Morecambe boss wants more protection from referees after Mansfield loss

Morecambe manager Jim Bentley.
Morecambe manager Jim Bentley.
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Jim Bentley believes his players aren’t getting the protection they need from referees.

The Morecambe boss saw his side slip to a third successive 1-0 defeat as they came out on the wrong side of a physical battle with Mansfield at the Globe Arena on Saturday.

It leaves the Shrimps five points above the League 2 drop zone with Bentley frustrated at referee Darren Deadman’s performance.

The official produced 10 yellow cards and sent off Andy Fleming late on and the Morecambe boss also felt he was too lenient towards Mansfield number nine Matt Rhead. 
Bentley said: “I don’t think the players have had the protection they deserve from the referee.

“It was absolutely scandalous in my opinion.

“I’ve always said I was not going to get on referees’ cases too much because it’s a difficult job at the best of times.

“But we’ve had this throughout the season. I don’t know whether it’s because we’re a small club we just don’t get any protection.

“Alex Kenyon had his nose broken with a blatant elbow in the first five minutes last week (against Bristol Rovers).

“After one minute there was a bone-crunching tackle on Andy Wright that ruled him out of today and then Kenyon had his nose elbowed again and it realigned it for him and then he had it bust again today.

“Mark Hughes has about eight stitches in his mouth from an elbow and it took until about the fifth time before he (Rhead) got the booking he deserved.

“We watched DVDs on them and he is one of those players that puts his elbow into challenges.

“We’re trying to clamp down on things like this but I’ve got players with bags of ices on their faces in the dressing room.

“It wasn’t a great game for the referee today and I’ll go and tell him that now to his face because I’ve needed time to cool down.”

Bentley admitted he didn’t see Fleming’s late sending off for an apparent stamp on Stags skipper Adam Murray but said that the player had protested his innocence.

He said: “I’ve got to take his word for it because he’s an honest kid and I’ll have to see it again before I make my mind up on it.”