Morecambe boss Jim Bentley was happy with their battling win against Crawley Town

Morecambe's Liam Mandeville celebrates his winner against Crawley Town
Morecambe's Liam Mandeville celebrates his winner against Crawley Town

Jim Bentley admitted Saturday’s win against Crawley Town was a day when three points were all that mattered.

A particularly scrappy game at the Globe Arena looked to be heading for a goalless draw and a point apiece.

That was until second-half substitute Liam Mandeville headed his first goal since September to give the Shrimps a third straight league win at the Globe Arena.

That victory moved them up to 18th in the League Two table, nine points clear of the relegation places with six games to go.

The first of those comes against bottom side Macclesfield Town on Saturday with the Shrimps aiming for a league double over their hosts.

A win would also take the Shrimps to 48 points; two more than they managed when staying up on goal difference last season.

However, as Bentley said afterwards, the Crawley win was a stark contrast to the football on display in the previous victories against Forest Green Rovers and MK Dons.

“The last two were much more enjoyable than the one today but it’s a tough game,” he said.

“Crawley came here having conceded nine (in two games) and what usually happens is they tighten things up like they did today.

“We know on paper they have some good players; Ollie Palmer is one of the better centre-forwards in the league and has 16 goals this season.

“They changed their shape; they have been playing three at the back for weeks and we had done all our work on three at the back.

“Then, suddenly, they leave a centre-half out and go a little more attack-minded so it was a tough one.

“We are at home, we wanted to win and we found a way of winning today.

“They say these things even themselves out over the season; I was getting sick and tired of saying how well we had played and getting nothing for it.

“Today we haven’t played particularly well; we’ve battled well, we’ve competed and we’ve thrown our bodies on the line when we’ve had to.

“When Baz (Barry Roche) was called upon, he did well but it’s about getting the three points.

“That’s what we’ve done; we’ve had a few clean sheets of late as well so we need to keep bubbling along now and finish strongly.”