Saturday, 10 March 2012

Morecambe 0 v Hereford United 1 - npower League 2

Saturday 10th March 2012, at the Globe Arena
npower League 2
Morecambe (0) 0
Hereford United (1) 1 - Lyle Taylor 28
Admission £15, Programme £3, Attendance 1,653
Roche, Parrish, Haining, McCready, McGinty, Reid, McDonald, Hunter, Alessandra, Carlton, Burrow,
Subs: Kettings, Redshaw, Jevons, Cowperthwaite, Drummond
Hereford United:
Cornell, Purkiss, Anthony, Townsend, Purdie, Featherstone, Lacey, Evans, Barkhuizen, Taylor, Facey
Subs: Bartlett (GK), Arquin, Colbeck, Stam, Clucas
On 20th May 2007, Morecambe beat Exeter City in the Conference play off final at Wembley and entered the Football League for the first time in their history, which stretches back to 1920.
They moved from their old ground Christie Park, into the newly built (at a cost of £12 million) Globe Arena, at the beginning of the 2010-11 season.
Hereford United are struggling at the wrong end of the basement division and are scrapping, not for the first time in their history, to preserve their Football League status.
Early in the game, Jordan Burrow should've put the home side ahead, but having taken the ball around the Bulls keeper, found the angle to the open goal was too acute and missed the target.
Morecambe's former Chesterfield and Nottingham Forest keeper Barry Roche (obviously now enjoying an upturn in his career fortunes), had to be alert when Lyle Taylor tried to hoodwink him with a tenacious back-heel inside the six yard box and Tom Barkhuizen hit a rasping shot on target from the edge of the box.
On 28 minutes, a long free kick into the box was flicked into Lyle Taylor's path by Tom Barkhuizen and the Hereford striker opened the scoring from eight yards out.
And that just about covers the highlights of a fairly dull first half.
Hereford's goalscorer Lyle Taylor (left) challenges Izak Reid

After the interval, Morecambe huffed and puffed, but they couldn't blow Hereford United's house down.
The home side had the bulk of the possession in the second half, but couldn't find the finishing touches in the last third to make good all their hard work and endeavour.
Izak Reid, provided a steady stream of goalmouth action with some great work down the left wing, but his forwards seldom troubled the visitors keeper Dave Cornell and his defence.
And Jack Redshaw and Jordan Burrow were both guilty of missing second half chances for the Shrimps.
It wasn't pretty to watch at times, but Hereford won't mind that too much, this was a vital three points for them today.
At full time a couple of hundred snorkel parka wearing youths invaded the pitch waving their black and white scarves, as per tradition when Hereford United celebrate a famous win. Well, I'm sure they would have done, if there had been a couple of hundred Bulls supporting youths there and the pitch wasn't so far away from where the visiting supporters were standing.
To surmise:
I've seen better games.
But a new ground ticked off, a good time had by all in the William Mitchell pub 5 minutes walk from the Globe Arena and the Stags won again at Tamworth.

The Globe Arena tour
Home end capacity 2,234

The reason for our visit to the Globe Arena today was, although we'd all been to Morecambe's previous ground Christie Park before, this was uncharted territory for our intrepid trio.
So upon arrival a tour of the facilities was in order.
Note, Morecambe FC don't actually do ground tours, but they did leave the gates open this Saturday lunchtime and it would be rude not to take full advantage.
Above. A corner flag, with the main seated stand in the background.
Below. The same stand in the foreground.
This is the only stand with any seating in the whole ground, it caters for 2,173 fans.
The Globe Arena adequately accommodates the kind of crowds Morecambe have been attracting, in fact the Hereford fans aimed a taunt at the 'Shrimps' fans by singing "Your ground's too big for you!" at them.
But I thought that two sides of the ground were nowhere near as grandiose as I'd anticipated.
For example ...
The away end, where the terrace doesn't start until half way up the stand.
It is forbidden to stand on the tarmac area directly behind the goal.
I guess this provides a lofty vantage point for the 1,389 spectators it apparently holds, but it gives the impression that once the main stand and hospitality facilities were built, the club ran out of money and went for the cheap option.
As does ...
A new Football League arena, with a four step deep, uncovered terrace, running along one side of the ground, with a big gap in the middle, that holds 606 spectators.
Obviously the Globe Arena is more than adequate for a club currently bobbing about in the safety zone of mid table League 2, whose crowds have never threatened to test the 6,402 capacity to it's limit. A
And in these days when a lot of clubs are going into financial meltdown it makes sense not to blow a fortune on facilities that would seldom, if ever, get used.
There are also corporate hospitality boxes and conference rooms available at the ground that provide an income stream.
But my first impression of "Morecambe's superb new Globe Arena" was that the majority of it is an afterthought, thrown up to just about fulfil the capacity requirements, once the main stand had been built.
There is room and scope for improvement if Morecambe ever progress further up the league.
I guess that must be the plan for the club in the grand scheme of things.