It's a Happy New Year to one and all as over 1,600 United fans make the trip to the Globe Arena for our first fixture of 2019.
It was a topsy-turvy December for the Shrimps as they suffered 3-1 away defeats at Lincoln and Tranmere, but picked up vital points at home with a draw against Port Vale and 3-0 win over Cambridge.
The four points were much-needed with a run of difficult results through the previous month having sent Jim Bentley's team on a worrying slide.
They ended 2018 with a tough away game at Colchester, but they dug deep and defended as a team to bring home another vital point from what had been an excellent defensive display.
Being honest, the Shrimps had the best of a tight first half, but they were let off the hook late in the game when Vincent-Young rattled the woodwork.
One win from the last five outings is still a cause for concern, but with players like AJ Leitch-Smith, Rhys Oates and Kevin Ellison bagging the goals, they'll be backing themselves to get away from the wrong end of the table as 2019 unfolds.
Manager’s thoughts ...
Speaking ahead of the game, manager John Sheridan said: “I have a lot of respect for Morecambe. They play the game in a good way and the job Jim Bentley and his staff do is amazing.
"They compete in every game, so this won't be easy. It'll be an excellent atmosphere and we're expecting over half the crowd to be Carlisle fans, so it comes down to the players handling that and doing things properly.
"We saw on Saturday that the run of fixtures does take a toll, but it's the same for everybody. We dug deep in that one, and we got the win, and we know how good things will look if can keep this run going.
"I keep reminding people not to get carried away, but confidence is high and hopefully we'll see another good performance."
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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 18 occasions and the draw is by far and away the most common outcome between these local rivals with two-thirds of the clashes ending up that way.
|Carlisle wins||Draws||Morecambe wins|
The Shrimps were last at Brunton Park in October and they took a grip on the game before the half hour mark, with goals from AJ Leitch-Smith and Vadaine Oliver providing a two-goal cushion. United never recovered and the game ended 2-0 in favour of the visitors.
Watch the highlights from that game here:
Morecambe twice took the lead in our 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:
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:
Man in the middle
Our official for this fixture is Mr Ben Toner. Ben has taken charge of 21 games so far this season, showing 53 yellow cards and just two reds.
He has taken charge of two United games this season, the first being the 2-1 victory over Port Vale at Brunton Park in August where a Danny Grainger penalty and a Tom Parkes header were enough to see the Blues earn the three points.
The Checkatrade Trophy fixture at the Stadium of Light was the second United game he oversaw, where the Black Cats ran out as 3-1 winners. Ashley Nadesan got the United goal.
Referee – Ben Toner
Assistant Referee 1 – Steven Rushton
Assistant Referee 2 – Alan Clayton
Fourth Official – Leigh Doughty
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