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Town Insider - Morecambe

7 September 2012

Fleetwood Town make their shortest League 2 journey this Saturday for the eagerly awaited match against Morecambe.

By David Mitchell

Fleetwood Town make their shortest League 2 journey this Saturday for the eagerly awaited match against Morecambe. 

The interest shown in the first Football League match between the teams is likely to result in a season’s biggest crowd at the Globe Arena. With just thirty miles separating the clubs links are inevitable.   Town goalkeeper, Scott Davies, played at Morecambe prior to his move to Fleetwood.  Davies was in goal when the Shrimps achieved Football League status following the 2007 play-off final at Wembley.  Continuing the goalkeeping theme, Town’s coach, Steve McIlhargey played at Morecambe between 1993 and 2004, after which he stayed on as goalkeeping coach, working with Davies, before moving to Highbury.  Full back Dean Howell was at Morecambe in the 2003-04 season and returns to the Town squad after serving a one-match suspension following his red card against Aldershot. Town manager, Micky Mellon, is looking forward to the Lancashire derby, one of only two on the fixture list with Rochdale being in Greater Manchester: ‘We want to be taking part in these big games and are delighted to be able to pit ourselves against Morecambe.  Playing away from home is always going to be difficult but this game has added spice with it being local.  There’s plenty of respect between the teams.’ Mellon’s side go into the game with the best defensive record in the division as well as having hit the net six times in the last week: ‘It’s good that we’ve managed to use the entire first team squad in the last seven days.   I thought we played well for long spells at Rochdale and the last two games have shown us that we are always capable of creating chances and scoring goals.  We are hoping to have a fully-fit squad available.’ Ex-Town players in Morecambe’s squad are captain Will Haining who spent time at Highbury on loan last year and striker Richard Brodie who joined on loan from Crawley over the summer.  Jim Bentley’s side have made a promising start and currently lie sixth despite not yet winning at the Globe.  The Shrimps have drawn at home with York City and lost to Port Vale.  Away form has been better with successive 3-0  league victories following long treks south to Bristol Rovers and Exeter.  Bentley told the ‘Morecambe Visitor’: ‘We have had two fantastic away wins and we are all desperate to repeat that sort of result at home.  Our performances at the Globe have been good and when I look back at the videos we should have really won both games.  It’s going to be a big game and hopefully a great atmosphere against a side who will be delighted by their big win against Aldershot.  They have spent well and will certainly be challenging this year so it will be a good test for us.’ Last Saturday’s trip to Bristol was costly for striker Danny Carlton who suffered cruciate ligament damage and could be out for up to eight months.   A number of players – defenders Haining, Robbie Threlfall and Andy Parrish and midfielder Gary McDonald - missed the Johnstone’s Paints victory at Accrington on Tuesday but the manager is hopeful that they will all be available for selection against Town.  Each absence is keenly felt by Bentley as he has a small squad: ‘Our target this season is to get to 50 points as soon as possible.  We have only 18 professionals and are not among the fancied teams.’

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