Morecambe 0 Cheltenham Town 0: How Jim Bentley and Michael Duff reacted afterwards

Morecambe boss Jim Bentley delivered a withering verdict after Saturday’s goalless draw with Cheltenham Town at the Globe Arena.

By Gavin Browne
Saturday, 17th August 2019, 8:28 pm
Morecambe manager Jim Bentley

Both sides took away a point from a game that will not appear on any ‘best-of’ compilations after two shots on target in almost 100 minutes of football.

A point and a first clean sheet of the season were the only things that Bentley could take from an underwhelming afternoon.

“It’s in the top three for worst games I’ve seen,” Bentley said afterwards.

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“There was endeavour and commitment but there wasn’t really much to talk about.

“It was a dour game, a poor performance by both sides and it looked like it was going to fizzle out unless someone gets a late set-play goal.

“The positives are we’ve got our first clean sheet; people might go ‘it’s not about clean sheets’ but the most important thing for us is we keep putting points on the board.

“Would you rather play well and lose 2-0 or it’s a poor game and draw 0-0 so you take the clean sheet, you take the point, you move on.

“We could have won it; Lewi (Alessandra) has had a great chance where he’s hit the crossbar.

“Apart from that, there wasn’t much else and, likewise with the opposition, they’ve had an early header and, like we said to them, the majority of things to face are the long throws from (Ben) Tozer, who we know all about, and the corner kicks.

“Overall, I think we defended them really well; it’s a weapon, certainly when the wind gets up like it did today and Tozer can put them underneath your crossbar from anywhere in your half.”

Bentley’s opposite number, Michael Duff, believed his players were the likelier to claim three points.

They saw Luke Varney’s header held by Barry Roche, while Gavin Reilly missed a golden opportunity from close range with half-time approaching.

Duff said: “I thought, first half, we were the much better team and it was similar to the first half last week really, getting into good areas and a little bit more quality is all we needed to make the keeper work.

“Gav (Reilly) had one unbelievable chance that just didn’t drop for him and that summed us up in front of goal really.

“We moved the ball well and they had to change their shape because they couldn’t cope with us.

“It was just that last 20 yards of the pitch that we couldn’t quite find the cross.

“We were in control for most of the game. The second half got a bit scrappy, but I didn’t feel that threatened at any point.

“Towards the end there was only going to be one team who were going to score and that was us.”