MORECAMBE GO TOP TO RELIEF OF BOSS YATES
Manager can now sleep easy
MARK Yates said his sleepless nights are over after Cheltenham Town moved to the top of League Two.
The Robins boss admitted he was feeling the stress before the season started, with a tough trip to Bury on the opening day after some unconvincing pre-season results.
But Cheltenham remain unbeaten and have kept four clean sheets in their six matches, sitting top of the pile ahead of third-placed Burton Albion’s match against Portsmouth today, when the Brewers can return to the summit.
“It’s a great point for us and I said to the players that with the pressure they put on us in the second half, we’d have lost that game last season,” Yates said.
“We didn’t cave in, we kept another clean sheet and this group have a bit about them.
“I did have a few sleepless nights before the season started after a 3-0 friendly defeat at Kidderminster but I know I’ll sleep well and I think we can keep getting better.
“I can’t tell you who the favourites for promotion are now, but it’s about getting belief, momentum and togetherness.
“We aren’t getting carried away but we are where we want to be so we want to do everything we can to stay there.
“The boys are a bit disappointed in the dressing room not to win it at the end but a draw was a fair result.
“We bossed the first half and had a few really good chances but they were better than us in the second half and how it has ended up 0-0 I will never know.”
Morecambe boss Jim Bentley was pleased with the way his side finished the match after the introduction of substitute Paul Mullin but he admitted they would have been fortunate to claim all three points.
“The substitution came at the right time for us because first half we were second best and in the first ten or 15 minutes of the second half it was 50/50,” said Bentley.
“They went direct with the wind and they are a handful in the middle of the park.
“But we got Mullin on and he sparked us into action, the crowd were lifted and we looked threatening.
“As the home team you want that but in the first half they were the better side and if it wasn’t for Barry Roche’s save and a couple of misses, we’d have been behind.
“Unfortunately we couldn’t get the all important goal when we were on top but overall we probably didn’t deserve to win it.”
Cheltenham carved out chance after chance in the opening 45 minutes, with left wingback Craig Braham-Barrett prominent.
He forced Barry Roche into a smart save with his legs in the 18th minute after a good pass from on-loan Millwall front man John Marquis.
Steve Elliott headed over a corner from Joe Hanks and Matt Richards thumped a shot just wide as Cheltenham pinned Morecambe back.
Braham-Barrett saw a shot blocked by Shaun Beeley and an outstanding one-handed save from Roche denied Marquis after half an hour.
Morecambe’s best attempt of the first half was a tame shot from Jamie Devitt which was easy for goalkeeper Trevor Carson to block but the home side showed a vast improvement after the break.
Richards’ low drive was touched around the post by Roche, but Morecambe then pressed, asking serious questions of the Cheltenham defence.
Jack Redshaw came into the game, firing past the right post after a strong run but Cheltenham defended resolutely and Carson was never seriously tested.
Cheltenham substitute Koby Arthur, who already has four goals to his name this season, found himself with the ball at his feet in the box early on. But he was well closed down and Roche beat away a powerful drive from Jason Taylor as an entertaining contest ended goalless.
BATTLE: Morecambe’s Alan Goodall, right, tussles with Jason Taylor of Cheltenham
LEAP OF FAITH: Morecambe’s Andy Parrish rises highest inside the box under pressure from Steve Elliott
STAR MAN JACK REDSH