Carlisle United host ‘local’ rivals Morecambe in the first of their three Checkatrade Trophy group games on Tuesday night with the fixture a reverse of last season’s meeting in the same competition.
The Shrimps have had a tough start to the new campaign having picked up just one victory – a 1-0 league home win against Northampton Town – from their first six games.
Saturday brought another defeat, this time at Bury, despite a late surge which brought an added time goal for Liam Mandeville and hopes of a late rally to steal a point. Unfortunately it wasn’t to be.
Hitting the net
Morecambe have struggled for goals thus far with A-Jay Leitch-Smith and Liam Mandeville the only players to register on the score sheet, with a failure to find the onion bag in four of the seven games they’ve played.
The heavy opening day defeat at Crewe leaves Morecambe with a big league goals deficit to turn around as they continue the search for the spark to ignite their season.
Manager’s thoughts ...
Speaking ahead of the game, United boss John Sheridan said: “A few people will get the chance to play who haven’t played too much football for us so far.
“It’s a game I want to try and win and it’s a competition I want to do well in. It’s the best chance we have of getting to Wembley in a cup competition, so we’ll take it very seriously.
“I know Morecambe and Jim Bentley will come up here looking to do things properly and they have players who can cause problems if you allow them to get on the ball.
“We’ll have to be ready and, as I said at the weekend, it’s about how we react from the result we got at Mansfield. The home fans have appreciated what we’ve tried to do so far and we want that to continue.”
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Comments from Jim Bentley ...
“There is plenty to be positive about because we are getting forward and creating chances.
“We have to keep going and, of course, we have to score goals when we are on top of games because it’s all about results at the end of the day.”
“The fans are behind us and that’s good to see. We just want to give them the results they deserve so we’ll keep doing things properly and someone will be on the end of a pummelling if we do start taking the chances we’re creating.”
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.
Head to Head
It feels like way more – but these clubs have met only 16 times in all competitions over the years. We love a stalemate, with ten of those games drawn, and United have the better of the victory count with five of the meetings registered as Carlisle wins.
|Carlisle wins||Draws||Morecambe wins|
Another stat to knock you back – United have never beaten Morecambe in a competitive fixture here at Brunton Park. Five of the six have been draws, with the other a 3-2 defeat back in October 2015. Obviously that means that all five of our successes over Morecambe have come on their patch.
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:
Watch the highlights from the Checkatrade Trophy away victory here:
Man in the middle:
The referee for this game is Mr Andy Haines. He’s taken charge of five games so far this season showing 15 yellow cards and one red.
We saw Mr Haines twice last season, both a Brunton Park, starting with our opening day fixture against Swindon Town. Luke Joyce scored our only goal in a 2-1 defeat, and Mike Jones was the only Carlisle name taken.
Our second meeting had a much more pleasant outcome as we beat Oldham Athletic 3-2 in the FA Cup. Richie Bennett (2) and Hallam Hope gave us a three goal cushion but there was still time to bite the fingernails as Peter Clarke and Aaron Holloway bit back to make it a nervy ending to the game. There were no Carlisle bookings that afternoon.
Referee – Andy Haines
Assistant Referee 1 – Matthew Parry
Assistant Referee 2 – Barry Cropp
Fourth Official – Michael Salisbury
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