Morecambe boss’ praise for midfield marvels

Michael Rose scores from the spot against Plymouth.

Michael Rose scores from the spot against Plymouth.

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Morecambe boss Jim Bentley reserved special praise for his midfield men following Saturday’s 2-1 win against Plymouth Argyle.

Michael Rose and Peter Murphy scored the goals which handed the Shrimps a first league victory at the Globe Arena in three months.

Rose opened the scoring from the penalty spot on 20 minutes after Gary Miller had bundled over Dean Winnard.

Then, having seen Oscar Threlkeld level for the visitors, the two combined for Morecambe’s winner just after the hour as Murphy headed home from Rose’s corner.

Victory was the ideal way for Morecambe to go into their pre-Christmas break as the FA Cup defeat to Coventry City means they have this weekend off.

Bentley said: “How we only scored the two goals I’ll never know.

“One thing we’ve done in training is penalties because we’ve missed a few – and Michael Rose believes you should never miss penalties.

“His delivery was excellent and Peter, who could have had two or three at Crewe, has been coming closer and closer.

“It’s taking him time to get back up to speed but that goal will give him a massive boost.

“We were really pleased with the way we played, the way we battled and competed; we could have scored another two or three.”

The Shrimps’ victory was an eyebrow-raising one, coming as it did with Bentley’s players on the crest of a slump.

Four defeats in 10 days had seen them exit the FA Cup and drop to within touching distance of the bottom two.

However, an all-action display from Bentley’s players yielded three points and a victory which could have been more emphatic.

As well as the two goals, they struck the woodwork on no fewer than four occasions and spurned three other presentable opportunities.

Argyle were left aggrieved at the second-half dismissal of striker Jordan Slew for a second yellow card after referee Darren England adjudged him to have dived over keeper Barry Roche.

However, that shouldn’t detract from a thoroughly deserved home win - even if Roche had given Argyle an early Christmas gift with the error which allowed Threlkeld to score.

“The sending off helped us,” Bentley admitted.

“Whether it was a penalty or it wasn’t, maybe it’s that bit of luck we needed.

“If it wasn’t a penalty then I think it’s outstanding refereeing with the lad being on a booking.

“They changed their shape and threw it in the box but, defensively, we were excellent.

“They got that late free-kick on the edge of the box and I’m thinking ‘oh God,’ but Barry reacted really quickly and got it away with his foot.

“I’m made up because we haven’t been great at home but we know there has been an awful lot going on around the club.

“However, we can’t effect that; it’s what happens on the pitch and they put in a performance that will make everyone proud - hopefully we can now put a run together.”