Talking Points: Refereeing controversy reigns supreme in Plymouth defeat

Andy Fleming looks for an opening against Plymouth.
Andy Fleming looks for an opening against Plymouth.
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Reporter Adam Lord takes a closer look at Morecambe’s 2-0 defeat to Plymouth on Good Friday.

The red card that was and the red card that could have been

All the talk post-match was about Alex Kenyon’s tackle. Was it or wasn’t it a red card? The midfielder has a way of talking that doesn’t sit well with some people. In a world where firm rarely means fair the former Lancaster City man can often by harshly penalised. His challenge on Carl McHugh was certainly one of those moments. It was a risky one given how strict officials are these days but it was one-footed, not two as Argyle manager Derek Adams insisted post-match, and he also won the ball. The most disappointing thing about the whole episode was seeing Plymouth players run from all sides of the field to surround referee David Webb. The official’s cause wasn’t helped by the fact that he seemed to signal that he was initially happy the ball had been won before brandishing a red card. Morecambe are rightly considering an appeal. Sadly they can’t protest an earlier, but arguably equally important, decision. On another day Argyle could have been down to 10 men after just five minutes but referee Webb waved away the protests as Curtis Nelson appeared to pull back Shaun Miller with The Shrimps front man in on goal. On such decisions games hinge.

New faces need time and patience

Morecambe fans got a glimpse of two new boys, Connor Oliver and Cole Stockton, on Saturday. Jim Bentley has made it pretty clear that most loan signings are with a view to possible extended stays at the Globe Arena. Oliver is out of contract in the summer and speaking to him after the match that is certainly in the mind of the Blackpool man. Stockton has another year left to run on his Tranmere deal so is in a slightly different situation but if he makes his mark being completely out of the picture at Prenton Park means a deal could be struck. A couple of wayward passes aside Oliver looked okay on Friday while leading the line Stockton faced a battle to get into the game with The Shrimps up against it. Both will need time though having been desperately short of football this season. Remember Tom Barkhuizen didn’t have a great initial first month on loan before Jim Bentley took a proper punt on him.

Fleming continues to run side with confidence

Andy Fleming had another excellent afternoon against Plymouth. The midfielder seems to have found himself again since the turn of year, rarely giving the ball away and showing good strength, an attribute not immediately associated with him. He keeps the side ticking over and is a key cog between defence and attack, allowing the likes of Jamie Devitt and Shaun Miller to do what damage they can in the final third. Sometimes criticised for his lack of goals, he clearly has an eye for a good finish as his strike against Wimbledon proved, it is not his main function and the bigger picture is The Shrimps have missed him when he’s been absent.