Lack of goals concerns Bentley

Jim Bentley leaves the field.
Jim Bentley leaves the field.

Morecambe boss Jim Bentley wants his players to find their shooting boots sooner rather than later after drawing another blank at the Globe Arena.

Saturday’s goalless draw against Grimsby Town - played amid the rain and wind of Storm Brian - was their fourth consecutive game without finding the net at home.

Fifteen games into the League Two season, and the Shrimps are the joint-lowest goalscorers in the division as they and Crawley Town have only netted on 12 occasions.

Saturday’s failure to score wasn’t for the want of trying, as Vadaine Oliver missed two good chances, while Adam McGurk was foiled by Town keeper James McKeown.

Bentley said: “We haven’t scored again, which is a bit of a concern, so we have to make sure we get back to that.

“At training on Friday there were shots going in left, right and centre, in the top corners and in the side, and you’re hoping that we were taking that into the game - but it wasn’t to be.

“If you back a couple of years, we were playing 4-2-3-1 with Tom Barkhuizen and Shaun Miller scoring and, up to October, we were the top scorers in the country.

“Last year we had Cole Stockton banging goals in, Tom was scoring and Kevin Ellison always chips in with goals.

“This year, for some reason, we have missed too many chances but, overall, our lead-up play has been better.

“The knock-on effect is that we miss chances at one end and it puts pressure on the other end to keep them out.

“We’ve been unlucky with goalscoring; Vadaine had a great chance that was easier to score than miss.

“It’s not bad finishing but it has to change; we keep creating chances and, by the law of averages, you’ve got to score in the end.

“We haven’t had any rub of the green; shots have gone in and you think they’ll drop to one of our lads, but they haven’t.

“I think we’ve only had one penalty all season, and you do need luck at any level.”

At the other end, Bentley’s response to shipping three against Port Vale in midweek was to revert to a back three.

It paid off as Morecambe blunted their visitors’ attacking threat and recorded a second clean sheet in three outings.

Bentley said: “When you have lost a game, are struggling for a bit of form and haven’t scored goals, it’s easy to go with the same shape and the same team.

“Sometimes you have to change things for the right reason and we wanted to make sure we got back to being strong and disciplined.

“Saturday was a strange game with regards to the weather conditions but, overall, we were focused, we were committed and we fought for the first and second balls.

“I thought we were the better side in the first half and we had the better chances.

“We had worked on how Grimsby played because they are an outfit with experience all over the pitch.

“The wing-backs gave us good width and there are positives to take - but there are negatives as well because we’ve only taken a point.”