Shrimps on the Up? // Morecambe F.C. – October

October was a pretty good month for the Shrimps, with wins over Chesterfield and Bury helping us maintain our good start to the season and finish the month just outside the play-offs, and four points off top spot. Although the month did end badly with a 3-0 defeat away at Cheltenham and derby day defeat to local rivals Accrington Stanley (who are they? Exactly!). However, manager Jim Bentley continues to overachieve each year with a reduced budget; exceeding expectations once again when many pundits and bookmakers tip us for relegation at the beginning of every season.

Morecambe 4-3 Chesterfield:

Going into the game off the back of a six game unbeaten run, you could forgive Morecambe fans for being quietly optimistic as we welcomed promotion-chasing Chesterfield, to the Globe Arena. However that optimism was all but gone at half time as the lads went in 3-0 down. Yet, no one could have predicted what happened next as goals from Kevin Ellison, Mark Hughes and Jack Sampson brought us level. Then Paddy Amond’s late header found the net to complete a remarkable turnaround and give us all the points in the most dramatic fashion.

Performance Rating: Grade A; thrilling comeback win showing unbelievable heart.

Morecambe 0-0 Carlisle United (Johnstone’s Paint Trophy, AET) (Carlisle win 4-3 on penalties):

A home tie against League One side Carlisle offered us a half decent chance of progressing to the next round, however the game turned into a bore draw which Carlisle won on penalties after Ryan Williams and Andy Fleming both missed from the spot.

Performance Rating: Grade C; A good draw at home against a team in the league above us.

Bury 0-2 Morecambe:

Bury is always a tough place to go, even with the club seemingly always in crises. However the Shrimps came up with a good performance and were able to take all three points to move us up to fourth in the table. Ryan Williams stepped up to score a superb free kick from 30 yards while Tony Diagne popped up at the death to score, capping off a good afternoon in Greater Manchester  extending our unbeaten run to eight games.

Performance Rating: Grade B; Decent away win.

Morecambe 1-1 AFC Wimbledon:

Morecambe missed the chance to go top of the table after being held to a draw at the Globe Arena by AFC Wimbledon. Kevin Ellison gave us the lead but Wimbledon equalised early in the second half; a draw probably a fair result in what was poor game from both sides perspective.

Performance Rating: Grade C; Average performance but good to extend unbeaten run.

Cheltenham Town 3-0 Morecambe:

A disappointing defeat came at the hands of Cheltenham Town in the midweek evening game. Three second half goals from the home side accompanied by the sending off, of captain Mark Hughes capped off a bad performance and the end of our nine match unbeaten run.

Performance Rating: Grade F; A night where everything that could’ve gone wrong, did go wrong.

Morecambe 1-2 Accrington Stanley (Who are they? Exactly!):

Conceding a last minute winner to anyone is bad enough, but it’s even worse when it’s in a derby game to your local rivals. That’s what happened to the Shrimps as Accrington player Peter Murphy popped up at the end of the game to score an injury time winner and consign us to another defeat. Accrington took the lead when ex-Manchester United and Watford striker Danny Webber scored from the spot. Jack Sampson levelled from the spot before Murphy’s injury time winner; Morecambe still haven’t beat Stanley in the Football League.

Performance Rating: Grade D; Another derby day defeat against our local rivals.

Overall Rating: Grade B-; Despite a bad ending to the month, October was quite a good one for Jim Bentley’s boys and gives us a good solid base from which to push on from. A play-off push should definitely be the target this season and with striker, Jack Redshaw’s imminent return to fitness I think we should do well.

Michael Garvey

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