Adam Lord takes a closer look at Morecambe's 4-1 defeat to Stevenage on Saturday as their nightmare season continued.
Shrimps lucky to be in the Football League
On the day York’s relegation was confirmed and they joined Dagenham in the National League next season Morecambe served up a performance that only highlighted they are lucky there are two teams worse than them in the Football League. The reality, which I’m sure will be accepted by most in the dressing room, is that in another year The Shrimps would now be staring down the barrel of a return to non-league and not trying to build towards a 10th season in League 2. Their current points tally, admittedly with two games to go, of 44 would have seen them clear of the drop by just three last season. That is largely an exception however. The season before. 2013-2014 Torquay finished bottom with 45 points and in 2012-2013, Aldershot had 48. Jim Bentley argued in the run up to the game that the Football League’s bottom tier is tougher than it’s ever been and he may have a point to a degree but this season has simply been a shocker. In fact, since the turn of the year it’s been something of a nightmare.
LIttle reaction from Cambridge drubbing
There was a little bit of symmetry pre-match as Bentley made seven changes after Tuesday night’s 7-0 hammering at Cambridge. Things looked like they might be on the up with a bright opening capped by Cole Stockton’s goal on 20 minutes. But that was that. Barry Roche prevented a quick turnaround with a fine double save but two goals in seven minutes, the first a bizarre Alan Goodall own goal, ensured the hosts were behind at the break. Like at the Abbey Stadium it was then a case of once the going got tough Morecambe simply didn’t get going. The second half was limp as Morecambe made an admittedly improving Stevenage side look like world beaters. Goals three and four were scored with ease, not that it was a shock to anyone, as the goals conceded tally moved up to a staggering 89 for the season. Where to next? You would say the only way is up but this is a campaign that has a habit of plunging new depths week in, week out.
Passion needs to be replicated on the pitch
It’s usually a sign of a bad day when Jim Bentley doesn’t come and speak to us post-match. Often his number two Ken McKenna is the man to do interviews but today it was left to two senior players. With Bentley seemingly sick of trying to defend his players he sent out Jamie Devitt and Barry Roche to face the press. There is little they could have said that would placate those fans understandably baying for blood but as they faced up to a series of tough questions it was clear how devastated both were. Devitt is one whose future may lie away from the Globe Arena but the Irishman almost seemed close to tears at times as he tried to explain what has been a horrorshow of a 2016. It’s the kind of passion that simply isn’t coming across on the pitch at the moment. With two games to go professional pride should be enough for The Shrimps to give some hope ahead of next season where at the moment there is little to none.