Groundhog Day for Morecambe boss Bentley

Morecambe boss Jim Bentley and his assistant Ken McKenna. Picture: B&O Press Photo
Morecambe boss Jim Bentley and his assistant Ken McKenna. Picture: B&O Press Photo

Morecambe manager Jim Bentley admitted Tuesday’s draw with Cambridge United followed an all too familiar pattern this season.

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A goalless encounter at the Globe Arena saw the Shrimps move five points clear of second-bottom Barnet with two games of the League One season remaining.

However, safety could have been wrapped up long before now as 18 draws and only nine wins in 44 league matches testify.

Only five teams in England’s top four divisions have won fewer games than Morecambe this season - West Bromwich Albion, Stoke City, Southampton, Sunderland and Bury - while only Rochdale can match their tally of draws.

“We wanted to win the game and we tried to win the game,” Bentley said of Tuesday’s stalemate.

“We had the better chances and I think we just shaded the game but our Achilles heel is that we have drawn too many games.

“We have created chances but we haven’t put them away and that’s where the problems lie; it isn’t rocket science.

“I can’t knock the lads because they were under a bit of pressure and they gave it their all.

“There were some strong performances and, on another day, we win the game but that has haunted us all year; 18 draws are madness.”

Callum Lang and Kevin Ellison had Morecambe’s best chances but were undone by a combination of Cambridge keeper Dimitar Mitov and poor finishing.

It wasn’t entirely one-way traffic as the visitors played some neat football, albeit without creating many clear goalscoring chances.

The point, following on from Morecambe’s defeat at Crewe Alexandra last time out, at least gives them a simple task when they meet Barnet on Saturday; avoid defeat and relegation is no longer a concern.

“Cambridge are a good side and I’d said earlier in the season how well they’d recruited,” Bentley said.

“We knew it was going to be a tough game; they’re in good form and you have to respect the opposition.

“It could have been different if Callum’s chance had gone in; he did well to get between the defenders but the keeper made a good save.”