Morecambe FC’s season may have limped to a close, but being clear of any last-day drama at the bottom of League 2 means the Shrimps’ sixth season in the Football League has been a success, writes ADAM LORD
Survival is success. That, when all is said and done, is how Morecambe’s season should be judged.
Yes, there was talk of a run at the play-offs but being clear of what was a titanic battle at the basement of the Football League should be looked on with real pride by all those at the Globe Arena.
Jim Bentley and his side reached the 50-point mark seen as required for safety with time to spare.
Would it have been nice for the Shrimps to kick on and secure a top-half finish?
Of course, Bentley himself admits as much, but injuries and suspensions to a threadbare squad have meant the walking wounded have had to carry the club over the line.
Off the field issues haven’t helped in the run-in either with the manager preparing for a seventh Football League season in the face of boardroom departures and further budget cuts.
It may appear therefore that the season has ended on something of a bum note but don’t forget what has gone before and that there was no nail biting at Roots Hall on Saturday afternoon and frantic checking of phones for results from around the league.
As for how that point was reached, the football certainly hasn’t always been easy on the eye, despite Bentley and McKenna’s best intentions.
Results have had to be ground out but remember for periods of the season the Globe Arena surface has hardly been conducive to free-flowing football.
It is those hard-fought results, including the excellent 1-0 win at promoted Port Vale in February that helped secure League 2 status before the run-in.
There are more obvious highs as well. The Shrimps may not have had a great cup run as such, but have enjoyed their time in the FA Cup, Capital One Cup and even to a degree Johnstone’s Paint Trophy.
An opening day win at Blackpool and visits in defeat to Sunderland and Coventry were all great trips for players, management, officials, supporters and dare I say it, press alike.
At the Globe Arena, Kevin Ellison has been responsible for some Champagne moments.
‘That’ goal against Rochdale and the wild scenes that greeted his winner against Rotherham will live long in the memory.
And while there has been criticism of the club in the face of disappointing Globe attendances no-one can deny that the free entry game against Dagenham was a success.
The feel-good factor of more than 4,000 fans coming through the turnstiles must be built on.
But perhaps the thing that bodes well for the future is the emergence of Jack Redshaw and Ryan Williams.
Plucked from non-league it is something that messrs Bentley and McKenna are working hard to replicate, but those rough diamonds don’t often cut as managers hope.
The Shrimps appear to have struck gold with these two and will be counting on finding more of the same to remain competitive in League 2 next season.
It may have lacked in glamour but 2012-2013 is most certainly a job well done on the field at Morecambe FC.