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Preview: Morecambe v Wycombe Wanderers


Wycombe Wanderers certainly were the 'Talk of the Town` but sadly for all the wrong reasons after putting in one of their worst displays of the season to lose 1-0 to relegation threatened Accrington Stanley at Adams Park on Good Friday.

An encouraging crowd of 4,577 took their place and were then put through 94 minutes of torture as both side put on a horrible spectacle that will encourage no-one but the hardcore fans to return anytime soon. Even they will be questioning their own sanity following this abject performance as the Chairboys search for one more elusive victory which should ensure their Football League safety.

Gareth Ainsworth made four changes to his starting line-up last time out with goalkeeper Matt Ingram handed his full debut after being recalled from his loan at Oxford City. He replaced goalkeeper Jordan Archer, who has been recalled from his loan by Tottenham Hotspur. Defenders Marvin McCoy and Leon Johnson were both recalled with defenders Charles Dunne and Dave Winfield dropping to the bench.

Striker Jo Kuffour also came back into the side in place of injured striker Dean Morgan. Loan winger Bruno Andrade was named on the bench after recovering from an ankle problem and he was joined by midfielder Matt Spring. There was no place in the squad for defender Kortney Hause or striker Dennis Oli.

The home side rarely looked like finding a breakthrough as they struggled to create chances and then wasted them when they did. Midfielder Stuart Lewis crashed a shot against the foot of the post whilst Josh Scowen forced visiting goalkeeper Paul Rachubka into a rare save. That was more than Sam Wood managed with a gilt-edged chance on 88 minutes.

It was all-too predictable when in the fourth minute of injury-time the Blues failed to clear a corner and left-winger Lee Molyneux crashed a left-footed half-volley into the net. It was Stanley's first and only shot on target yet it was enough to give them three precious points. It is now back-to-back defeats for the Wanderers, who remain in 15th place in the League Two table but are now just seven points ahead of the bottom two.

Next up is a trip to the Globe Arena where the Chairboys renew hostilities with Morecambe. The clash with the Shrimps at Adams Park back in December was a memorable one with winger Kevin Ellison playing the part of seasonal pantomime villain. Winger Joel Grant was sent off just before half-time and the visitors fought back from two goals down to equalise in the last minute as they rescued a 2-2 draw.

Wycombe Wanderers will be making only their fifth visit to Morecambe Bay on Easter Monday and they will be looking to protect an unbeaten record against the Shrimps. They have won two and drawn two of the four previous visits to Lancashire, whilst winning three and drawing two of the five meets at Adams Park. Sadly that record looks like it might come to an end this time round.

The first meeting came at their former Christie Park home way back in February 1993 when the Blues were riding on the crest of a wave under Martin O`Neill. More than 800 Chairboys (and girls) travelled north for a F.A. Trophy second round tie (imagine such a thing happening now!) and they were relieved to escape with a 1-1 draw.

Keith Scott`s header put the visitors ahead against the run of play early in the second half but Andy Green scrambled home an equaliser with four minutes remaining. Matt Crossley was then forced to clear off the line in the last minute as the Wanderers somehow survived to force a replay. That was won 2-0 on the following Tuesday evening and the side went on to lift the F.A. Trophy at Wembley in May.

Acquaintances were renewed following Morecambe`s promotion to the Football League and the Blues returned to Christie Park in March 2008 as Paul Lambert`s men continued their play-off push. They claimed all three points courtesy of midfielder Stefan Oakes spectacular 35-yard free-kick on 36 minutes which proved to be enough to earn a 1-0 victory.

Almost twelve months later there was a tedious goal-less draw as Peter Taylor`s side lost their grip on top spot in League Two. The last meeting took place in March 2011 as Gary Waddock`s men made their first ever visit to the Globe Arena in an early kick-off due to the England v Wales international played later in the afternoon.

The Blues took the lead ten minutes before the break when Ainsworth was brought down in the box and Scott Rendell stroked home the resulting penalty. Ainsworth then created and scored the second goal himself just two minutes later as he won possession in the middle of the park before outpacing the defence and slotting past goalkeeper Barry Roche.

