The first time I went to a game in Morecambe, in 2007, I confess that I was much more interested in the town’s fortunate connection with Eric Morecambe and with its superbly restored Art Deco seafront hotel. It seemed to be full of derelict buildings, vague memories of a prosperous past and a very impressive and seriously underused railway station.
Since then, Morecambe has undergone a bit of a revival, the club has moved to a new ground and has become established in the Football League. Several years under long serving former centre half Jim Bentley made them notoriously hard to beat, if not much fun to watch. We have come a long way too, since Charles Ademeno and Courtney Pitt terrorised defences in the Conference. Sadly, we weren’t able to be there to enjoy our 5 nil win at Morecambe earlier this season, a result which looks even more impressive , given Morecambe’s excellent results since then. They are challenging for promotion like us and, like us, must be looking forward to the season’s climax.
It's a shame that Kevin Ellison has moved on, although he clearly enjoyed scoring against Morecambe a few weeks ago. He is a real character and had some hilarious banter with Habbin North over the years. Two years ago the impressively bald Ellison told us that he was desperate for a haircut. “And plastic surgery”, some unkind Habbinite shouted back. Football needs characters like him but there aren’t so many about.
We can anticipate a much tougher game at home. No doubt the Shrimps will have worked out that record goalscorer Paul Mullin and midfield wizard Wes Hoolahan are a threat to any defence. Kyle Knoyle, Jack Iredale and Hiram Boateng are in wonderful form. Who isn’t?! United produced some scintillating football in the first half at Carlisle and we could have been 3 up by the interval. We have a side which never gives up, as scoring right at the end of each half clearly shows. We are top of the league on merit. It is no fluke. No opponents will be taken for granted but, at the top of our game, we are more than a match for any team, however much money they have spent. We haven’t seen Harrison on the rampage for a while. I suspect the Friday will be his day.