FA Cup win over Coventry could be financial lifeline for Shrimps

Morecambe drew 1-1 with Coventry City at the Globe Arena.
Morecambe drew 1-1 with Coventry City at the Globe Arena.
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Morecambe manager Jim Bentley believes victory over Coventry City tonight would be another step towards a potential financial lifeline for the club.

The Shrimps head to the Ricoh Arena, knowing that £18,000 in prize money is up for grabs as well as a place in the FA Cup second round.

That prize money would be a welcome boost for everyone at the club after a turbulent couple of weeks off the field.

Players, management and staff were paid late, while Tom Barkhuizen had his contract with the club terminated by mutual consent.

While a win would be a welcome pick-me-up after Saturday’s 2-0 defeat at Wycombe Wanderers, the Shrimps’ boss urged his players to look at the possible financial gains a cup run could provide.

Progress into the third round and a meeting against one of English football’s bigger clubs can provide a timely boost to lower league clubs in search of extra funds.

“That £18,000 is always welcome but you also get one stage closer to the third round,” Bentley said.

“You look at some of the teams who have benefited from that over the last couple of years.

“Cambridge United were drawn at home to Manchester United, got a replay at Old Trafford, and that set them up for a year.”

Ironically, a victory at Coventry could see the Shrimps face Cambridge in the next round on Sunday, December 4.

The U’s are also in replay action on Thursday as they travel to Dover Athletic, a side the Shrimps know well from painful experience.

They met in the FA Cup first round two years ago at the Crabble with Stefan Payne’s first-half goal giving Dover a 1-0 victory.

For their part, City are also looking to bounce back after defeat on Saturday.

Their 1-0 loss to Scunthorpe United ended a 14-match unbeaten run at home.

“After a loss you want the fixtures to come around quick because you’re eager to put it right,” said Coventry keeper Lee Burge, their man-of-the-match at Morecambe.

“It’s obviously disappointing to lose our unbeaten home run, but we take things game by game.

“We know have to try and focus to start another little run, starting with the cup on Tuesday.

“It’s always good for the club if you can have a good cup run, so we’ll be doing our best to win the game.”

The cup competitions have been a welcome distraction of late for the Morecambe camp.

Last week’s Checkatrade Trophy win over Bradford City saw them progress into the last 32.

They will travel to Scunthorpe in the week commencing December 5, looking to make further inroads in the much derided replacement for the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy.

While some managers have made clear their scorn for the competition, Bentley has another take on it.

“This was a big game for us,” Bentley said of the Bradford victory.

“A lot of people might not treat it as a concern but, as far as I’m concerned, we want to win every game.

“Fixtures are coming thick and fast and we have a massive amount of games coming up.”