Morecambe's top scorer reflects on last month's stunning strike at Fleetwood Town

Morecambe striker Cole Stockton has joked a repeat of his Fleetwood Town wonder goal might force him to quit football.

By Gavin Browne
Friday, 17th December 2021, 4:45 pm

The Shrimps welcome Fleetwood to the Mazuma Stadium tomorrow, four weeks on from their previous meeting at Highbury.

Morecambe claimed the spoils that day, winning 2-1 after Stockton chipped Town keeper Alex Cairns from inside his own half during added time.

It was the second long-range stunner of the season for the 27-year-old, following on from his lob against AFC Wimbledon.

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Speaking to The Official EFL Podcast, Stockton said: “I didn’t keep count on how many times I’ve watched it.

“Looking back on Twitter at how many views it had. I saw an angle behind the goal which looked so much better.

“Once I hit that, it felt like slow motion. I was just praying it didn’t go over or hit the bar.

“Then I saw the net ripple and thought ‘Oh my God’. If I do that again this weekend, I might have to retire!”

Stockton has been Morecambe’s standout performer so far this season, scoring 16 times in 25 league and cup appearances and earning back-to-back player of the month awards in August and September.

Thirteen of those goals have come in League One, seeing him top the division’s scoring charts ahead of Rotherham United’s Michael Smith.

Stockton had previously played two seasons in the third tier as a teenager at Tranmere Rovers, scoring only five league goals across both campaigns.

Nevertheless, he’s continued his fine displays from last season during which he scored 15 times for the Shrimps.

Asked where this season’s run of form had come from, Stockton said: “I couldn’t tell you. I’d like to think it’s off the back of last season’s promotion, finding myself, growing into my body and knowing what I’m good at – also, just more believing in myself.

“You are going to have doubters and hate on social (media). It will always stick with me, people saying ‘He’ll end up back in League Two’ after we got promoted.

“The first two months, I then got player of the month and it was just so bittersweet. Once you score early doors it gets that weight off your shoulders.”

Morecambe go into the Fleetwood game sitting in the bottom four after a run of only one win from their last 11 league games.

Were the Shrimps to avoid the drop this season, it would be an even bigger surprise to the pundits than promotion last time around.

Derek Adams’ class of 2020/21 defied those who tipped them for relegation to begin with, those who thought their form would fall away and those who believed they would not recover after missing out on automatic promotion.

Instead, they rallied and saw off Newport County AFC in the Wembley promotion play-off final.

“Last season we were favourites to go down,” Stockton said.

“Our team last year was basically a bunch of lads put together who no-one wanted - lowest budget in the league, favourites to go down, all on 80 per cent pay like the majority of the country.

“It got to the point in the season where we realised we were in a decent position to go and do something.”

“To get through by the play-offs is the best way to do it, I think. At Wembley, there’s nothing better.”

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