Morecambe 0-1 Barnet

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NEW Morecambe boss Jim Bentley admitted he was deflated after losing his first game as a Football League manager.

Mark Byrne’s late 30-yard strike spoiled the party for Bentley who was looking to kick off his managerial career on a high note at the Globe Arena and maintained the Shrimps’ unwanted record of never winning an opening day Football League fixture.

It was a strike worthy of winning any game but ensured a frustrating afternoon for Bentley.

He said: “It was a massive disappointment in the end because we worked really hard for this day.

“We were all deflated at the end because we wanted to get the season off to a good start.

“I was happy with a few things and disappointed with others. We were all really looking forward to the opening day but in the end we were beaten by an absolute wonder goal.

“We didn’t really start as fluidly as I would have liked and I thought we were off the pace at times.

“But we came into it and produced some decent moves but couldn’t find the finish and I was really disappointed with the quality of our set pieces because we had worked hard on them all week.

“Although disappointed we have got to remain positive, move on quickly and learn from our mistakes and kick on as soon as we can.”

Both sides started quickly and were eager to get the ball forward but it was Barnet who looked the more threatening with Mark Marshall a constant threat.

The left winger saw one shot superbly blocked by Chris McCready and another fly into the side netting while Byrne tested Barry Roche and Mark Hughes curled an effort just wide from the edge of the box.

At the other end Phil Jevons clipped an effort wide from an acute angle after a neat Lewis Alessandra lay off and Izak Reid saw a close range shot diverted to safety by Anwar Uddin’s full stretch block.

The Shrimps started the second half on top and began to cause Barnet problems.

Jevons tested Dean Brill with a shot on the turn and Nick Fenton fired wide from close range after he looked to slide home a loose ball in the box.

Danny Carlton then fizzed a shot over the bar when Brill fumbled a cross as the home side looked to open the scoring.

Barnet hit back however and should have taken the lead on the hour when Izale McLeod hit the top of the crossbar from close range.

Marshall then saw a close range header well saved by Roche at his near post before the visitors sealed the win with Byrne’s superb strike after he looked to have handled the ball after working his way past Garry Hunter.

Moments later the Shrimps were denied a clear penalty that could have totally changed the course of the game when a deep cross hit Uddin on the hand but somehow the referee failed to spot it.

Morecambe: Roche 7; Haining 6, Fenton 6, McCready 6, Wilson 6; Hunter 6, Drummond 6, Fleming 6 (McDonald 72, 6), Reid 7: Alessandra 6 (Carlton 66, 6), Jevons 6. Subs not used: Routledge, Parrish, Charnock.

Booked: McCready, Fleming.

Barnet: Brill; Senda, Parkes, Uddin, Kamdjo; Hughes, Byrne (Fraser 90), Marshall (Holmes 77), Deering, McLeod (Taylor 81), Price. Subs not used: O’Brien, Cox.

Booked: Holmes.

Referee: A Madley (Yorkshire).

Star man: Izak Reid – an excellent debut.

Attendance: 1,874