A look ahead to tomorrow's game
Bristol Rovers host Lancashire seaside team Morecambe for just their second visit to the Mem.
After last weekend’s debacle at Wycombe Rovers will be confident that they can start to establish themselves in the top half of the table. Morecambe meanwhile have already experienced highs and lows in this fledgling season.
The Shrimps sit on 4 points after 3 league games, having beaten Exeter away in their opening game, drawn 2-2 at home to York (having twice been in front) and then on Saturday going down 3-1 at home to Port Vale.
The Lancashire team has won just 2 of their last 11 games in all competitions.
On Saturday goals by John McCombe, with a header, and Tom Pope from close in, late in the game secured an away win for the Potteries team.
Vale had taken a first minute lead after Louis Dodds' shot rebounded out to Sam Morsy, who slotted home. Morecambe equalised just after the half hour when Kevin Ellison cut inside and unleashed a curling strike inside the post.
On Tuesday night the Shrimpers had a ‘big night out’ at the Stadium of Light in the Second Round of the Capital One Cup. Although they went down 2-0 to goals set up by former Middlesbrough and Manchester City winger Adam Johnson.
The first when his corner headed in by James McClean and then he found McClean again for the Irishman to score with a confident finish.
Lewis Alessandra saw a shot go narrowly wide in a rare chance for Morecambe when the sore was still 1-0.
Speaking after the game Morecambe boss Jim Bentley said, "It's always nice as a footballer to pit your wits against the best in the business.
"Sunderland have got an unbelievable amount of quality - the two new signings and Louis Saha, who's a bit of a hero of mine being an Evertonian, coming off the bench as well.
"They put a really, really strong side out and we acquitted ourselves well and gave them a good game."
Bentley also paid tribute to the 610 Morecambe fans who made the trip to the North East, “They were really great at Blackpool in the last round and carried us through in the end. And tonight they sang throughout and I just want to thank them for really getting behind the lads.”
Last season the Shrimpers were looking to consolidate their position in League Two but surprised everyone by topping the table by October after just three defeats (one of which was a 3-2 home loss to Rovers).
A run of poor form leading up to Christmas saw the club drop to mid-table where they stayed for the remainder of the campaign.
With six players leaving over the summer, Bentley has brought in Andreas Arestidou from Preston, Laurence Wilson from Rotherham and Crawley's Richard Brodie on free transfers to bolster his squad.
Last season Rovers secured a 2-1 home victory. Lee Brown opened the scoring, 12 minutes after half time, tapping in an Eliot Richards cross that was touched on by Scott McGleish.
With 15 minutes left to play McGleish tucked away a penalty awarded after Danny Carlton tugged Matthew Lund's shirt. Jordan Burrows then missed a chance for the Shrimps but Kevin Ellison fired in the rebound in the 88th minute but with 10 minutes of added time.
Mark McGhee will be anxious for his team to build on the promising performance at Wycombe. Elliot Richards in particular should feel the confidence that all goal scorers need after his two impressive strikes.
A repeat of the first half at Wycombe should see Rovers secure all three points.
Written by Gerry Prewett