Morecambe boss Jim Bentley sees Forest Green draw as point gained

Michael Rose goes for goal against Forest Green Rovers on Saturday.
Michael Rose goes for goal against Forest Green Rovers on Saturday.
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Morecambe manager Jim Bentley felt his players produced the proverbial performance of two halves in Saturday’s 1-1 draw against Forest Green Rovers.

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A somewhat listless opening period saw the Shrimps fall behind to Chris Clements’ early strike from distance beyond Dan Nizic.

The visitors belied a less than pristine playing surface to get the ball down and pass it nicely in midfield, albeit without creating much in the way of chances.

In contrast, the Shrimps’ more direct approach led to little more than frustration from a section of the home support.

Set pieces were their main threat with Steve Old and Sam Lavelle both going close before half-time.

A change in personnel and formation after the break saw Morecambe on the front foot with Rovers seemingly content to sit on their lead.

Alex Kenyon, Dean Winnard and Gregg Wylde all went close for the Shrimps before Wylde capped his home debut with a 90th minute equaliser via the woodwork.

“I was thinking at half-time that they’d had the one shot which we had to do better with pressing on the ball,” Bentley said.

“We had to put better pressure on the ball and, at the other end, we were better on set pieces.

“I didn’t think we had done the basics properly in the first half in terms of passing from A to B; we looked rushed and hurried while they were in decent form and were on the front foot.

“They started better than us but it was a wonder strike that separated the sides.

“We came out in the second half and we did a lot more than in the first half; I’m talking about first balls, second balls, defending, stopping crosses, getting in people’s faces, battling qualities, togetherness and spirit.

“Then, with the ball, desire, anticipation, willingness, decision-making and I thought we did that more in the second half.

“We got the goal we deserved in the end because it would have been massive if we had lost.

“Forest Green would have put that little bit of distance between them and us and obviously, there is also the momentum as well.

“We have limited them to very little, we have limited Port Vale to very little last time out but, at the other end, we have created chances again.

“Again, we could have had a little rub of the green with a penalty because that could have easily gone either way but now I’ve studied it the ref made the right call.

“We got there in the end; we got a point, obviously we wanted three but it was a six-pointer game and it’s massive you don’t lose it.

“We did all we could to win it but it’s massive that we didn’t lose it because, now, that point puts us an extra point away from the bottom two so, from a losing position so late in the game, then it’s a point gained.”