Reporter Adam Lord takes a closer look at Morecambe's 2-1 defeat to Carlisle on Saturday.
A day to forget for Darren Drysdale
The penalty was the main talking point but it was an odd day all round for man in the middle Drysdale. In a thoroughly enjoyable first half the challenges became increasingly more physical with the official remarkably having shown no cards at the interval. From where I was sat Paul Mullin in particular can count himself lucky to have got away with one two-footed lunge late in the opening period. But having seemingly stuck to his guns and “let the game go” as the saying goes the referee then courted controversy late on with the soft spot kick award. It was good forward play from Charlie Wyke as he went up with Aaron McGowan but The Shrimps sub will count himself very unfortunate to have been penalised. Wyke finished well from the spot and sadly, with Morecambe’s fragile state of mind the turnaround was immediate. Given The Shrimps’ recent run it was undoubtedly the turning point and the amount of ill feeling towards the official was clear to see at the final whistle.
First half a real improvement
It’s now seven defeats in eight for Morecambe and Jim Bentley has insisted his side haven’t played particularly badly. He has a point but they certainly haven’t been at their best either. Saturday’s first half was really encouraging with some excellent attacking play and full-blooded challenges making for a good spectacle in front of a bumper crowd. It was good to see Aaron Wildig showing what The Shrimps have missed while he has been battling injury with Chris Doyle also doing well in his first runout of the season as Andy Parrish was unwell. Jamie Devitt however was again the star man, running riot in the hole having tormented Carlisle at Brunton Park earlier in the season. His sublime pass for Kevin Ellison’s collector’s item of a right-foot finish was worthy of winning any game.
A big week ahead
Whether they are playing well or not Morecambe now have just one point from the last eight games with two long away trips to come this week at Luton on Tuesday night and Crawley on Saturday. Bentley’s side are 10 points clear of the drop zone but two more bad results and things could start to get a little twitchy. I’ll go on record now and say Morecambe have more than enough to stay in this division and will get the job done. But to avoid putting even more pressure on themselves the elusive win needs to come sooner rather than later.