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Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Big Match Preview

League Two
Morecambe vs. Lincoln City
Saturday October 31, 15:00, Christie Park

Two basement division sides who could do with a win meet on the Lancashire coast this weekend as Chris Sutton takes his Lincoln City team to face fellow strugglers Morecambe.

For the hosts, in their last season at their Christie Park home before a move to a new stadium, it's been a disappointing start to the campaign. Just one win, ironically against big-spending Notts County, has been garnered this term.

Much was expected of the Shrimps after the summer signings of Ian Craney and Phil Jevons, both on loan from Huddersfield, and the subsequent capture of Accrington target man Paul Mullin.

However, things haven't quite gone to plan for Sammy McIlroy's men, with too many draws - nine in total - being their biggest frustration this term. That includes five stalemates on home turf where their unbeaten home record was ended by Northampton last weekend.

They'll be looking to get back to winning ways for the visit of Lincoln therefore, with the club, promoted to the Football League in 2007, lying just two points and two places above the drop zone back to the Conference.

Much will depend on loan man Jevons, a profitable striker at this level, the former Yeovil man has six goals to his name already this term. Midfielders Stewart Drummond and Michael Twiss have also been key figures again for the Lancashire outfit.

It's been a similarly disappointing start to the campaign for their opponents this weekend. Lincoln parted company with boss Peter Jackson last month after three defeats in their first five league games.

His eventual replacement turned out to be former England striker Chris Sutton, taking over at Sincil Bank for his first managerial role. Assisted by ex-Blackburn teammate Ian Pearce, the Imps have taken seven points from their four games under the new manager.

Chris Sutton is in his first managerial job at struggling Lincoln

That included 1-0 wins over Aldershot and Macclesfield, but City have gone two games without scoring in defeat at Northampton and then last weekend's draw against another struggling side in Torquay.

Indeed, goals have been hard to come by for Lincoln with just nine registered in their 14 league games. Four of those have come from striker Rene Howe, on loan at the club until the New Year from Peterborough.

Striker Chris Fagan, a product of Glenn Hoddle's academy in Spain after being released by Manchester United, has bagged three goals this term too, and is one of just four players to find the back of the net for Sutton's side.

Only bottom of the league Darlington have lost more games on the road this season as well, so the Imps, fresh from their first draw of the season, will be happy to take a similar result back with them to the East Midlands.

However, the Shrimps will be looking to bounce back from their first home loss of the campaign in their previous game, and a Lincoln side who struggle to score may well face the backlash. A tight game with few goals, just in favour of the home team.

Nobes' Prediction: Morecambe 1 Lincoln City 0

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