Jim Bentley

In profile: Morecambe

by Stuart Vose

Background on tonight's opponents.

Morecambe are competing in their sixth successive nPower League Two season after securing promotion to the Football League for the first time in their history in following a 2-1 Conference Play-Offs victory over Exeter City at Wembley Stadium.

In their first season in league football, the club finished in a very respectable 11th place and recorded memorable victories over Preston North End and Wolverhampton Wanderers in the 2007-08 League Cup.

The following year, they again finished in 11th place, and announced plans to move from Christie Park, the club's home since 1921, to a new 6,476 capacity stadium.

In 2010-11, Morecambe surpassed expectations to finish in fourth place in League Two, reaching the play-off semi-finals where they would be beaten 7-2 on aggregate by Dagenham & Redbridge.

The Shrimps played their first game at their new stadium, the Globe Arena, earlier that season in a League Cup clash against Coventry, securing a 2-0 win.

In May 2011 legendary manager Sammy McIlroy left the club after five highly successful years at the helm. Four days after his departure, Morecambe announced defender Jim Bentley as their new player-manager.

Morecambe headed into last season hoping to consolidate their position in League Two but surprised everyone by topping the table by October after just three defeats.

But a run of poor form leading up to Christmas saw the club drop to mid-table where they remained 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.

The club have enjoying a mixed start to the 2012-13 season, winning two and losing two of their opening five games, including a 3-1 defeat to Port Vale last time out.

Morecambe have progressed to the Capital One Cup Second Round for the third time in the five seasons since gaining promotion to the Football League, and travel to the Stadium of Light after pulling off a shock 2-1 victory over Blackpool in their previous tie.