Morecambe boss Bentley buoyed by Bamber Bridge test

Luke Jordan appeared for Morecambe in the first half at Bamber Bridge
Luke Jordan appeared for Morecambe in the first half at Bamber Bridge

Shrimps’ boss Jim Bentley hailed Tuesday’s pre-season opener at Bamber Bridge as a good examination of his players.

Morecambe began their build-up for the 2017/18 campaign with a 2-1 victory at the Sir Tom Finney Stadium.

Goals in each half from Ben Hedley and the returning Garry Thompson earned the win after Brad Carsley had put Brig ahead.

“It was a good workout and we enjoy coming here because they have a nice set-up and a nice pitch,” Bentley said come full-time.

“There were some good early signs as well as plenty of work to be done but we knew that would be the case.

“Pre-season is always a building process, building up your fitness levels, building up the understanding between players and building up your match practice.

“In that regard, it has been a decent little workout with every player who was available getting 45 minutes apart from Dan Nizic (international duty) and Vadaine Oliver (hamstring).”

Having used eight trialists in the corresponding fixture 12 months ago, a more settled Shrimps squad only featured three this time around.

Four new arrivals featured with Adam Campbell appearing in the first half with Thompson, Mitchell Lund and Patrick Brough turning out after the break.

There were also some eye-catching performances from some of the younger players with Hedley netting from close range, Steve Yawson going close to scoring, as well as 45 minutes for keeper Niall Maher and defender Tyler Brownsword.

“It’s going to take time for everyone to gel but we trained six days out of seven prior to Bamber Bridge,” Bentley said.

“You’re going to get the odd tight muscle here and there but we expect the players to be getting up to speed, not just physically but mentally, and start building the relationships between the older players, the younger players and the new players.

“It was good for Ben to score, while I thought Steve was unlucky not to find the net during his second-half performance.

“Niall appeared for the first team, Luke Jordan’s another youngster who’s been in and around the first-team set-up and knows what it’s about while it was good to see Dean Winnard back after he missed the end of last season.

“All in all, it was a good night out with reasons to be happy but there will be things we need to address.”