Sloppy Joe is not in the firing line

Hard worker: James Spencer with an early header for Morecambe against Southend
Hard worker: James Spencer with an early header for Morecambe against Southend
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Morecambe boss Sammy McIlroy refused to criticise on-loan keeper Joe Anyon after his howler gifted Bury all three points on Tuesday night.

The Lincoln stopper was drafted in by McIlroy as an emergency replacement for the ever-present Barry Roche, who suffered a thigh injury in Saturday’s 2-1 success over Southend United at the Globe Arena.

The Shrimps had held the Shakers – currently sitting in second place in League Two – until the 85th minute when Anyon allowed a harmless-looking shot from Lennell John-Lewis squirm from his grasp and into the back of the net.

It was a particular blow for the Shrimps who had produced a battling performance at Gigg Lane.

McIlroy said: “It was just a bad mistake – that’s all it was.

“I felt my lads put in a superb performance especially second half – they gave us everything.

“Unfortunately, the keeper’s made a mistake and that’s cost us the game.

“But players make mistakes during the games all the time. Strikers miss chances but when a keeper makes a mistake, it’s costly.

“Joe was gutted, of course he was. He held his hands up after the game but there’s nothing you can do about it.

“But the last three performances have been excellent.

“I could not have asked for any more – the performances have been first class.

“Sometimes you need a bit of luck and we didn’t get that on Tuesday night.”

Anyon is set to continue in goal tomorrow against Bradford City at the Globe Arena as Roche is likely to be out for a couple of weeks.

The Shrimps had a great 1-0 win at Valley Parade in the first league match between the two in October.

The Bantams’ manager in that game was Peter Taylor but he left the club at the end of February and they have since installed former Lincoln boss Peter Jackson as his temporary replacement.

Although Bradford lost their first match under Jackson at Gillingham, they won the second – at home to Rotherham on Tuesday

And City revealed this week that Jackson is being given more time to prove that he deserves the job on a more permanent basis.

Joint-chairman Mark Lawn said: “He’s got a couple – two or three more games, I would have thought.

“We’ve got a big list of people to interview and we want to take our time and decide, so it’s in Peter’s hands.

“He knows where he stands,” Lawn added. “He’s got to make it so I can’t sack him, and if he keeps winning then it’s going to be very difficult for me to get rid of him.”

McIlroy is wary of all the changes City have made but insists his side must continue in the same vein as the last three outings.

He added: “They have had a change in manager and everybody picks up when a new man comes in.

“But we’ve just got to keep producing the same level of performances, take it from there and try to get the three points.”

McIlroy also praised the new-look forward line of Danny Carlton and James Spencer. He said: “They have done very well.

“They worked their socks off on Tuesday.

“Danny had a good effort against Bury which landed on top of the net and I can’t knock the effort he’s put in.”