Morecambe boss puts poor Accrington record to back of his mind

Jim Bentley and John Coleman will lock horns again on Friday night.
Jim Bentley and John Coleman will lock horns again on Friday night.
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Jim Bentley is determined to put his side’s poor record against Accrington Stanley to one side ahead of the Lancashire derby on Halloween night.

The Shrimps will try get a first Football League win over Stanley at the 15th attempt at the Crown Ground on Friday.

It is the one record that every Morecambe fan wants to see broken but Bentley is determined not to dwell on it. 
He said: “We know what it means to the fans, we know what it means to the club.

“They have got that sign over us very similar to the way we are with Southend.

“Unfortunately it’s our local derby and I’d rather we’d won a couple against Accrington and lost a couple against Southend.

“But it’s not been that way. Hopefully times will change on Friday.

“I think once you go into the records and stats, it’s just pointless.

“At the end of the day it’s 11 men against 11 on a Friday night.

“Both sets of supporters will get right behind their teams, both dugouts will be passionate and we’ll see what happens.”

Friday’s game will see Bentley lock horns once again with Morecambe legend and returning Stanley manager John Coleman.

Along with Bentley’s assistant Ken McKenna the group are friends but the Shrimps boss says that gets put to one side in the derby clash.

He said: “I know Coley well and Jimmy Bell his assistant.

“They’ve done a fantastic job since they’ve gone back there. They’re already quite settled and always do a good job.

“They’ve had a couple of decent wins and have been a little bit up and down of late.

“They know the game and the level and it’s good to see them back.

“Myself and Kenny are good mates with them but for that 90 minutes we’ll do battle and that’s the way it should be.”

Last season’s 5-1 defeat at the Crown Ground in March was possibly the lowest point of the winless run against Stanley for Morecambe.

Bentley said: “It was one of, if not my lowest point as a manager.

“It was just one of those days, like on Sunday (the 2-0 defeat against Exeter).

“Any manager will tell you there are some games in a season where you’re just not at the races.

“It was like that against Exeter on Sunday and Accrington last year was one of those games as well.

“We deserved nothing from it and got put to the sword.

“It was embarrassing and we owe them.”

Barry Roche and Jamie Devitt are long-term absentees for the Shrimps with Kevin Ellison and Alan Goodall battling hamstring problems.