Morecambe camp awaits Roche news

Barry Roche limped out of the warm-up on Saturday    Picture: Clean Sheet Media
Barry Roche limped out of the warm-up on Saturday Picture: Clean Sheet Media
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Shrimps’ boss Jim Bentley is hoping for the best after watching Barry Roche limp out of Saturday’s game against Lancaster City.

The keeper was due to start at the Globe Arena, only to complain of a knee problem during the pre-match warm-up.

It meant Niall Maher played the full 90 minutes as Morecambe claimed the Bay Trophy courtesy of Andy Fleming’s 90th minute header.

Depending on the extent of Roche’s problem, it means Maher could well start against Preston North End on Tuesday and Blackburn Rovers next Friday with Danijel Nizic still away on international duty.

Bentley said: “We had a couple of bumps and bruises but the big concern is Barry.

“We will have to assess him over the next day or two and maybe see a specialist because that isn’t like him.

“He picked up a wrist injury in the first session but it’s a bit of a killer with Dan still away and not back until the week of the AFC Fylde game.

“It’s a chance for Niall to show what he can do but, fingers crossed, the issue with Barry isn’t too serious.”

Fleming’s goal settled a competitive derby in which the Shrimps had the better of the chances created.

Kevin Ellison and Adam Campbell were thwarted by good saves in each half as the Dolly Blues worked on their defensive shape for the new season.

Leaving only one man up front and playing five midfield when the Shrimps had possession, Phil Brown’s side put the onus on Morecambe to try and break them down.

As Bentley admitted afterwards, his players will be working on something similar as they prepare for Preston North End’s visit on Tuesday.

“We’ve had good opportunities but it was an exercise to see how we could break them down,” he said.

“We looked at the wide players coming in off the line and the full-backs pushing on.

“Now we’re coming up against a Championship side where it’s going to be about us working on our defensive shape in a game where we might not see so much of the ball.”