Reporter Adam Lord looks at Morecambe’s dramatic 3-3 draw at Portsmouth on Saturday.
First half a victory for Bentley’s tactics
Jim Bentley should get a lot of credit for the way Morecambe ran riot in the first half at Fratton Park on Saturday.
His gameplan worked a treat as The Shrimps were content to sit in knowing they could hit Pompey on the break to great effect.
They did just that and could have had more than the three goals to show for their efforts.
Pompey had travelled to Crawley on Tuesday night and seen the hosts sit in for a 0-0 draw, more than content with a point against the League 2 favourites. I was asked pre-match whether Morecambe would be as negative but insisted that they would show plenty of ambition having impressed away from home last season.
They did that and more, playing some fine football with real intent, as they have done so far this season.
It’s just a shame they only had a solitary point, rather than three, to show for it.
Barkhuizen shows real potential
A big part of Morecambe’s fine counter-attacking display was Tom Barkhuizen on his first start of the season.
His maiden goal for the club was just reward for a performance that showed plenty of promise and underlines why Jim Bentley thinks he has a real player, who got lost in the chaos at Blackpool, on his hands.
His pace is undeniable and will scare any defence in League 2 or even the level above.
Questions will be asked about some of the defending for his opening goal on 11 minutes but the 22-year-old certainly took it well having been given far too much space to run riot down the right hand side.
It looks like Barkhuizen is a man who will play a key role for Morecambe going forwards this season, having the potential to play in any one of the front four positions.
Well done to fans who travelled
In a season where Morecambe will cover plenty of miles it was a long old trip down to Portsmouth on Saturday.
Personally, it was a 7am start for me with a return just after 11pm but I know that the majority of the 69 Shrimps fans who made the trip will have been on the road for even longer as they covered 600 miles.
I think the majority will agree that their commitment was rewarded with a memorable display, even if Morecambe didn’t come away with all three points.