Bentley: Devitt’s red card killed the game

Jim Bentley.
Jim Bentley.
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Jim Bentley chose his words carefully after his 10-man Shrimps went down against Wycombe at the Globe Arena on Saturday.

Jamie Devitt’s red card five minutes into the second half was the main talking point with Morecambe’s creative spark adjudged to have raised his arm to Peter Murphy.

It came at a key time in the game with the Shrimps having pulled a goal back in first-half stoppage time through Andy Fleming after trailing 2-0.

After the red card however Bentley’s side toiled without reward and Joe Jacobson’s stunnng free-kick, Wycombe’s second wonder goal of the day, sealed a 3-1 win as Gareth Ainsworth’s side went to the top of League 2.

Bentley said: “I’ve got to be careful what I say. I think everyone is waiting for me to say something.

“But I’ve already had a look at it and if that’s a sending off we’d be playing eight against eight every week.

“Devitt’s six stone wet through, he’s not a fighter, not an aggressive player, he’s a more cultured skilful player.

“It’s killed the game but it is what it is. I stand here and talk about fine dividing lines in terms of performance in tight games but sometimes it’s the same for decisions that go for and against you.

“Today it’s gone against us in my opinion and I’ll speak to the referees’s association after I’ve looked at it from as many angles as I can.

“At the moment I think I’ve got every right to appeal. He’s a big player for us and we’ve got some big games coming up.”

Bentley didn’t think former Accrington man Murphy was free from blame having protested at a challenge by Devitt.

The Shrimps boss said: “Peter Murphy’s got the knack of doing that.

“He’s a good at it, it’s an art. Over the years the likes of Robbie Savage and people like that have always been niggly and got people into trouble.

“He’s got involved in a situation that had nothing to do with him. First of all he’s had a little nibble at Andy Fleming and then he’s got over to Devitt and next thing we’re down to 10 men.

“But that’s part and parcel of the game.”

All that meant two wonder strikes from Sam Wood and Joe Jacobson were almost an after thought, the former hitting a 40-yard volley after 10 minutes and the latter a 30-yard free-kick 20 minutes from time.

Bentley said: “Credit where credit’s due, sometimes you can’t have a go at anyone when you concede a goal (like Wood’s).

“It reminded me of one of Kevin Ellison’s with the thud off his left boot.

“That’s unbelievable skill and it’s the same for the lad Jabobson who’s taken on the free-kick from 35 yards.

“I think it’s taken a slight deflection into the top corner but again he’s taken it on and sometimes when you gamble you win.

“They’re two unbelievable strikes worthy of winning any game.”