Morecambe are one of Crawley’s opponents this season that are an old foe from our non-league days, having spent three seasons at the same level in the Conference between 2004-07.
During that period in non-league both clubs enjoyed three wins including a whopping 4-0 victory at the Broadfield Stadium for Reds in Morecambe’s promotion winning season.
The share of the spoils continued when both sides entered the Football League, but our first contest in the 92 isn’t one many Reds fans will want to remember.
It was just five weeks into the 2011-12 campaign when the Reds headed to the Globe Arena with expectation. Few expected it to be an easy afternoon, but even fewer expected Morecambe to run out 6-0 winners - the heaviest defeat inflicted on Crawley since we joined the Football League.
The Reds fared better in the return fixture, drawing 1-1 at home when Scott Neilson cancelled out Andrew Fleming’s first-half opener in February 2012.
Morecambe ran out winners in 2015 at the the Globe Arena, witnessed by a small band of Reds fans on a Tuesday night. That one finished 3-1 with Rhys Murphy scoring our goal. The corresponding fixture finished 1-1.
The 2016-17 season saw a thriller in Lancashire even though it was goalless heading into the last 20 minutes. Adi Yussuf and James Collins had Reds 2-0 up and an 89th minute goal from Michael Rose looked to be a consolation for the Shrimps. Reds came forward again and sealed victory in the second minute of stoppage time when Jimmy Smith struck. There was still time for the hosts to grab a second goa through Cole Stockton which made it 3-2.
Morecambe ran out 3-1 winners at the Broadfield, in a game that saw them go 2-0 up inside seven minutes. James Collins’ second half penalty was a consolation for Reds. Kevin Ellison took centre stage on our last visit up north, as his own goal was enough for the Reds to take all three points under Harry Kewell in 2017. Ellison was later sent off.
There was more late drama in last season’s contest, as Callum Lang’s 90th minute goal looked like stealing a late win for Morecambe, but Karlan Ahearne-Grant struck in the final minute of stoppage time to snatch a 1-1 draw.
Our most recent fixture against the Shrimps was a memorable one for Head Coach, Gabriele Cioffi. The Italian's first match in charge of the Reds saw Morecambe visit The People’s Pension Stadium, and it was to be a happy ending for Cioffi.
After a goalless first half, the match sprung into life with two goals in four second-half minutes as Ashley Nathaniel-George and Panutche Camara netted to put the Reds 2-0 to the good. There was to be a harsh introduction to English football for Cioffi though as he received his first managerial yellow card for sprinting onto the pitch to celebrate Camara’s goal. “I didn’t know the rule – it’s my favourite booking I’ve ever had,” he said after the match.
Main picture: Cioffi and his new team celebrate the win over Morecambe in September. (James Boardman, Telephoto Images)