Rendell swept home his second of the afternoon on the stroke of half-time and the visitors held on comfortably to record a 3-0 victory. The game marked the debut of Josh Scowen as a late substitute and the side would remain unbeaten for the rest of the campaign as they won promotion back to League One at the first attempt.

Sadly those days seem a long time ago now and Gareth Ainsworth faces yet more selection dilemmas for the clash with the Shrimps. Goalkeeper Matt Ingram did what he had to do comfortably against Stanley but will almost certainly face a tougher test against Morecambe`s robust style of play, particularly from set-pieces. Charles Dunne will be hoping to return after surprisingly being dropped and Dave Winfield could also receive a recall.

Joel Grant did nothing to deserve a starting place but Bruno Andrade, his obvious replacement, was just as anonymous in his last start for the Blues. Jo Kuffour shows no signs of finding the net any time soon but sadly Dean Morgan is likely to miss out again with a hamstring strain and it leaves Ainsworth with little scope for changes in attack with neither Dennis Oli nor Olly Taylor appearing to be the answer.

A quartet of players have been ruled-out for the rest of the season. Defender Anthony Stewart has undergone surgery after fracturing his hand whilst midfielder Matt Bloomfield is still struggling with a pelvic shear which is preventing him from training. Defender Danny Foster is recovering from a second operation on his knee whilst full-back Grant Basey continues his rehabilitation following surgery on his anterior cruciate ligaments.

Here's the current list of players availability...

Dave Winfield (Centre Back) - available (named on the bench after suffering from illness last week)

Bruno Andrade (Right-winger) - available (named on the bench after recovering from an ankle injury)

Dean Morgan (Attacker) - ruled-out with a hamstring strain (hoping to be fit for next weekend`s trip to Oxford United)

Anthony Stewart (Centre Back) - ruled-out with a hand injury (will undergo surgery on a fractured hand and won't play again this season)

Matt Bloomfield (Midfielder) - ruled out with a groin injury (won't play again this season)

Danny Foster (Right Back) - ruled out with a knee injury (continues his rehabilitation following a second operation and won't play again this season)

Grant Basey (Left Back) - ruled out with an anterior cruciate knee ligament injury (continues his rehabilitation following surgery and won't play again this season)

The Chairboys starting eleven may look something like this (4-4-2):

Matt Ingram

Michael Harriman - Dave Winfield - Gary Doherty - Charles Dunne

Joel Grant - Josh Scowen - Stuart Lewis - Sam Wood

Jo Kuffour - Matt McClure

Subs: Lee Harrison, Leon Johnson, Marvin McCoy, Gareth Ainsworth, Matt Spring, Bruno Andrade, Junior Morais


Morecambe rescued a point with a last-gasp equaliser through substitute Jack Redshaw to draw 1-1 with Oxford United at the Kassam Stadium on Good Friday. It leaves them in 13th place in the table, two places and three points above the Blues. They have lost just one of their last 16 home league matches at the Globe Arena.

Manager Jim Bentley has done a fine job with the Shrimps since taking over from Sammy McIlroy in the summer of 2011. He made two changes to his starting line-up against the U`s with Kevin Ellison returning to the side after serving a two match ban. He replaced Jack Redshaw, who dropped to the bench.

Defender Will Haining returned after recovering from a hamstring injury and he replaced the injured Nick Fenton who remains doubtful due to a knee problem. Defender Andy Parrish could miss the rest of the season with a thigh injury but striker Danny Carlton will be hoping to be involved before the end of the campaign after a knee ligament injury.

There isn`t a single ex-Chairboy in the Shrimps squad. The greatest link is arguably with Morecambe assistant manager Ken McKenna, who always received a warm welcome when facing the Blues for Altrincham and Runcorn during the glory years under O`Neill in the early nineties. Ellison is likely to make his presence felt once again.

Morecambe`s starting line-up could look something like this: (4-3-3):

Barry Roche

Andrew Wright - Chris McCready - Will Haining - Robbie Threlfall

Stewart Drummond - Andrew Fleming - Gary McDonald

Chris Holroyd - Lewis Alessandra - Kevin Ellison

Subs: Andreas Arestidou, Chris Doyle, James Short, Ryan Williams, Joe Mwasile, Jack Redshaw, Jordan Burrow


Here are all the stats...


