Morecambe boss challenges Shrimps to start finding the net more frequently

Rhys Oates has scored five times so far this season
Rhys Oates has scored five times so far this season
Share this article

Jim Bentley admits Morecambe need to make their life easier by finding the net more often.

This season’s more attacking, easy on the eye style of football has not been reflected in either the league table or the goalscoring charts.

The Shrimps presently sit 20th in the League Two table and with only 17 goals scored in as many league matches.

Along with Port Vale, they have the joint sixth worst scoring record in the division with only Crewe Alexandra (16), Cambridge United (16), Macclesfield Town (14), Cheltenham Town (12) and Grimsby Town (11) less prolific in front of goal.

Morecambe’s lowly goal tally can be attributed to some excellent goalkeeping - most notably by Northampton Town and Oldham Athletic - as well as some wasteful finishing.

Rhys Oates and A-Jay Leitch-Smith top the scoring charts with five each ahead of Saturday’s trip to Forest Green Rovers.

“For all our good play and getting into good areas, we should be scoring more than we’re doing,” Bentley said after last night’s Checkatrade Trophy loss against Sunderland.

“It looks nice on the eye but we’ve drawn a blank after another one on Saturday; we had opportunities and that’s what they are paid to do.

“That’s been a familiar tale with regards to game management in the final third and the end product; when to pass, dribble or shoot and hitting the target.

“We’re working at it and we’ll continue to work at it and although there were some real positives against Sunderland, I’m disappointed we lost the game.

“We’ve said that we’re in a decent run of form and we had to make sure we kept that run going.”

One positive from Tuesday’s match, however, was the return of Garry Thompson from injury.

The 37-year-old played 76 minutes in his first appearance since rupturing his Achilles tendon at Crewe Alexandra in April.

Bentley paid tribute to the veteran’s determination and desire to come back from that injury.

He said: “Thommo has worked extremely hard and I said to him when I told him he was playing that this next appearance would have seemed a long way away.

“He’s been in every day, he’s shown great discipline and professionalism and it was a great opportunity to get him out there.

“For what he’s done for the football club, it’s nice to see him back.”