Monday, 12 January 2015

Morecambe F.C. – Globe Arena

10th January 2015

Morecambe 0-0 Tranmere Rovers

I suppose before settling down to pen my scribbles in this entry, I have to preface proceedings by recording that this match took place in quite the worst conditions weather-wise I have witnessed at a football ground for some time – certainly since a match I attended at Whittlets some years back.

Throughout pretty much the whole ninety-minutes, the west wind howled off the Atlantic and straight up the length of Globe Arena pitch rending any sort of creative play impossible. 

Morecambe “enjoyed” (if that is the correct word) the wind at their backs during the first half with the result that any pass attempted beyond a few metres generally overshot its mark by some distance and hurtled out of play.  Tranmere, by contrast, often toiled to get the ball out of their own half.  Goal kicks and even corner kicks regularly sailed into touch without any individual getting anywhere near them.

At the start of the second period, the wind appeared to drop for a spell, and it looked as though we may see some real football.  But this was just a prelude to a violent hail storm, and before long the wind was up to its old tricks again.

Consequent to the appalling conditions I find it almost impossible to make any sort of assessment of the footballing abilities or otherwise of either side.  Tranmere’s Marc Laird (the only Scot on the pitch, I think) looked an industrious soul, but he was substituted not long after missing the visitors’ best chance, sending a free header over the bar.

I also liked Morecambe’s Kevin Ellison who took on the mantle of the most likely individual on the park to conjure up a goal.  He came close on two occasions in the first-half, but fluffed his big second-half opportunity, taking an embarrassing fresh-air swipe at a cut-back.  He, like Laird before him, was later hooked.

The other individual who caught the eye was home defender Andy Parrish.  Playing three at the back can be a risky business and really relies upon a trio of reasonably accomplished ball players.  The well-built Parrish looked more your typical lower-league centre-half, but he effected at times a fleetness of foot and deftness of touch which belied his formidable frame. 

Marc Laird - Tranmere Rovers

Andy Parrish - Morecambe FC.

Tranmere's Michael Ihiekwe clears.

Morecambe v Tranmere - January 2015

Morecambe v Tranmere - January 2015

Once you have been doing the Groundhopping thing for some years,
new sights at a football ground do not come along terribly often.
Folks holding and waving up their mobile phones with the
light switched on was a new one on me.

Morecambe v Tranmere - January 2015

Pretty much says it all.

Panorama of Globe Arena, Morecambe.

The Globe Arena itself presently boasts just the one stand, with a pair of modestly-sized covered terracings at either end.  Opposite the stand is a narrow strip of uncovered terracing which I am guessing has been left in this underdeveloped stage to facilitate the building of a second stand should any progression up the pyramid by Morecambe require it.

Globe Arena, Morecambe

Globe Arena, Morecambe.

Globe Arena, Morecambe.

Panorama of Globe Arena, Morecambe.

Panorama of Globe Arena, Morecambe.

Peter McGuigan Stand, Globe Arena.

West Terrace, Globe Arena.

Finally a word on the Morecambe F.C. badge – a delightfully minimalist red shield featuring a humble shrimp – contrast this with the almost willfully busy logo Burton Albion have recently come up with.  The aforementioned decapod crustacean of course refers to the club’s nickname of The Shrimps.  I am assuming they would have preferred The Shrimpers, but Southend United got there first.  Given the other local industry of cockling, perhaps The Cocklers would have worked – but in light of the sad events of 2004, perhaps not.  

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