Morecambe suffered consecutive defeats when losing 3-1 to Yeovil Town on Saturday but what were the talking points from that loss?
Togetherness on and off the pitch
The relationship between the club, players and supporters has been there for all to see this season, not least on those occasions when wages have been paid late and money raised to pay for Jim Bentley’s FA fine.
That bond was strengthened further on Saturday with Dean Winnard’s return to the starting XI following the tragic and untimely death of his brother Mark.
In the sixth minute, coinciding with the defender’s squad number, shouts of ‘Deano’ came from the home fans as well as a minute’s applause; a respectful tribute and one acknowledged on social media by Winnard that evening.
Prior to last weekend’s loss at Blackpool, the Shrimps had only conceded seven times in 11 games during 2017.
Conceding three in one game would be disappointing enough for the coaching staff but to do so in consecutive matches is doubly irritating.
Matt Butcher’s stunning volley aside, Yeovil’s goals were eminently avoidable with two defensive mistakes leading to Alex Lacey prodding home to make it 2-1, while Bevis Mugabi seemingly had the freedom of the penalty area to head in Town’s third.
Defeat could have been even uglier had the visitors worn their shooting boots late on but three goals were plenty.
One man who would have banged together some heads and brought a sense of order to proceedings is Michael Rose.
Sadly from a Shrimps perspective, 10 bookings for the season meant he sat out the last two games; a coincidence that six goals have been conceded in that time?
Nevertheless, one thing that was missing on Saturday was someone able to keep things ticking over and lead by example; something Rose has done pretty much all season, vindicating why Jim Bentley was so keen to sign him last summer.
Take your chances
With the state of the Globe Arena pitch not encouraging exciting, expansive football, it’s paramount that chances are taken when they come along.
Most of Morecambe’s attempts at the weekend were from distance and generally failed to trouble visiting keeper Artur Krysiak.
However, that’s not to say they didn’t have genuine opportunities but, ironically, given his form this calendar year, it was Paul Mullin left to rue his day in front of goal.
A one-on-one with Krysiak was spurned early in the second half – even if Antony Evans’ equaliser came moments later – while another late chance went begging.
It might have only halved the deficit in the grand scheme of things but, with chances at a premium, Morecambe cannot afford to throw them away.
While the managers were on post-match media duties, a section of the Globe Arena playing surface was being covered ahead of Tuesday’s home game against Newport County.
The area in front of the dugouts has been a cause for concern for a while given the way it has cut up and meant teams have to play a more direct style of football.
That might benefit the Shrimps in that they can use Paul Mullin’s pace, plus the ability of Aaron Wildig and Antony Evans to break forward, but it’s of greater benefit to sides with target men up front.
Yeovil Town’s Tom Eaves and Francois Zoko were examples of the dangers which can be posed by the taller, more powerful striker on less than pristine playing surfaces.
Morecambe don’t enjoy that luxury, meaning they have had to adapt their game to their pitch; a handicap which puts their first two months of the year into greater perspective.