The Reds are back on the road tomorrow as we travel to play-off hopefuls, Morecambe, who sit in fifth place in the Sky Bet League Two table in the lead up to tomorrow’s 6:30 kick-off at the Mazuma stadium, over four months after the reverse fixture in a game we won 4-0 in a spectacular second-half performance at The People’s Pension Stadium, with goals from George Francomb, Max Watters and Tyler Frost.
Last Tuesday night, the Reds travelled to Grimsby Town, who sat in bottom spot in the lead up to the fixture. Ex-Red Filipe Morais gave the Mariners an early lead before Jack Powell equalised nine minutes later with a precise free-kick. However, in the second-half, a long Grimsby throw-in was nodded on by tall substitute James Hanson into the path of an unmarked Joe Adams who stabbed home to hand Grimsby the three points and lift them off the foot of the table.
But fortunes changed on Saturday as the Reds comfortably defeated promotion hopefuls Exeter City in West Sussex with a fantastic display. Crawley had the majority of the chances before the Grecians went down to ten-men in the second-half following a Tom Parkes red card, and straight away John Yems’ men increased the pressure which saw a penalty awarded for a foul on Nick Tsaroulla, who had returned to make his first start since AFC Bournemouth away.
Tom Nichols calmly converted the spot-kick twenty minutes before neatly setting up Ashley Nadesan who doubled the lead late on with a tap-in. Half-time substitute Jake Hesketh and Jordan Maguire-Drew impressed going forward and Joe McNerney also stood out at the back, earning himself a place in the EFL team of the week.
Tomorrow’s opponents may not have made the best impression of themselves in October, but Derek Adams’ side are having a fantastic season in the play-off positions, achieving 49 points so far and scoring 41 times.
Morecambe have recorded some very impressive results this season, including a 2-1 win over Salford City and a 0-2 away victory in Exeter since the turn of the year. In their last fixture, the Shrimps lost out to Mansfield Town by a goal to nil, conceding eleven corners and sixteen opposition goal attempts. Morecambe recorded only one shot on target.
The Reds have met with the Shrimps twelve times since 2011. Both sides have four wins each with three draws all at The People’s Pension Stadium.
In last season’s only fixture between the two sides, the match ended in a 1-1 draw. Bez Lubala put the Reds one up from the penalty spot on the stroke of half time. Cole Stockton scored an 81st minute equaliser to see the match end all square.
Our last trip to Morecambe was in March of 2019 when Crawley lost out 1-0 because of a Liam Mandeville goal late on. Our last win against the Shrimps on the road came in October of 2019 as Billy Clifford’s first-half effort was enough to secure the three points, in a game where veteran, Kevin Ellison, was sent off.
Carlos Mendes Gomes has certainly impressed this season up in Lancashire, scoring nine league goals from the flanks and creating many chances for his supporting forwards such as Cole Stockton and John O’Sullivan, who are both likely to start tomorrow.
Captain Sam Lavelle has been an integral part of the Morecambe side in the heart of defence. The Scot has started every league game this season for the Shrimps and could partner Harry Davis at the back after he played away at Mansfield on Saturday.
Manager Derek Adams has enjoyed life in Lancashire after being in charge at Plymouth Argyle and Ross County previously. Morecambe often play with a 4-2-3-1 formation with Wingers, Mendes Gomes and O’Sullivan playing either side of Stockton, with Aaron Wildig tucked in behind.
Reece Grego-Cox, Henry Burnett, Tom Dallison and Tony Craig remain unavailable. Sam Matthews could be out after suffering an injury against Grimsby.
HOW THEY BET*
Crawley Town 11/5
*Odds correct with EFL partners Sky Bet at the time of writing. Please gamble responsibly.
You can watch the match live on iFollow from 6:20 with coverage from Harry Maynard and Ken Blackmore.
You can purchase a match pass for £10 by clicking here.