Morecambe manager Jim Bentley pays tribute to Barry Roche’s powers of recovery

Shrimps' skipper Barry Roche had an eventful second half when they faced Salford City
Shrimps' skipper Barry Roche had an eventful second half when they faced Salford City

Morecambe boss Jim Bentley has hailed skipper Barry Roche for his battling qualities.

The Shrimps’ captain came under the microscope against Salford City when he fumbled a free-kick into his own goal to cancel out Morecambe’s 2-1 lead.

It would have been easy for the keeper to let his head drop but, instead, he made two decisive late interventions to preserve their point.

He saved Richie Towell’s late penalty and also made another close-range stop to deny Salford substitute Devante Rodney.

“Baz lost it in the sun and that can happen,” Bentley said of his captain’s error.

“To be fair to Baz, he’s then made a crucial save with his legs and saved the penalty.

“He’s shown a lot of determination and grit to get us a point.”

Going the other way, Bentley’s players showed again what they are capable of if they keep the ball on the floor.

The first half had seen the Shrimps play in a more direct fashion but the opening 10 minutes of the second period brought a more eye-catching display.

A 16-pass move ended with Shaun Miller bringing Morecambe level before Lewis Alessandra fired them in front with his fifth of the season.

Miller’s arrival had been greeted with some fanfare after his scoring feats with the Shrimps in his previous spell with the club.

However, it has taken the Crewe Alexandra loanee time to find his feet having returned over the sumer.

“Last time, he didn’t get his first goal until October,” Bentley said.

“At Crewe, he’s hardly started a game in 2019 before coming here; you expect players to come in and go ‘bang’ but that’s not the case with his age and what he’s done over the course of 2019.

“I’d love to go and sign the players they (Salford) have signed but we have to go for players who have lost their way a little bit.

“Lewis Alessandra scored three goals last season but he’s already got five; we’re trying to rebuild him.

“We’re trying to rebuild Shaun Miller; in training and games, he’s come up a notch and he’s had a couple of opportunities.

“We’re creating chances and playing nice stuff; if we get Shaun Miller up and running, we’re going to score more goals.”