Reporter Adam Lord takes a closer look at Morecambe’s 4-1 win over Notts County on Saturday.
Experienced duo showed the way
At a time when numbers are stretched, managers need their experienced players to step up. Jim Bentley will be delighted that Adam Dugdale and Alan Goodall, amongst a fine team display, did just that. I spoke to Dudgale around 90 minutes before kick-off and he confessed to me he could barely see having had eye drops at the Royal Lancaster Infirmary a couple of hours earlier. His slit eyeball (ouch) picked up at Portsmouth, hadn’t improved as hoped in the run up to the game. That the big defender even played is a minor miracle, that he then led a fine Shrimps defensive display in the second half as captain points to him having a bright future at the club. Goodall on the other hand has slotted in for stricken captain Peter Murphy seamlessly and when more injuries hit on Saturday he looked more than comfortable as a left-sided central defender. Two goals in two for a man who has hardly been prolific throughout his career is just rewards for that.
Now it’s Aaron’s time to shine
On a day when the experienced heads got Morecambe over the line, young gun Aaron McGowan also did well when drafted in at the last minute. Far and away the club’s most promising talent over the last few seasons the confident Liverpudlian filled in about three positions after coming in for Laurence Wilson. Many, myself included, consider him unlucky to be playing in the same position as last year’s star man Shaun Beeley. But with the vice-captain picking up what looks to be a serious hamstring injury on Saturday, now could be McGowan’s time as he is likely to get an extended run down the right. Don’t bet against him giving boss Bentley a headache when Beeley returns to full fitness.
Here’s to next few years of top duo
Another positive pointer for the future came before kick-off with the news Bentley and his assistant Ken McKenna had signed contract extensions. Already the fifth longest-serving boss in the Football League expect Bentley to climb that table further. A club man, his love for The Shrimps is clear to see. The great thing for him is that backing from the board and the terraces is only growing, if that’s even possible. With that support his next challenge is to achieve something truly remarkable on limited resources.