ON his last ever performance in a Morecambe shirt, former skipper, now manager, Jim Bentley enjoyed a goal-scoring finale to an enjoyable testimonial match in front of more than 4,000 fans at the Globe Arena.
David Moyes brought a strong side, cheered on by more than 2,000 of Bentley’s fellow Evertonians, with names like Leon Osman, Jack Rodwell, Phil Neville, Victor Anichebe, Sylvain Distin and Seamus Coleman in the starting line-up.
The home side were no match on the day for their Premier League opponents who punished Morecambe for the few incidents of sloppy passing and for Barry Roche’s susceptibility to long shots driven along the ground.
Francisco Junior caught the Shrimps keeper out after just seven minutes with a crisp right footer from 20-yards, after Andy Parrish failed to get enough distance on a headed clearance from a corner.
It was 2-0 to the visitors on 37 minutes when Leon Osman picked McGee’s pocket in the centre of the park and played a one-two with Junior before slipping in Vellios for an easy finish.
Rodwell made it three before the break, lobbing Roche after Will Haining had misdirected a pass straight to the England Under 21 player who laid it off to Osman and then raced on to his return.
Rare first half sorties upfield from the home side saw Jack Redshaw and Lewis Alessandra threaten with half chances but most advances were snuffed out by the strength of Distin or the pace of Coleman.
There were a flurry of substitutions at half time and after the break for Morecambe with Izak Reid, Gary McDonald, Jordan Burrow, Joe Mwasile, Stewart Drummond, Danny Carlton, a guesting Wayne Curtis, a few triallists and reserve team youngsters getting a try out.
Of the young subs, only England youth product, Williams had chance to shine and Everton still carried the greater threat, making it 4-0 when Roche was again slow to get down, this time to a 25-yarder from Victor Anichebe.
But, of course, the day was all about Morecambe’s ten-year servant Bentley and one of the biggest cheers of the day was for his introduction with five minutes to go.
The day was capped when some intentional poor defending left Bentley through on goal, only for his shot to be saved by Toffees ‘keeper Matuesz Taudul, who hadn’t read the fairytale script.
The ball broke to Williams who crossed for Bentley to convert home at the second time of asking to complete a perfect tribute to the Shrimps’ Wembley winning skipper.