Phil Yelland casts his eye over previous visits to Morecambe ahead of Tuesday evening's League Two encounter at The Mazuma Stadium.
On Tuesday night we make our first visit to The Mazuma Stadium for a competitive game. We have been there for pre-season before now but all of our competitive meetings with The Shrimps have been at their former Christie Park home, which held many happy memories for us. We played there on 27 occasions and, remarkably, we won 14 times.
Arguably, the most famous victory came in October 1974 when Brian Arrowsmith was in charge. We had stuttered a bit following a solid start to the season. The Shrimps, who had won the FA Trophy the previous season seemed set for a victory after they took an early two-goal lead. We had other ideas though and scored seven times – and all seven goals came from local players. Johnny Martin bagged a hat-trick, including one from the spot, Brian Sharp netted two and Mark Fullalove and Roy Moxham also found the net. Morecambe got a third goal as a consultation.
In April 1977 we also recorded a superb 5-0 win at Christie Park as we battled to avoid the bottom two in the Northern Premier League. The hero that night was former Liverpool junior Derek McClatchey, who went on to play for Marine for many years. He scored four and the other goal came from Spennymoor-based John Davies. These games were part of an astonishing run of five successive wins at Christie Park.
Our last competitive game against The Shrimps came a little over 20 years ago in January 2000 in the Marsden Trophy (formerly the Lancashire Junior Cup) when we won a quarter-final 2-0. Nicky Peverell and Mike McKechnie did the damage that day but we lost in the semi-final at Bamber Bridge.
We have never played each other in the Football League and met in just one season in what is now the National League in the 1998/99 campaign. Our trip round the Bay was our first away game of the season and we lost 3-2. We came back from 3-0 down that night to almost snatch a draw thanks to goals from Neil Morton and a Karl Marginson penalty.
Of course, as near neighbours, many players have featured for both clubs over the years and we’ll cover more of that when The Shrimps visit in February. However, probably the most well-known player to feature for both clubs is striker Wayne Curtis. Curtis is, of course, a local and made his name with Holker Old Boys before going to make over 300 appearances for The Shrimps and have three brief spells on loan here.
Our first ever competitive meeting with Morecambe took place almost exactly 100 years ago on 27th November 1920. We were both in the Lancashire Combination First Division and we were to go on and win the title and claim a place in Division Three North. We won 2-1 that afternoon with goals from Munro and Mackay.
Our full record at Morecambe is 14 wins, six draws and seven defeats and it would be nice to celebrate the centenary of our first competitive meeting at Morecambe with the same result – a win.