Shrimps’ manager grateful for the fans’ response

Morecambe players applauding the fans.
Morecambe players applauding the fans.
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Jim Bentley thanked Morecambe fans for their reaction to the Shrimps’ last two outings at the Globe Arena.

Although the results were mixed with last Tuesday’s win against Northampton Town followed by Saturday’s loss to Oldham Athletic, the supporters’ response to both matches was telling.

Arguably the club’s best two performances this season, full of attacking football and shots at goal, they were greeted enthusiastically by the home fans.

Bentley has had a fractious relationship with a section of the Shrimps support in recent times but has been heartened by their response to the performances in the past week.

“I heard people say things to me I haven’t heard in seven years,” the manager said.

“Against Exeter, I was walking off the pitch at the end and there were three or four people who shook my hand – and it was the same feeling against Oldham.

“I remember in my first year, we got beaten by Bristol Rovers in a game we didn’t deserve to lose.

“If the crowd clap you off then you can’t do any more.”

“We didn’t really hit the heights of the Northampton game but we did in spells.

“I respect the fans and the way they were with us at the end.

“We have to continue doing what we can and, hopefully, someone will get a pummelling sooner rather than later.

“There is plenty to be positive about and we have to keep going.”

Morecambe could point to missed chances and defensive errors being the difference during last Saturday’s loss.

However, there was also a stellar goalkeeping display from Oldham’s Daniel Iversen, who was extremely fortunate to be on the Globe Arena pitch for the final quarter.

He reacted to a physical challenge from Jason Oswell by appearing to put his head in the striker’s chest.

Referee Martin Coy only deemed it a bookable offence and Iversen marked his reprieve with four saves of varying difficulty in the final 20 minutes.

“I’m not going to stand here and talk about the ref,” Bentley said.

“The result’s gone whether the keeper goes or not so I can’t comment until we look back on it.

“I saw a yellow card and, in those situations, they are usually all or nothing.”