Globe Arena, Saturday September 13th, 3.00pm
Morecambe last time out (v Cheltenham): Roche, Beeley, Edwards, Parrish, Widdowson, Goodall, Wright, Fleming, Devitt, Ellison, Redshaw.
Argyle last time out (v Luton): McCormick, Mellor, Nelson, Hartley, McHugh, Alessandra, Cox, O’Connor, Blizzard, Banton, Reid
These two sides have never been involved in a goalless draw.
The Shrimps go into this one after their first league game without a goal this season last time out against Cheltenham. Jim Bentley’s side will be looking to bounce right back here when Plymouth make the trip to the Globe Arena. The Pilgrims are on a good run of form having won their last two league matches, including last weekend’s televised match against Luton. Last time these two met was at Home Park where Argyle romped to a 5-0 victory in front of their home fans. This is not the same Morecambe side they faced six months ago though, and a much sterner test awaits them on Saturday.
A closer look at Morecambe:
Jim Bentley has a near full strength side to choose from ahead of this clash, the only notable absentees being captain Mark Hughes and Laurence Wilson. Hughes is still suspended following his red card against Tranmere and will sit out his third and final game this weekend. Wilson is still out with ligament damage and it could still be a month or so until he returns. Although numbers may be limited in defence, Bentley has a selection headache in the attacking third with a number of players vying for a starting place. With Kevin Ellison, Jack Redshaw, and Paul Mullin all impressing recently the home side will be more than capable of outscoring their opponents in this one. Bentley has even said he might play with four up front this weekend, and with Argyle looking suspect from set pieces in recent times they could capitalise.
One to watch: Kevin Ellison
The veteran winger, so often the pantomime villain to away fans, has enjoyed a superb start to the season (Oh yes he has!). Four goals in his first six games highlight the importance of Ellison to the Morecambe side, as he constantly turns in performances that belie his years. The wide man, who at six foot is also decent in the air, has proven himself at the Globe Arena and even at 35 is a force to be reckoned with. A footballer with a sense of humour to go with it; Ellison’s playful interactions with the opposing fans just add to the spectacle, showing he is a proper people’s person with his feet on the ground. Argyle will have to be on their game to stop him getting on the score sheet again, they’ll have to watch their discipline though, as the big man is pretty handy at curling in a dead ball too.
A closer look at Argyle:
John Sheridan could well pick the same starting eleven that stole all three points at Kenilworth Road last time out, with goal scorer Dominic Blizzard retaining his place. The selection of Blizzard was under scrutiny last week before kick-off but the midfielder came up trumps as he sent the away fans home happy. One disappointment for the Pilgrims is the loss of loan starlet Alex Bray; the Swansea loanee only made his debut as a substitute against Luton but was then substituted himself soon after. A ruptured anterior ligament injury means it was a premature end to his loan spell in Devon. One encouraging sign for the Green Army is the return of Marvin Morgan to the squad; the frontman had been missing previously due to illness. If he can perform like he did in his last appearance against Southend two weeks ago it could be a hard day at the office for the Morecambe backline. Youngsters River Allen and Aaron Bentley also look set to miss out after picking up knocks and will not travel with the squad.
One to watch: Reuben Reid
It may have been Dominic Blizzard that stole the headlines for his well taken goal against Luton last week, but Reid’s performance was just as impressive. The frontman lead the line with aplomb; holding the ball up well for Lewis Alessandra and Jason Banton to break from midfield. One more improved side of his game is his direct running approach, it is clear to see he has put the effort in over the summer to become fitter, and this has benefited his game massively. His ball control can see him beat his man and he now has the added pace to go with it meaning the Morecambe defence can ill afford to give him time on the ball. He may not have scored last Saturday but he already has three this season, and with the Bristolian in such a rich vein of form it is only a matter of time before he finds the back of the net again.
Morecambe’s good start to the season has been faltering a bit lately, but they are still unbeaten at home and the Pilgrims’ defence hasn’t been the strongest this season. If Kevin Ellison plays on the right he will have the beating of Carl McHugh for pace which will leave the Argyle backline vulnerable. A repeat of last season’s 2-1 score line in favour of the home side looks likely.