Wednesday, 19 August 2015

Morecambe 1 v 0 Accrington Stanley

Saturday 15th August 2015
Globe Arena, Morecambe
Football League Two
Admission: £16.00
Programme: £3.00
Attendance: 1,865
Match Rating: 3

Today I embarked on my second very long distance trip in three weeks, enabled by taking advantage of Virgin Trains excellent sales offering single tickets between London and the north west for just £10.00. It would also enable me to tick off a ground in a part of England I have only rarely ventured into over the years, due to the usual excessive cost of getting there from the south east corner of England.

The Globe Arena is about a 20 minute walk from Morecambe station, although a lengthy detour along the promenade and taking in the Eric Morecambe statue is highly recommended. The stadium is only five years old, but is quite an interesting ground in that it doesn’t have the usual uniform, bland appearance. As one approaches the stadium, one is impressed as one walks towards the outside of the large main stand. Inside the stadium, this is a single tiered all sweater stand with no obstructing pillars and some corporate boxes to the top of the middle section. This stand really does tower over the rest of the ground, with two small stands stretching between the corner flags covering terrace steps, whilst along the remaining length are four or five uncovered terrace steps. Apparently the design of the ground is similar to that of their previous one at Christie Park. All in all, there is a nice, relaxed, rather non league feel about most of the place. The 68 page programme was a good read, although with an paper cover so would easily rip or become creased.

In many respects, this would appear to have been a very unremarkable match, with both teams probably destined for an uneventful season in mid table, as they had last season, with Morecambe finishing in 11th and Accrington Stanley in 17th. However, added interest came from the fact that this was the most local derby both clubs will have in the league this season, and Morecambe would be looking for their first ever win in the Football League against Accrington Stanley in their 17th attempt. Both clubs had heart breaking defeats in the League Cup in midweek, Morecambe losing to a last minute goal against Sheffield United while Accrington Stanley lost on penalties against Hull City. In their opening league games, Accrington drew 1-1 at home to Luton in their opening league game, and Morecambe lost 0-2 at Hartlepool.

On a warm, sunny afternoon, the visitors dominated the early stages, camping themselves in the Morecambe half, so it came as a surprise when the home side opened the scoring on 10 minutes. Paul Mullin played a lovely diagonal ball out to Jamie Devitt to the right of the goal, who passed into the area for Aaron Wildigto clip the ball first time across the keeper and into the net. Despite Accrington continuing to dominate possession, Morecambe closest to scoring a second on 25 minutes when Alan Goodall saw his first time strike from 30 yards.

Morecambe could certainly count themselves very fortunate to be one goal to the good at half time, but the second half was much more balanced and Morecambe forced a couple of good saves from the keeper, before Accrington had their standout chance to equalise. Sean McConville played a low cross into the six yard box which the keeper could only parry to the feet of Josh Windass six yards out, but his reaction shot ballooned over the bar. On 86 minutes, Morecambe thought they had sealed the three points when Andy Fleming volleyed the ball in at the far post from close range, but the goal was ruled out for a push. The three never looked certain until the final whistle blew, when Morecambe could finally celebrate a Football League win against Accrington Stanley.

Video highlights of this match can be found here

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