Morecambe boss Bentley praises defensive display at Exeter

Jim Bentley applauds the travelling Morecambe fans at the end of the Exeter game.
Jim Bentley applauds the travelling Morecambe fans at the end of the Exeter game.
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Jim Bentley praised his side’s defensive display despite seeing a late equaliser deny them all three points at Exeter on Saturday.

Aaron McGowan’s first Football League goal had given the Shrimps an early lead but the Grecians dominated the second half with Alex Nicholls making sure of a share of the spoils 10 minutes from time.

Bentley said: “Unfortunately we couldn’t hold out.

“They were all over us second half, any clearance we made under pressure seemed to come back and they were camped in our half for large periods.

“Having said that I thought we defended really well. Although they had a lot of possession we limited them as much as we could.

“We hit them on the break too and had opportunities and if we’d have got the second goal I think it would have ben game, set and match.

“But they got the goal with just a little lapse in concentration. Defensively overall we were excellent though.

“Communication was good, the shape we’d worked on was good, we frustrated them, we nicked the ball off them in the middle third and even higher up the pitch and hit them on the break a few times.

“We were playing against a form side in the league and I think they can be a force next season.

“Given what we’ve come up against today we take a point and move on.”

Bentley reserved particular praise for McGowan who shone at right wing back with Shaun Beeley ill.

The Shrimps boss said: “We talk about getting wing backs higher up the pitch and affecting the final third and I thought it was a superb goal.

“It was a big game for him today, it’s his first full 90 minutes as well.

“He had some one v one defending to do which he did well and he dug in until the end like the whole team did.

“It’s great for him. Shaun Beeley went down ill yesterday morning and didn’t travel.

“I pulled Aaron on the coach and told him he was playing and he knows his roles and responsibilities and carried them out as we wanted.”