Bentley “sick and tired” of talking about referees

Michael Rose battles for the ball against Barnet.
Michael Rose battles for the ball against Barnet.

Morecambe boss Jim Bentley admitted he is fed up of talking about refereeing decisions after their defeat to Barnet on Tuesday evening.

Tom Champion’s second-half goal condemned the Shrimps to a first defeat in seven games but that only tells a fraction of the story.

Referee David Coote gave Morecambe skipper Peter Murphy a straight red card for a first-half challenge on Ruben Bover.

While it was a forceful challenge, it seemed a fair one with Murphy apparently winning the ball before making any contact with the Bees’ midfielder.

The red card was Morecambe’s sixth of the season but it was the latest in a line of refereeing decisions to annoy the Shrimps’ camp.

Key incidents have gone against them this season, most notably against Wycombe Wanderers, Coventry City and Carlisle United.

“I’m sick and tired of it; I just can’t get my head around it,” Bentley said, whose side next travel to Crawley on Saturday.

“I’m not making excuses, people say swings and roundabouts but I didn’t need to go and look at it.

“It’s a wholehearted tackle; I thought he won the ball and then we were on the break.

“We’ve been fined in the past for surrounding the referee so we’ve worked on that but the reaction of the Barnet players was similar to the Cambridge players.

“I’ve said we will have ups and downs; we’ve had a down today and we’ve lost Peter but we will appeal it - and I’ll be gutted if it isn’t overturned.

“We wrote about the incident at Carlisle United where Aaron Wildig gets wiped out by the keeper, nothing is given and it comes back described as a ‘critical error.’”

Having played for more than an hour with 10 men - and seen ‘keeper Barry Roche save john Akinde’s penalty - the Shrimps fell victim to Champion’s 65th minute header.

The manner was especially disappointing for Bentley with his players switching off at a corner, allowing Jamal Campbell-Ryce to put in the cross for Champion’s goal.

“I felt quite comfortable at times,” Bentley said.

“We did say to the players to make sure they were lively for every set play because Barnet would try and explore a short one because of the extra man.

“I’m so disappointed for everyone who has come tonight because there was a really good feeling about the place.”