Historic draws for Fylde clubs

Forest boss Steve Cotterill and (below) Morecambe's Jim Bentley.
Forest boss Steve Cotterill and (below) Morecambe's Jim Bentley.
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BLACKPOOL are exploring the possibility of playing their historic Capital One Cup game at home to Morecambe on a Saturday afternoon as they strive to avoid a clash with Fleetwood Town’s glamorous home tie against Nottingham Forest.

Pool and the Shrimps have never met competitively before but their clash may well be over-shadowed by Town’s exciting match-up with Forest on their first ever appearance in the newly rebranded League Cup.

Morecambe's Jim Bentley

Morecambe's Jim Bentley

In a break with tradition, the opening round is scheduled to be played the week before the Football League season begins for Blackpool and, for the first time, Fleetwood on August 18.

Seasiders secretary Matt Williams, who sits on the fixtures working party, told The Gazette an agreement had been reached for ties to take place on Saturday, August 11.

Williams said: “We are discussing dates with Morecambe and Saturday August 11 is one we are looking into.

“Morecambe are keen to play on the Saturday but we also have to bear in mind that Preston as well as Fleetwood have been drawn at home. All three clubs can’t play at home at the same time.”

The Gazette understands that Fleetwood v Forest has, surprisingly, not been chosen for live TV coverage on Sky, though there may yet be a rethink.

Either way, Fleetwood boss Micky Mellon is predicting a sell-out for the visit of a club which won this competition four times between 1978 and 1990. Mellon said: “Everyone will want to be involved against Forest and there is sure to be a full house. I know my chairman is delighted at the draw!

“To have a magnificent team like Nottingham Forest coming to our club, a team that won the European Cup twice, is unbelievable.

“It just shows how far this club has come – as well as a big club coming to Fleetwood, it will also give our fans the chance to see our new signings.”

Town are in the market for another striker to follow their capture of former Preston hitman Jon Parkin, and they hope to confirm a sixth summer signing on Monday.

Retired striker Lee Thorpe, who played for Blackpool and Fleetwood, scored the winner when Pool met Morecambe in another cup competition – the Marsden Cup – back in 1996.

In one of the few summer friendly meetings between the clubs, Pool came back from 2-1 down at Morecambe’s old Christie Park to win 3-2 with goals by Carl Bradshaw, James Quinn and Thorpe.

Morecambe had just won promotion to the Conference at that time but now, after five seasons in League Two, manager Jim Bentley is relishing their first trip to Blackpool.

He said: “It would have been nice to be drawn at home but the game will certainly exciting for the players and the fans.

“It will obviously be a really tough game for us but we have done well against sides from leagues above us in the last couple of years.”

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