Jim Bentley’s goal for his Morecambe players next season

Morecambe boss Jim Bentley has challenged his players to keep finding the back of the net on a regular basis.

Tuesday, 21st May 2019, 6:00 pm
Updated Tuesday, 21st May 2019, 7:00 pm
Kevin Ellison scored seven goals for Morecambe in the 2018/19 season

The Shrimps netted 54 goals in League Two last season, the eighth lowest tally in the division, on their way to finishing 18th in the table.

Twenty-four of those came in the final 16 matches of the season with Bentley’s players having averaged a goal a game in their first 30 outings.

However, that tally improved significantly in the final third of the season once the Shrimps could call upon players including Aaron Collins and Richie Bennett.

Bentley said: “That’s one area we need to improve in, scoring goals.

“We got it right in the second half of the season and I think we were fourth in the league based on the final third of the season so we must have been doing something right.”

That ruthless edge in front of goal was a contrast to Morecambe’s troubles in the early part of the season.

Despite a more attacking approach, the Shrimps either failed to hit the target or found an opposition keeper giving a man-of-the-match display.

“I think the football at the start of the season was brilliant,” Bentley said.

“We had Liam Mandeville on fire as well as A-Jay Leitch-Smith and Rhys Oates.

“It’s not as if we were kicking ourselves to safety.

“I think we’ve been more clinical in the second half (of the season) which has coincided with Aaron Collins and Richie Bennett coming in.”

Sixteen players were responsible for Morecambe’s goal tally over the season with Collins’ eight goals making him their top scorer.

Kevin Ellison found the net on seven occasions, Leitch-Smith and Oates scored half-a-dozen times, while Bennett netted five goals during his loan spell.

That spread of goals was something that pleased the Shrimps’ boss.

Bentley said: “This season, we’ve had set-play goals, counter-attack goals, clearances over the top, build-up goals, long throws.

“We have a bit of everything this season; we’re quite rounded in that respect and we aren’t relying on one person to score.

“Football is about problem solving and finding a way around it – and we’ve shown this year that we aren’t bad.”