Talking Points: Penalty pain for Morecambe as winless run goes on

Kevin Ellison.
Kevin Ellison.

Reporter Adam Lord takes a closer look at Morecambe's 2-1 defeat at Mansfield on Saturday

Defensive woes show no sign of ending

On a day where two penalty misses grabbed the headlines, Jim Bentley seemed almost as annoyed by more defensive sloppiness from his side. The reality is you almost fear everytime the ball is launched into the Morecambe box at the moment, especially from set pieces. If Matty Blair’s first goal had a massive slice of fortune, deflecting off a Morecambe head on its way past Barry Roche, the second goal was sadly predictable. Mal Benning’s corner delivery was good but Krystian Pearce found it all too easy to power in a header from close range. Given how he played as a lion-hearted central defender, I don’t think there’s anything that angers Bentley more. As a manager, more concerning for The Shrimps boss is that despite his protestations both in private and in the media, these errors are occurring time and time again.

Ellison's day to shine going forwards

Others have grabbed the headlines when Morecambe have been at their sizzling best going forwards this season. Shaun Miller has the goals, Jamie Devitt the assists and Tom Barkhuizen the pace. On Saturday, it was Kevin Ellison whose qualities shone through. Having been pretty self-critical at times about his form in front of goal, The Shrimps veteran was clinical when presented with a chance inside the first minute, firing home a trademark left-footed finish early on. From then on the wide man was at his industrious and confrontational best. He told me post match that The Shrimps need to show their nasty side more if they’re to drag themselves out of this poor run. On a day where Ellison showed why Jim Bentley is so prepared to hang his hat on him, surely he is the man to lead the way.

Penalty pain latest way to lose a game

Jim Bentley continues to maintain his side aren’t that far away from a decent set of results. In a way you can see where he’s coming from. They’d be a lot more concern if The Shrimps were getting a battering every week, but they aren’t. Having contrived to squander a lead in the final five minutes of the reverse fixture Morecambe found another way to lose on Saturday as both Shaun Miller and Paul Mullin missed penalties on a day that pretty much summed up The Shrimps’ recent run. The head scratching goes on but the reality is The Shrimps are five without a win ahead of tough games against promotion hopefuls Oxford and Bristol Rovers.