Jim Bentley’s backing for Morecambe players

Morecambe celebrate Kevin Ellison's goal on Saturday
Morecambe celebrate Kevin Ellison's goal on Saturday

Morecambe boss Jim Bentley maintains his players’ league position does not reflect their form.

Saturday’s 1-1 home draw against second-bottom Notts County left the Shrimps 19th in League Two, six points clear of the relegation places.

After a difficult start to the season, Bentley’s players have strung together a good run of results going into Tuesday’s trip to MK Dons.

The weekend’s point, salvaged by Kevin Ellison’s late equaliser, made it 18 points from the Shrimps’ last 11 league matches after only taking three points in their opening eight outings.

“Our league form is decent,” Bentley said in reflecting upon the weekend draw.

“We’d had five wins and two draws in the 10 games before that, which is promotion form.

“Again, we discussed game management and decision making because we had lots of corners and we just told them to try something different.

“It’s like everyone wants to score the perfect goal; whether it’s a free-kick or a corner, everyone wants to get on the end of it.

“What happened to backing your mate to win it and then go for the second phase because that’s what happened with the goal.

“Kev has done it for many a year; we’ve won the first header, he’s got the second ball and put it in the back of the net.”

Ellison was one half of a vastly experienced double substitution in the immediate aftermath of Notts County taking the lead at the Globe Arena.

The 39-year-old replaced Liam Mandeville, while Garry Thompson’s 38th birthday brought his 750th career appearance when he came on for Josef Yarney.

The two gave the Shrimps some hitherto unseen width with Thompson sending over a series of crosses from the right and Ellison winning a number of corners on the left.

“Kev’s frustrated and Thommo will be because they are at that end of their career,” Bentley said.

“People will write them off because of their age but they are fit lads and I thought Thommo did well.

“We need that pace in the side because we missed Rhys Oates, who gives us that outlet.

“Kev scored and he’ll be looking to get on the teamsheet more often than not.”