The league table currently shows Wycombe in 15th place with 49 points from 39 games, and Morecambe in 13th spot with 52 points from 41 games.


Morec'be Home Record...W 7 - D 9 - L 4.....Pts 30..Ppg 1.50 (Rank-10)

Wycombe Away Record...W 7 - D 2 - L 10...Pts 23..Ppg 1.21 (Rank-10)


Morecambe's last five results (All Competitions)

Lg2: Barnet (A)................Lost 1-4

Lg2: Northampton (H)......Drew 1-1

Lg2: Gillingham (H)..........Drew 1-1

Lg2: Wimbledon (A)...........Lost 0-2

Lg2: Oxford (A)...............Drew 1-1


Wycombe's last five results (All Competitions)

Lg2: Fleetwood (H).............Won 1-0

Lg2: Rochdale (A)...............Lost 1-4

Lg2: Rotherham (H)...........Drew 2-2

Lg2: Bradford (A)................Lost 0-1

Lg2: Accrington (H).............Lost 0-1


Morecambe Goal Stats (48 games in all Competitions)

Goals Scored (Total)..........Lg: 52...Cups: 9.....Total: 61

Goals Conceded (Total)......Lg: 55...Cups: 10...Total: 65

Goals Scored (Home).........Lg: 26...Cups: 3.....Total: 29

Goals Conceded (Home).....Lg: 23...Cups: 5.....Total: 28

Clean Sheets.....................Lg: 11...Cups: 2.....Total: 13

Failed to score...................Lg: 12...Cups: 1.....Total: 13


Wycombe Goal Stats (43 games in all Competitions)

Goals Scored (Total)..........Lg: 45...Cups: 4...Total: 49

Goals Conceded (Total)......Lg: 55...Cups: 8...Total: 63

Goals Scored (Away).........Lg: 21...Cups: 4...Total: 25

Goals Conceded (Away).....Lg: 33...Cups: 8...Total: 41

Clean Sheets.....................Lg: 11...Cups: 0...Total: 11

Failed to score...................Lg: 12...Cups: 2...Total: 14


Morecambe's Top Goal Scorers - (All Competitions)

Jack Redshaw..........16

Kevin Ellison............12

Andrew Fleming........6

Richard Brodie..........6

Gary McDonald.........4

Lewis Alessandra......4

Three other players have each scored two goals.

Six other players have each scored 1 goal


Wycombe's Goal Scorers - (All Competitions)

Matt McClure...........10

Joel Grant................9

Dean Morgan............8

Sam Wood...............3

Gareth Ainsworth......2

Bruno Andrade.........2

Gary Doherty...........2

Jo Kuffour................2

Dave Winfield...........2

OG..........................2

Stuart Beavon..........1

Matt Bloomfield.........1

Kortney Hause.........1

Stuart Lewis.............1

Josh Scowen............1

Matt Spring..............1

Anthony Stewart......1


Morecambe Shooting (Top-3) - All Comps

Kevin Ellison.......43 on-target...42 off-target...2 against woodwork

Lew Alessandra...26 on-target...37 off-target...3 against woodwork

Jack Redshaw.....36 on-target...23 off-target...0 against woodwork


Wycombe Shooting (Top-3) - All Comps

Dean Morgan......28 on-target...31 off-target...6 against woodwork

Joel Grant...........22 on-target...25 off-target...0 against woodwork

Matt McClure.......19 on-target...22 off-target...1 against woodwork


Shooting (Club) - League only

Morec'mbe..200 on target...208 off target...13 against w'work (Rank-13)

Wycombe....153 on target...174 off target....9 against w'work (Rank-22)


Most Assists

Morecambe - Kevin Ellison.....9

Wycombe - Josh Scowen........6


Discipline - All Comps

Morecambe...5 Red Cards - 61 Yellow Cards

Wycombe......5 Red Cards - 65 Yellow Cards


League Form Guide

All Season


Morec'be....Pld: 41...W: 13...D: 13...L: 15...Pts: 52...Pts per game: 1.27

Wycombe...Pld: 39...W: 14...D: 7.....L: 18...Pts: 49...Pts per game: 1.26


First-half of the season

Morec'be.....Pld: 23...W: 7...D: 6...L: 10...Pts: 27...Ppg: 1.17 (Rank-17)

