MORECAMBE boss Jim Bentley says his side can take a lot of positives from their Carling Cup defeat at Millwall last night.
The Shrimps’ hopes of causing another Carling Cup shock were dashed at the New Den as two first half goals gave the home side victory and although the Shrimps produced an excellent second half display they could not find a way back into the game.
Bentley said he was happy with his side’s overall performance and says there is no reason why the Shrimps can not bounce back to form at Northampton on Saturday.
He said: “We are obviously disappointed to have gone out of the cup but there were a lot of good things to take from the game.
“We gave it a real good go in the second half and worked their keeper which is what we asked the lads to do. It would have been nice to have got a goal back and tested their resolve a bit but it wasn’t to be and we have to move on.”
He added: “It was a good game for our lads to be involved in against a good side. We played pretty well all night and the only real disappointment was that we gave them a free kick in a good position for their opening goal. We had said all along that we couldn’t afford to give them anything in or around the box like that and that is something we will have to learn from.”
After a bright start the Shrimps went a goal down on 34 minutes when the home side took the lead through former Blackpool midfielder Hamer Bouazza. Kieran Charnock gave away a free kick with a foul on Josh McQuoid and Bouazza tried his luck from distance, Barry Roche getting a hand on the shot but The Shrimps ‘keeper was unable to prevent the ball hitting the back of the net.
The Shrimps came back and played some decent football but then gave away a second cruel goal two minutes into first half injury time when Tamika Mkandawire doubled the Lions’ advantage with another fine strike. The ex-Hereford defender beat Roche low to his right although the Shrimps’ keeper may have had his view obscured by a home player lying on the ground in front of him.
Morecambe had it all to do in the second half if they were to force their way back into the game and they played some excellent stuff to give Millwall a number of problems. Kevin Ellison drilled an effort over the bar and Izak Reid went close with a dipping shot that curled just over the bar.
Danny Carlton sprang the offside trap to have a free run on goal only to be denied by the legs of Steve Mildenhall and Will Haining also went close in the closing stages.
Phil Jevons and Lewis Alessandra also forced MiIldenhall into saves but they could not find their way back into the game despite a brave and battling performance.
Millwall: MiIldenhall, Dunne, Stewart, Abdou, Ward, Craig, Bouazza (Barron 79), Mkandawire, Marquis, McQuoid, Hacckett (Henry 45). Subs not used: Forde, Smith, Robinson, Purse, O’Brien. Booked: Marquis
Morecambe: Roche, Haining, Parrish, Charnock, Wilson, Reid, Hunter (Drummond 72), McDonald, Ellison (Parkinson 71), Alessandra, Carlton (Jevons 71). Subs not used: Routledge (GK), McCready, Cowperthwaite, Fenton.
Referee: R Lewis