MORECAMBE goalkeeper Barry Roche said a half-time roasting from boss Jim Bentley inspired his side to a welcome third home win of the season.
Club captain Roche, who was only denied his sixth clean sheet of the season by an injury time Gillingham penalty that he himself conceded, admitted his side picked up the win without reaching their peak.
He said: “I thought that was one of the poorest games we’ve played, we’ve gone in one up at half-time without really playing well and the gaffer let us know exactly what he thought.
“Second half again we started quite sloppy but we stuck at it, got the second goal probably against the run of play and then we’ve dug deep so maybe it’s a good sign when we’re winning and not playing well. To get a home win as well is very pleasing.”
“We did very well to repel Gillingham’s threat and for 35 to 40 minutes of the second half it was backs to the wall but in the end we’ve won the game.
“They put a lot of balls into the box and put us under a lot of pressure but I thought the back five were absolutely magnificent.
“Part of our team talk was about making sure we gave a reaction to the disappointment of Tuesday night against Rotherham. The second half that night wasn’t good enough and thankfully we’ve been able to put that right this afternoon.”
For the second game in succession the Shrimps took an early lead with Garry Hunter opening his account for the season with a superb volley from the edge of the area that beat Gills’ keeper Ross Flitney who seemed to think the ball was going over the bar.
As Roche admitted the Shrimps were chasing the ball for long periods but restricted Gillingham to long range efforts from Luke Rooney and Chris Whelpdale with Charlie Lee inches away from connecting with a right wing cross.
Rooney finally tested Roche on the half hour with a low shot that the keeper saved smartly.
The Gills started the second half as the finished the first but despite the Shrimps losing defenders Will Haining and Laurence Wilson the defence remained firm.
As the visitors pushed forward gaps began to open and Morecambe took advantage with a well worked second on 69 minutes. Stewart Drummond played in Izak Reid who crossed for substitute Kevin Ellison to fire home his eighth goal of the season.
Roche was forced into an excellent save from Whelpdale’s long range effort before conceding an injury time penalty when he brought down Joe Kuffour after the striker ran on to Lewis Alessandra’s poor back pass.
Frank Nouble made no mistake from the spot but the Shrimps held on for a very welcome home win to mark their 200th Football League game in style.
Morecambe: Roche 7, Haining 7 (Charnock 29, 7), McCready 7, Parrish 7, Wilson 7 (Reid 48, 7), Drummond 7, Hunter 8, McDonald 7; Alessandra 7, Price 7 (Ellison 62, 7), Carlton 7. Subs not used: Routledge (GK), Fleming.
Gillingham: Flitney, Fish, Richards, Lawrence, Jackman, Rooney (Payne 79), Lee, Weston (Kedwell 58), Whelpdale, Nouble, Kuffour. Subs not used: Frampton, Martin, Gazzaniga (GK).
Star man: Gary Hunter. A great goal and an effective midfield performance from an often unsung hero.