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Club News

Match Preview: Morecambe vs Barrow AFC

31 March 2024

Club News

Match Preview: Morecambe vs Barrow AFC

31 March 2024

Pete Wild’s men look to begin April the way they ended March as they hope to extend their unbeaten run to seven matches away at Morecambe tomorrow.

In their previous fixture, The Bluebirds faced Lincolnshire side, Grimsby Town at Holker Street in a game that saw Wild’s men run out 3-1 winners on Good Friday.

Looking back at the game, it was a routine performance by the Cumbrians who created countless chances and limited the Mariners to only a handful of opportunities. Wild’s men put on an impressive display ending March with four victories and two draws in the six games they played.

A standout in the victory was Man of The Match, Cole Stockton. The striker bagged himself another two goals. This means his tally in Blue & White has now gone up to seven goals in just 12 league games.

Robbie Gotts also bagged his second goal of the campaign and his sixth for The Bluebirds, on what was also his 149th appearance in an EFL competition.

Team News

Niall Canavan will remain unavailable for Monday’s derby, as he remains sidelined with a calf injury.

Luca Stephenson is back in contention for the fixture as he returns from a knock, he picked up last week against Newport County.

Ged Garner, who is currently on loan at the Shrimps will also miss tomorrow’s fixture because he will be unable to face his parent side.

The Opposition

Morecambe currently sits 10th in Sky Bet League Two under the current guidance of manager, Gerard Brannan.

Brannan has been at the Shrimps since September 2023, joining the club as part of the coaching staff working under former manager, Derek Adams. He has since taken up the position of Manager at the Lancashire side after Derek Adams left the role to join Scottish Premiership side Ross County. He has since managed 23 league fixtures, averaging a win percentage of 34.7%. In their last five games, the Lancashire side have picked up three points from one win and four losses. Their most recent fixture ended in victory, away from home as they defeated Accrington Stanley 2-1 on Good Friday thanks to goals from Nelson Khumbeni and Chris Stokes.

A One To Watch in the home side is midfielder, Nelson Khumbeni. Khumbeni has only been with Morecambe since January when he joined on loan from Bolton Wanderers, but he has gone on to become a stalwart in the side making a total of 13 league appearances. He has become a key player for Morecambe in the short time he’s been there and in the 13 fixtures he’s played in, he has won 66.7% of the tackles he’s made, won 52.1% of the aerial duals he has faced, all whilst maintaining a pass accuracy of 69.7%. He has been an all-round combative midfielder and has now scored his second career goal in Morecambe’s recent win away to Accrington.

Head-to-Head

The two sides have already faced each other twice this season, once in EFL Trophy and once In League Competitions. In the last five fixtures between the two sides, only one has ended in victory for the Bluebirds, with the other four ending victories for The Shrimpers. The most recent meeting came in October 2023 at Holker Street, in Sky Bet League Two.            

Last time out, Dom Telford scored the only goal of the game with a left-footed shot from the centre of the box to pick up all three points on Halloween. The Cumbrians defended superbly throughout the game to maintain their one-goal advantage and pick up a clean sheet, as well as all three points, with defender George Ray putting in a Man Of The Match performance.

Referees

The man taking charge of Monday’s fixture is Marc Edwards. Edwards has taken charge of 23 matches this season, all of which have come across EFL competitions, with 22 of these coming across League One and League Two. He has also handed out a total of 96 yellow cards in this time and awarded three penalty kicks.

His last match officiating the Bluebirds came back in September 2023, when Barrow faced Mansfield Town away from home. In a game in which statistically the home side dominated, the Bluebirds created countless chances to score and potentially win the game, but Mansfield was more clinical on the day and Ollie Clarke scored the winning goal in 72 minutes. Soon after, Junior Tiensa was given his marching orders by Edwards, after his challenge on Aaron Lewis, and the game ended 1-0 to the home side.

Alongside Edwards, he will be joined by Richard Woodward and Karl Buckley, who will be assistant referees on derby day. With Paul Newhouse taking the role of Fourth Official.

Words by Dylan Whitbread


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