Arestidou to the rescue

Jim Bentley has goalkeeper Danny Ward (above) missing
Jim Bentley has goalkeeper Danny Ward (above) missing
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Shrimps boss Jim Bentley says goalkeeper Danny Ward will become the first ever Morecambe player to miss a game due to international commitments.

Ward signed on a month’s loan from Premier League Liverpool last Friday as cover for Andreas Arestidou, who was serving a one-match ban.

But within hours of signing, the young keeper was called up to the Wales national side and was ruled out of tomorrow’s clash with Exeter.

The shot-stopper is now preparing with Chris Coleman’s squad for tomorrow’s crucial Group B Euro 2016 qualifying clash against Israel.

Bentley said: “I think it is our first ever one. We have never had a player unavailable due to international duty before.

“He turned up on Friday, played at Carlisle on Saturday and then he is at the Welsh national training centre the following week and travelling to Israel after that.

“I thought he was excellent on Saturday in our 1-1 draw at Carlisle.

“He adapted to his new surroundings quickly. You can see he is a quality goalkeeper and he fitted in no problem.”

Ryan Williams is Bentley’s only doubt due to a hernia injury but the Shrimps boss was impressed by on-loan Shrewsbury midfielder Aaron Wildig’s debut against Carlisle.

He said: “Aaron has not played much football recently. He was on loan with Kidderminster but there is no doubting his abilities.

“He has played at Championship level for Cardiff and at League One level. He is a good player and hopefully he will improve us over the next month too.”

Padraig Amond and Paul Mullin also caught Bentley’s eye at Brunton Park. Mullin won the penalty that Amond fired home in the 78th minute.

The Shrimps have missed several penalties this season and Bentley praised Amond for not cracking under pressure.

He said: “Paul won the penalty. Podge took it and scored.

“We always talk about subs being mentally right and 
ready to go on and affect the game in the right manner 
and they certainly did 
that.

“It was a good penalty in a difficult area of the game. We were 1-0 down, away from home and I think he showed good mental strength to put it away.”

The Shrimps are 14th in the table and nine points off a play-off spot with eight games left.

And Bentley hopes his side can hit the magical 50 points mark at in-form 10th-placed Exeter tomorrow.

He said: “We want to finish as high as possible.

“I can understand everyone being frustrated…I am too. After the win at Luton we were talking about a late run for the play-offs.

“Then, bang – two defeats at home in a week has taken the wind out of our sails but we are still closer to play-offs than relegation.

“We want to win tomorrow and hopefully we will be on 52 points by Saturday night.”