Bentley reflects on a disappointing draw

Jason Oswell shot blocked.
Jason Oswell shot blocked.

Jim Bentley admitted Morecambe’s players were just as culpable as the officials for the Shrimps’ draw with Port Vale on Saturday.

They had seemed set for three points as goals from A-Jay Leitch-Smith and Jason Oswell put them 2-0 up going into the 84th minute at the Globe Arena.

However, the officials decided Antony Kay had beaten the offside trap in making it 2-1 before Tom Pope levelled three minutes later.

Then, straight from the restart, Morecambe substitute Rhys Oates was brought down by Vale keeper Scott Brown, who redeemed himself by saving Leitch-Smith’s subsequent penalty.

“People might criticise me for talking about luck but it’s the teams at the top end who do have that little bit of luck,” Bentley said.

“We have to take it on the chin; I don’t like self-pity but we have drawn a game we should have won.

“We have been let down by the officials and we have let ourselves down because we had a golden opportunity to make it 3-2.”

The Shrimps had gone into the game after a week-and-a-half’s absence from football.

The FA Cup first round replay loss at FC Halifax Town meant they had last weekend off when all of the second round matches were being played.

Having devised a suitably accommodating schedule, Bentley was within moments of seeing that reap the reward of three points.

A draw still saw them leapfrog Yeovil Town into 19th place in League Two but a win would have seen them in 18th ahead of Grimsby Town.

“We had that break last week and we feel we have done right by them,” the manager said.

“We could sense they were building up to it; there was a good spirit and they took that onto the pitch.

“We couldn’t ask any more; they were superb, they battled, they were in Port Vale’s faces and played some good stuff.

“While it’s 2-0, it’s a naughty scoreline but I felt positive we could see it out – then they got the first goal and their crowd were up for it.

“I’m disappointed with the second goal because we had wrapped up Tom Pope but he got away and that’s the sign of a good striker; we let him go once and he puts it in the back of the net.”