J.B. Christie. It was pre-viously known as Roseberry Park.
+ Morecambe’s highest-ever league finish came in the 2009-10 season when they finished fourth in League Two before losing in the play-off semi-finals.
+ The Shrimps have won the Lancashire FA Challenge Cup on eleven occasions - most recently in 2004.
How did they get on last season?
Morecambe enjoyed another steady season in 2016/17, earning themselves a respectable 18th place finish. That saw the Shrimps finish six points clear of the relegation zone, negating any relegation worries that may have been present earlier in the season.
Who’s in charge?
Jim Bentley has spent over 15 years at Morecambe in various roles, and has been in the managerial hotseat at The Globe Arena since 2011. He first moved to the Shrimps in 2002 after spending the start of his career at Telford United. A centre back, Bentley made just shy of 300 appearances for Morecambe and scored 29 goals.
He was made player-manager in 2011 but chose to concentrate on his managerial role. Bentley has now overseen 310 games in charge of the Shrimps and has made the side a solid League Two outfit.
How has their summer transfer business looked?
Bentley has been busy recruiting a number of experienced League Two players ready for the new season. Strikers Vadaine Oliver, Adam Campbell and Garry Thompson have all moved to the Globe Arena after spending last season in League Two. They are joined by former United man Patrick Brough who penned a deal with the Shrimps after leaving Brunton Park, and Mitchell Lund from Doncaster Rovers.
There have been outgoings, however, with Paul Mullin moving to Swindon Town for an undisclosed fee and Ryan Edwards signing for recently promoted Plymouth.
They’ve Played For Both
Danny Carlton made the move to Brunton Park after writing himself into Morecambe folklore during his time at Christie Park. The striker began his career in the North West and netted 60 times in 185 appearances for Morecambe, including the winning goal in the 2007 Conference play-off final. After netting the goal that secured promotion to the Football League, he moved to the Cumbrians and made 43 appearances during his two years at Brunton Park, chipping in with three goals.
Current United pair Jamie Devitt and Shaun Miller also have previous experience of the Globe Arena having joined Carlisle from Morecambe.
Memorable Meeting - Morecambe 0-3 Carlisle (8 October 2016)
The two sides have only met ten times, and this memorable meeting came only last season as United registered a comprehensive victory. Danny Grainger handed the Blues a first half lead before two goals in six second half minutes from Jason Kennedy - including an acrobatic effort - secured a well-earned away victory.
When Did We Last Meet?
Our last meeting came on 14 January as the sides shared the spoils at Brunton Park. Aaron Wildig handed the Shrimps the lead after only seven minutes, but the visitors were dealt a blow when Dean Winnard was dismissed in the second half. Charlie Wyke equalised for United with 15 minutes re-maining but there was no winner to be found.
When Do We Meet Next?
Morecambe travel to Brunton Park on 25 November with the return trip to the Globe Arena coming on 14 April.