As a small town with a population of just over 40,000, you wouldn’t say there’s much that makes Morecambe stand out. However, it’s located on the coast, by the Irish Sea, so it’s an area that does bring in tourists, and there are many reasons for that.
Admittedly, you can’t always guarantee the weather, but Morecambe can be a great day out for the family. There are many activities to do, although when it comes to sport, the choice is pretty limited. For those that enjoy the excitement of horse racing, a trip to Cartmel Racecourse will appeal. A glance at the latest horse racing betting odds shows that they attract big names to the meeting, but it’s still around 30 miles outside Morecambe.
So, when you’re in the town, there’s only one sporting thing that matters; Morecambe FC. Currently in League Two, the Shrimps have done well over the years to establish themselves at a professional level after years in non-league.
Nevertheless, given the modest resources and finances, it’s hard to see the club progressing much further. Even further down the football pyramid, money talks, and Morecambe aren’t in a position to compete with all in the fourth tier. Therefore, the FA Cup is crucial, and Derek Adams’ side were handed a brilliant tie for January 2021 when they were drawn against Chelsea.
It really is a case of David vs Goliath, and there won’t be many outside Morecambe that give the Shrimps a chance. In fact, neutrals will expect the Londoners to run up a huge score. Will Frank Lampard’s side score four? Five? Six? It may even be worse than that, given the quality the Blues have. A 7-0 loss against Newcastle in the League Cup earlier this year was a stark warning of just how big the gulf is. And, that was a home game.
For Morecambe though, it’s a challenge they will embrace. Of course, nobody expects a result, but it’s the FA Cup. The oldest cup competition in the world has regularly thrown up shocks over the years, and even if it’s a tiny opportunity, the Morecambe squad could make history at Stamford Bridge.
Realistically, it will just be a great occasion for the players. They will get to play at one of the best grounds in the country, against players who they will have watched play in the Champions League and at the World Cup. It’s exactly what the competition is all about, giving those players a chance to come up against incredible talent that they normally wouldn’t. Even if Chelsea rotate the squad, which is to be expected, the starting XI will still be worth millions.
Whilst the immediate focus for the Shrimps is all on the league, the FA Cup fixture is looming on the horizon. No matter what the scoreline is, it’s a day to be enjoyed for Morecambe, as they come up against one of the biggest names in English football.