Comment: Magic 50 point total within sight

Morecambe new signings Chris Holroyd (left) and Ryan Williams
Morecambe new signings Chris Holroyd (left) and Ryan Williams

There were a few eyebrows raised when Jim Bentley uttered the words “relegation battle” during his post-match press commitments against Oxford in December.

And The Shrimps boss then made no secret of the battle his side faced to stay in the Football League ahead of his side’s trip to Dagenham & Redbridge at the end of January.

It seems to have worked a treat, with a fantastic come-from-behind win in East London followed by a convincing victory at York on Saturday.

These results put The Shrimps’ recent away woes firmly to bed and have not only moved them 10 points clear of the drop, but remarkably means they are closer to the League 2 automatic promotion places than the relegation spots.

No-one, Bentley especially, will be resting on their laurels, and I’m sure The Shrimps boss will be more concerned about the 11 points still needed to reach the safety mark of 50, than their proximity to the sharp end of League 2.

His hands may have been tied financially during January, and the Wembley winning skipper was open in his concerns that other sides towards the bottom of League 2 were freely strengthening their squads, but Bentley’s transfer activity in the window may prove to be enough.

Finally completing a deal for Ryan Williams and the arrival of Chris Holroyd from Preston seem to have given one of the Football League’s smaller squads a real lift, at least in the short-term.

Both are dynamic players, and while Holroyd contractually looks like an excellent piece of business, Williams couldn’t have made a better start having been made to wait so long to pull on Shrimps red in a competitive game, already having two goals to his name, both excellent finishes.

And with any new arrivals in the loan window dependent on a host of factors, Bentley is already working towards next season.

Jack Redshaw is the first person to put pen to paper on a new deal and he, along with the two January additions and other members of the squad, are part of an exciting, young crop of players that bode well for Morecambe’s future.

Here’s hoping with two games in four days The Shrimps can continue their recent upturn in fortunes and their excellent home run and move ever closer to the magic 50 point mark.

There is no Barry Roche column as The Shrimps keeper’s wife Lisa gave birth to a baby boy this week.

Congratulations to Barry and Lisa on their new arrival from all at The Visitor.