Stevenage v Morecambe – Preview: It's a six-point Saturday showdown with the Shrimps...

Hmm. Us going off on holibobs two weeks ago did the trick then? We’re happy to take any credit – and royalties too – for us beating Grimsby indoors and grab our first league win of the season. But we’re now back and so are the Boro’ blues after our midweek defeat away to Swindon. Don’t go looking at us being allowed back into the country for that, by the way. It ain’t nuffin’ to do wif us guv and that’s a fact.

Two away days since our Grimsby win and just the one additional point to show for it. Now we’re back at the Lamex and Morecambe are dropping in. Is it too early in the campaign to see this as a six-pointer? Well, not really. We’re already about a third of the way in and our points tally is yet to break into double figures. But we win this and the Shrimps can take up sentry position on the Conference trapdoor. And we’d happily take such small mercies.


Stevenage v Morecambe: The Preview…

Who are Morecambe?

It’s at this point we must pay tribute to how brilliantly rubbish our pals from Woking turned out to be. We don’t do it often enough, to be fair. But if it wasn’t for the Cards dropping off our radar, the Shrimps wouldn’t this weekend be writing themselves into our record books as the team we’ve played more than any other. Just look at our head-to-head. There’s so much going on in there. Should we do, like, This Is Your Life or something to celebrate?

Our Record vs Morecambe: P 40 — W 19 — D 12 — L 9 — F 66– A 47 — Pts 59
Last time out: Morecambe 1-2 Stevenage, 19 January 2019

What’s their current form?

It’s no shock that, given our respective positions in the league table, both them and us are propping up the form table. But it’s not Boro’ feeling the full weight of the division upon our shoulders. Over the last eight outings, we’ve taken two more points than the Shrimps. Not that it’s much to write home about. Six points from a possible 24 isn’t good at all. But it’s a bit better than having taken a mere four points in that time as Morecambe have done.

Our guests won their last trip on the road, however, beating Colchester United. And seven of their 10 points have been earned away from home, which could be a warning sign here. In attack, 14 goals from their 15 league games to date is three more than we’ve managed ourselves. And the current stats also show an 86% scoring rate on their travels. Is there a consolation? Yes –  no team in League Two has (yet) let in more than them (28).

Got a fun Morecambe fact?

Unless something weird and dramatic happens in the next 12 hours, Jim Bentley comes to the Stadio del Lamex as the longest-serving gaffer in the top four divisions. After taking up the reins in 2011, Bentley has now been in charge for more than eight years and well over a year longer than either Bournemouth‘s Eddie Howe or Wycombe‘s Gareth Ainsworth.

Are you gonna go my way?

No. You’ll have to get out here and walk the rest.

What are the bookies saying?

Looks we’re down as the bookies‘ pick for this fixture, with evens (multiple) your best price in an otherwise odds-on market. A Shrimps win is out as far as 3s if you know where to go with your money, while the draw is 27/10 (Marathon). For us to lead at half time and taking just one point come the final whistle is 16/1 (BetVictor) and Under 2.5 Goals is 9/10 (again with Marathon) if you want our verdict. Which you might not. So, we’re all losers here.

Which Morecambe player should we watch out for?

The Shrimps, like us, aren’t banging ’em in for fun this season. But you can’t blame Lewis Alessandra for that. With five goals and two assists, our defence should keep him quiet if we want to stop our guests from doing anything of note in front of goal.

Who is reffing this?

Kevin Johnson – and for the second time this season already! Our record on his watch is a bit iffy, truth be told. And that was the case even before our opening day loss at Salford. We’ve now drawn a blank in front of goal in half our games he’s been in charge of. A 5-0 win over Swansea Yoof in the Trophy last term is the only reason our Goals For column looks reasonable. Still, every record can be improved upon…

As for this season’s card count, Mr Johnson has handed out 30 yellows and four reds.

Our Record: P 8 — W 2 — D 3 — L 3 — F 10 — A 10
Last time out: Salford City 2-0 Stevenage, 03 August 2019

And, finally, what do you reckon?

It’s one of *those* matches that a) we see as a good chance of three points; b) they look at as a decent shout of going home with a point or more; and c) is going to be a massive anti-climax. Our fear is that it pans out like the Cambridge draw a few weeks back – with Boro’ making a bright start, going ahead and then being all silly and letting them back in. But we suppose that’d be a good excuse to book another holiday…

Stevenage v Morecambe scorecast: 1-1

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Pete H is the head of the BoroGuide team; helping to keep the show on the road for the best part of two decades – all because of his love of Boro'. He was relatively late to the scene; first rocking up at Broadhall Way during the 1995-6 season. But that's mainly because he was too young to pledge allegiance before then. There have been more than enough highs (Easter Monday '96) and lows (Kettering '02) since then, however, to keep him occupied. Yes, and the 2010 title win...