Wycombe....Pld: 23...W: 7...D: 5...L: 11...Pts: 26...Ppg: 1.13 (Rank-19)


Second-half of the season

Morec'be.....Pld: 18...W: 6...D: 7...L: 5...Pts: 25...Ppg: 1.39 (Rank-14)

Wycombe....Pld: 16...W: 7...D: 2...L: 7...Pts: 23...Ppg: 1.44 (Rank-11)


Last Five league Games

Morecambe.....LDDLD - 3 points (Rank-23)

Wycombe........WLDLL - 4 points (Rank-21)


Last Five League Games (Home)

Morecambe...WDWDD - 9 points (Rank-10)


Last Five League Games (Away)

Wycombe........WLWLL - 6 points (Rank-10)


Against Top Half Opposition

Morecambe...Pld: 22...Pts: 20...Pts per game: 0.91...(Rank-19)

Wycombe......Pld: 20...Pts: 20...Pts per game: 1.00...(Rank-17)


Against Bottom Half Opposition

Morecambe...Pld: 19...Pts: 32...Pts per game: 1.68...(Rank-11)

Wycombe......Pld: 19...Pts: 29...Pts per game: 1.53...(Rank-13)


First 45 mins v Second 45 mins - Performance Comparison

First-Half


Morecambe....W: 11...D: 20...L: 10...Ppg: 1.29 (Rank-12)

Wycombe.......W: 13...D: 13...L: 13...Ppg: 1.33 (Rank-9)


Second-Half

Morecambe....W: 13...D: 16...L: 12...Ppg: 1.34 (Rank-11)

Wycombe.......W: 10...D: 13...L: 16...Ppg: 1.10 (Rank-21)


League Goals scored in First-Half

Morecambe....18 (35%) (Rank-21)

Wycombe.......24 (53%) (Rank-8)


League Goals scored in Second-Half

Morecambe....34 (65%) (Rank-5)

Wycombe.......21 (47%) (Rank-22)


League Goals conceded in First-Half

Morecambe....16 (29%) (Rank-3)

Wycombe.......23 (42%) (Rank-10)


League Goals conceded in Second-Half

Morecambe....39 (71%) (Rank-24)

Wycombe.......32 (58%) (Rank-14)


Record when scoring the first goal

Morec'be scored first..20 times (W:11 - D:6 - L:3)...Ppg: 1.95 (Rank-17)

Wycombe scored frst..20 times (W:11 - D:5 - L:4)...Ppg: 1.90 (Rank-20)


Record when conceding the first goal

Morc'b conceded first..16 times (W:2 - D:2 - L:12)...Ppg: 0.50 (Rank-16)

Wyc'be conceded first..17 times (W:3 - D:0 - L:14)..Ppg: 0.53 (Rank-13)


Previous Meetings

In 9 previous meetings there have been 5 wins for Wycombe, 0 for Morecambe and 4 draws.

At the seaside the tally is 2 wins for the Chairboys, 0 for the Shrimps and 2 draws.

1992/93: FAT Morecambe 1 Wycombe 1

1992/93: FAT Wycombe 2 Morecambe 0

2007/08: LG2 Wycombe 2 Morecambe 0

2007/08: LG2 Morecambe 0 Wycombe 1

2008/09: LG2 Wycombe 1 Morecambe 1

2008/09: LG2 Morecambe 0 Wycombe 0

2010/11: LG2 Wycombe 2 Morecambe 0

2010/11: LG2 Morecambe 0 Wycombe 3

2010/11: LG2 Wycombe 2 Morecambe 2


The Man In The Middle

Monday's referee is Geoff Eltringham from Sunderland who was promoted to the National List of Referees in 2009. Last season he took charge of Wycombe's 2-2 draw at Carlisle United. During the current campaign he's issued 6 red and 73 yellow cards in 29 appearances.


Predictions

Benny: Morecambe 2 Wycombe 0

Len: Morecambe 1 Wycombe 1




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The Journalist

Writer: Benny & Len Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Sunday March 31 2013

Time: 12:50AM

 

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