Reporter Adam Lord takes a closer look at Morecambe’s 1-0 defeat at Leyton Orient
Goalkeeping performance that deserved something to show for it
Kieran O’Hara may only be 19 and in the very early stages of a promising career but I seriously doubt if he’ll have many better games than he did at Leyton Orient on Saturday. Having impressed in his sole Shrimps game at Northampton it looked like his first job at the Matchroom Stadium would be to pick the ball out of the net after coming on following Barry Roche’s red card. But the Manchester United loanee saved Jay Simpson’s penalty, the stop with his legs sparking a stunning display between the sticks. O’Hara saved everything that came his way and should have been celebrating a point at the final whistle had it not been for Ryan Edwards’ unfortunate own goal. It was the kind of performance that can catapult a career. Whether that be at Old Trafford or not remains to be seen with the young stopper out of contract in the summer. After Saturday, should it be away from Manchester then there will certainly be plenty of suitors.
Defence showed that progress has been made
Rightly criticised for large parts of the season The Shrimps’ defence showed that things are on the up with another resolute display. After battling at Crawley and doing well for long periods against Wimbledon this was another performance built from the back, something which looked a long way off only weeks ago. Saturday’s strong defensive showing is all the more impressive given the fact Jim Bentley took his side down to London with just one recognised central defender. Alan Goodall slotted in alongside the improving Ryan Edwards and despite not having the traditional stature of a centre half did well before the unfortunate mishap that ultimately saw The Shrimps come away empty handed. The backline will be severely tested again on Friday as wounded promotion chasers Plymouth Argyle head to the Globe Arena.
Two new boys with something to prove
Cole Stockton and Darren McKnight may have been unused substitutes on Saturday but the pair will get their chance between now and the end of a season. The signing of Tranmere front man Stockton has raised a few eyebrows because he currently can’t break into the first team of the National League side. But having scored twice against The Shrimps last season, he will certainly have shown Jim Bentley somthing. The strong 22-year-old also gives Morecambe some variety at the sharp end of the field in the closing weeks of the season. McKnight joins former Shrimps Ryan Williams and Tom McCready as a player prepared to play for nothing in a bid to secure his longer-term future at the Globe Arena. Having failed to make the grade at Shrewsbury and Barnsley the midfielder will be keen to show he has a future in the Football League.