Morecambe v Cheltenham Town: A focus on the Shrimps

This coming weekend will see Cheltenham Town travel to Morecambe for their long awaited opening Sky Bet League Two fixture.

The Robins will make the long trip up to Lancashire on Friday ahead of Saturday’s meeting at the Globe Arena.

 

But what can we expect from their opponents on the opening day of the 2017/18 campaign?

Player to watch

There are a few long serving players still at Morecambe and one of those is 38-year-old forward Kevin Ellison.

Contrary to his age, Ellison has been one the Shrimps’ top performers since joining the club in 2011.

The well travelled winger has played for 12 clubs in his career but is fast becoming a Morecambe legend and netted nine times last season.

He is certainly one to keep an eye on and is also partial to scoring a few special goals with controversial celebrations.

Transfers

Jim Bentley has brought in eight new players so far this summer, the most recent being defensive pair Steven Old and Scott Lavelle.

Amongst the other signings is vastly experienced striker Garry Thompson who returns to the club from Wycombe. The 36-year-old was on target for the Chairboys against Cheltenham during a thrilling 3-3 draw at Adams Park in April.

Thompson is joined by two other forwards including promising former Newcastle and Notts County youngster Adam Campbell as well as Vadaine Oliver from York City.

Vadaine_Oliver_15-08-2015_1

Full backs Mitchell Lund and Patrick Brough have also signed from Doncaster and Carlisle respectively.

In terms of high profile departures, highly regarded centre back Ryan Edwards has moved south with Plymouth Argyle and Paul Mullin has left to link up with David Flitcroft at Swindon Town.

History

The two sides first met in the FA Cup back in 2008 when Cheltenham ran out 3-2 winners in a rearranged second round tie at Christie Park.

Ashley Vincent scored twice and John Finnigan netted from the spot whilst former Robin Barry Hayles was on target for the hosts.

Cheltenham and Morecambe have met a further 15 times since and this will be the Robins’ seventh visit to the Globe Arena since it opened in August 2010.

The most recent encounter in Lancashire was last season when Gary Johnson’s side came from a goal behind to beat a 10-man Morecambe 2-1 in mid-December.

Cheltenham also emerged victorious at Whaddon Road in April, as a 3-1 victory helped stretch their unbeaten run against the Shrimps to eight games.

Harry Pell scored three of the five goals netted against Jim Bentley’s team in 2016/17 and the 27-year-old is likely to start against them once more this weekend.

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Morecambe won four out of their opening five League Two fixtures last season and usually start well.

But Cheltenham’s recent form against the Lancashire outfit will give travelling Robins fans some optimism ahead of their Sky Bet League Two curtain raiser, despite a difficult pre-season.

Head to Head:

Morecambe wins- 3

Cheltenham wins- 8

Draws- 5

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