Morecambe 1 Newport County AFC 1: Shrimps’ boss Jim Bentley rues spurned opportunities in front of goal

Aaron Collins could have had a hat-trick but for Newport keeper Joe Day
Aaron Collins could have had a hat-trick but for Newport keeper Joe Day

Morecambe boss Jim Bentley believed they paid the price for missed chances as they drew 1-1 with Newport County AFC.

Aaron Collins’ first-half goal looked set to give the Shrimps a fifth home victory in six matches.

However, Jamille Matt levelled the scores in the 87th minute; a goal which gave Newport the final play-off place.

Bentley said: “We came into the game wanting to win it; we’ve been in good form and it was important we didn’t lose it.

“I thought they went about the job well; it was a fantastic finish by Aaron Collins for the first goal.

“They’ve had one or two sniffs, a bizarre triple save by Mark Halstead was their best chance.

“There was some good stuff played, a competitive, good game to be involved in; Newport’s fans travelled and got behind their team while our lads thrived off our home fans.

“We played some good stuff, created chances but we just couldn’t take one that would make it 2-0 and put the game to bed.

“When it is 1-0 and teams are throwing caution to the wind like Newport were, they have good players and it was Jamille Matt who scored the equaliser; he’s had a superb season, he gets round the back stick and taps it in.

“You could see from then on that the results were coming into their dugout, that they were quite happy with a point.

“They were playing it into the corner, kept five back at every set play and things like that; not bothered at all about getting a winner, they just made sure they didn’t lose the game because they knew that was their best way.

“Fair play to Newport, they have a good season with the FA Cup and sneaking into the play-offs at the right time, right at the end, but with regards to us, I’m proud of everyone; everyone’s played their part in what has been a successful season for us.”

Though Newport had almost twice as many shots as Morecambe, Bentley’s players enjoyed the better chances.

With Morecambe leading midway through the second half, Collins was denied twice in as many minutes by Newport keeper Joe Day.

“That’s probably been the story of our season,” Bentley said of the missed opportunities.

“We had loads earlier on when we lost seven of the first eight but we could easily have got a lot of points – or three points – out of that.

“We played some fantastic stuff, created chances, but we didn’t put them away.

“That’s typified by today, we just couldn’t get the all-important second goal; it wasn’to be but we did try and gave it our all.”