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Stanley v Morecambe: No second chance for Shrimps’ visit
ACCRINGTON captain Luke Joyce is determined to make sure there are no second chances for Morecambe tonight.
The Shrimps were the happier of the two teams when last month’s meeting was abandoned early in the second half because of a water-logged pitch.
It was a controversial decision, with standing water affecting only a small section of the surface and Morecambe down to 10 men following the first-half dismissal of Alex Kenyon for a late challenge on Peter Murphy with the game goalless at that point.
Manager James Beattie noted that in an ideal world the game would pick up where it left off.
But Joyce said it would serve as an added incentive to prolong their unbeaten League Two record against their rivals.
“I suppose it’s a bit more in my mind than some of the lads because a lot of them have only been here for a season or two. I’ve played against Morecambe a lot of times in my time here and it’s a record that we’re proud of and hopefully that gives us the psychological edge over them,” said the Stanley skipper.
The Reds have not lost a league game to Morecambe since 2005 in their Conference winning season – a run of 14 matches.
Murphy fired in a last-minute winner at the Globe Arena in October, after Jack Sampson had cancelled out Danny Webber’s first-half penalty.
“We’re desperate to keep that record going and it would be really nice to get the double over them this season too,” Joyce continued.
“A lot of the lads know each other.
“I’ve been on a course with (Morecambe boss) Jim Bentley so I know him. But as soon as that whistle goes and you’re out there and fighting for three points, friendships go out of the window and it’s all about doing your best to get the points for your team.
“It’s got all the ingredients; a night game at home, against Morecambe in a big derby and if we can get the crowd in the stand and we can produce the goods on the pitch then it should be a good night.”
But with the Northampton closing the gap to three points between Stanley and the bottom two, Joyce knows there is much more at stake than bragging rights.
For the congestion does not just affect the clubs at the bottom, with just six points separating the Reds, in 22nd place, and 11th placed Cheltenham.
Indeed, Beattie’s side could climb up to 15th with a win tonight.
“I’ve never known League Two like this. We just have to focus on ourselves and make sure we get the points and we’ll soon find ourselves in a healthier position.
“I think from now until the end of the season it’s going to change week in and week out,” Joyce continued.
“There are teams who might think that they are out of it but they’ll get dragged back into it. All we can do is focus on ourselves and make sure we do our jobs. We can’t rely on anyone else.”
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