Morecambe FC – The Globe Arena

16Morecambe are another football team that I have seen regularly on the local news as I have been growing up. They had recently moved from their home of 89 years, Christie Park to their brand new stadium The Globe Arena. The name of the stadium derives from the company which constructed it – Globe Construction. I am personally not a fan of the name, or the stadium.

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think the stadium is awful. It has it positives and its negatives just like any other stadium, but I think the negatives slightly outweigh the positives with this modern day development.

I would love to know what was going on through the architects mind when he was given the task of creating a brand new, modern looking stadium, at a low budget (£12 million.) His thoughts were probably along the lines of;

“I shall design a car park! We will leave the front of the stadium covered in gravel and rocks, but we will lay a car park towards the rear of the stadium.”

“Lets design an away end! Morecambe won’t recieve that many away fans so we’ll make an uncovered channel to the rear of the stand as a concourse. This will be where you queue for food and toilets. I will then also feed the traffic from the turnstiles into this space aswell. OH AND I KNOW! I will make all the supporters squeeze through here to get to the terracing!”

Okay, I’ll stop moaning now. It is a modern stadium which is nice on the eyes, and with a bit more care and funding it would have been brilliant.

The journey to Morecambe began when the Pillings picked me up from the top of my street as usual. It was a fairly mild night, so I didn’t have to wrap up much – which can only be a positive.

Travelling up to Morecambe was comfortable and the traffic was kind to us. Parking just over the road, we didn’t have to walk far to the ground. Parking could be quite a problem if/when Morecambe get promoted or when they draw a bigger team in the cup.

My first impressions of the stadium were that it looked very modern, but at the same time unfinished… which was a given really as it had only opened around a month prior to my visit.

I had my picture outside, and went inside the club shop to buy my programme. It wasn’t really a club shop, it was more of a clothes shop. If you want cut-price ‘Bench’ clothing, then The Globe Arena is a must for you! (Bench sponsor Morecambe).

We didn’t walk around the stadium, instead choosing to go directly to the turnstiles. Admission cost me £6 in the away standing terrace, and I recieved a souvenier ticket stub when I had paid.

The visiting supporters were housed in The Bay Radio Stand, which is capable of holding 1,389 supporters.

My initial thoughts of the away end were… “What idiot designed this?”

To the left hand side was a breeze-block wall which ran the length of the stand, and to the right were the toilets, food outlets etc. This resulted in the food queue blocking the doors to the toilets, which then in turn blocked the whole alleyway. You can imagine the scene really can’t you?

As I turned the corner, into the ‘arena’ I saw the away terracing. Again, a very strange decision was made during the design process. I can’t really describe what was wrong with it, but it just didn’t look right.

The Main Stand was situated to my left. With a capacity of 2,173 it is the only stand which offers seating. A small section of the stand is offered to away fans, and the rest is used for home fans and media. This stand looks very good, possibly because it’s surrounded by terracing?

Directly in front stood The Morecambe Bay Wines Stand, also known as the West Stand. It can hold up to 2,234 standing home fans, and it is where the atmosphere generally comes from on a matchday. It mirrors the opposing away end.

To my right was the Open Terrace. Running the length of the pitch it holds 606 standing supporters. Now, in my opinion it is a crime to build a stand without a roof in the north of England, but this is what Morecambe went for. It apparently gives it the ‘feel of their home – Christie Park’.

It may have only been early on in the season, but Bury FC had a real buzz around it. Alan Knill had brought in many young players on loan, and they all seemed to be coming together to form a young, skilfull squad.

Morecambe were still waiting for their first win at their new home. However, the omens were still in their favour as Bury had never won away at Morecambe.

Bury couldn’t have started off the match any better, scoring a goal within the first two minutes. Phil Picken fired the ball out wide to the determined Mike Jones. Jones then cut inside the defence and fired a low shot from the edge of the box which beat Barry Roche in the Morecambe net.

Bury should have then doubled their lead just two minutes later when Lennel John-Lewis had a shot which flew just wide of the post.

Early dominance continued when a long ball upfield found Ryan Lowe. Lowe did well to beat the keeper but unfortunately he couldn’t beat the post. The Shakers also had a free kick and another oppurtunity, both of which were blocked.

Less than 20 minutes into the match and the referee couldn’t keep up with Burys’ fast flowing football, and he pulled his calf. The replacement referees first job was to blow his whistle to signal another Bury goal. This time it was Steven Schumacher who netted his first goal in the white of Bury after a corner from Jones.

More Bury pressure continued to rain down upon The Shrimpers net, before they finally had a shot of their own in the 38th minute. Stuart Drummond was denied by the Bury goalkeeper Cameron Belford.

After a number of corners in quick succession the Bury defence was finally broken. The ball had been cleared, only for it to fall to Stuart Drummond who volleyed it in superbly.

The teams went in at half time, after a thrilling, quick paced first half of football. I would have gone for a walk at half time, but as it was more congested than the M60 at rush hour I stayed where I was.

Morecambe had the first chance of the second half when ex-Shaker Paul Scott put the ball in the net. However, the linesman on the near side had raised his flag for offside. The match was an end to end affair with both teams looking capable of scoring at any given moment.

Ryan Lowe was replaced by a young unknown loanee from Manchester United – Nicky Ajose. I had seen Ajose play in the reserves at Manchester United and had been impressed with him. Alan Knill also brought on Andy Haworth. These two substitutions swung the match in favour of Bury, and Morecambe couldn’t cope with the injection of pace.

77 minutes, and the pace of Ajose made an impact. He ran past Morecambe defender Tony Capaldi, before squaring it to Andy Haworth who scored his first goal for The Shakers.

Ajose then did exactly the same around 10 minutes later, this time supplying Michael Schumacher for his second goal of the evening. Ajose had only been wearing a Bury shirt for a matter of 20 minutes, but had already earned himself a song!

Bury fans were in a party atmosphere all evening and when they scored their 4th, we began to sing ♫ You’re 4-1 down and you’re pissed wet through! ♫ – This was directed at the fans on the open terrace who had been soaked, and subjected to a defeat.

I really enjoyed my evening at The Globe Arena, and hope to visit there again.


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