Man­ager can now sleep easy

The Football League Paper - - LEAGUE TWO - By Jon Palmer

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

PIC­TURES: Ac­tion Images

LEAP OF FAITH: More­cambe’s Andy Par­rish rises high­est inside the box un­der pres­sure from Steve El­liott


AW Moreca


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