Bentley puzzled by inconsistent form

Bentley is bemused by his team's contrasting fortunes at home and away

Bentley is bemused by his team's contrasting fortunes at home and away

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Morecambe manager Jim Bentley admits he is baffled by his team’s defensive inconsistency this season.

The Shrimps defence was breached several times in midweek as they suffered a 4-2 defeat to Cambridge United at the Globe Arena.

It was the second successive home game that Bentley’s men had conceded four goals, following on from the sorry exit to Dagenham and Redbridge in the FA Cup a week earlier.

However, those two results are in stark contrast to Morecambe’s form on their travels.

In their last three away games – in league and cup – they have kept three clean sheets, including last Saturday’s battling goalless draw at Barnet.

Attacking-wise, Bentley has no concerns as his team have struck 33 goals in their opening 18 games and are currently League Two’s second highest goalscorers behind Carlisle, who have scored two more.

And it may come with a certain amount of relief for Bentley that his men are on the road this weekend at lowly Stevenage.

“I am going over the same thing every week defensively,” said Bentley.

“All the little things that you speak about which we’ve done in the past and are doing away from home, we are not doing at the Globe.

“We’ve kept three cleans sheets on the spin away, but we come home and concede four against Cambridge like we did against Dagenham.

“If you score two goals at home, you expect to at least draw the game, but you should be winning it.

“So we know where the problem lies, but it wouldn’t surprise me if we went to Stevenage and got a good result.”

Despite losing six of their last seven home games, Morecambe are still 
only six points outside the play-offs.

“It’s is a difficult time at the moment, but the daft thing is we are only six points off the play-offs so a couple of wins could get us back up there,” Bentley said.

“It’s a difficult game against Stevenage, but we are doing okay away from home and that’s the only thing which is keeping us with points on the board at the minute.”

One positive from Tuesday night’s defeat was the return from long-term injury of club captain Peter Murphy.

He came on at half-time with his side 3-1 down and scored in the second half.

“Peter leads by example,” Bentley said. “He’ll get you goals, he’s going to get booked, but he gets in people’s faces.”

The Shrimps yesterday signed Blackburn striker Anton Forrester, 21, on loan until January 3.