Jim jumps for joy as Shrimps secure win
MORECAMBE manager Jim Bentley believes his side’s victory over preseason promotion favourites Portsmouth will silence his critics.
Two goals from defender Alex Kenyon and Padraig Amond’s stoppage-time strike helped the Shrimps move to within seven points of the play-offs.
Boss Bentley reckons the victory shows his team’s true potential.
He said: “We showed what we are capable of because, let’s be honest, Portsmouth are a different level to us.
“Look at the players they have; Ryan Taylor, Matt Tubbs and, who I believe is the second best player in the division, Jed Wallace.
“After a couple of defeats that had fans calling for my head a week or so ago two decent wins and now they are looking at the playoffs. That’s why we all love this game.”
Portsmouth’s dreams of a top-seven finish have long since disappeared and it was Morecambe who came flying out of the blocks.
Jamie Devitt fizzed in a pin-point cross and Kenyon was given too much space inside the Portsmouth penalty area to head the first of his brace.
Kenyon’s brilliant volley in the 69th minute appeared to have sealed the points before Pompey threatened a late rally.
Teenage substitute Conor Chaplin fired home his first senior goal five minutes from time after being teed up by Tubbs.
But as Pompey committed more men forwards Morecambe hit their former Premier League opponents with another sucker punch as Amond volleyed in the hosts’ third in stoppage time.
Pompey’s misery was compounded when onloan Fulham defender Josh Passley was taken to hospital with a head injury, although Awford later confirmed he was suffering only from concussion.
Awford admitted a slow start was to blame for their latest away defeat.
He said: “We started well and kept them quiet and once we got in front we had to flatten the lads up front to counter their full backs. All in all it was a deserved victory.
“I am not sure we deserved to lose but we did not do enough to win it. They had something to hang onto after scoring early.
“The longer it stayed 00 the more open it would have become but the first goal was a sloppy goal to give away. It was a goal that should be stopped.
“We spoke about being solid and difficult to beat and when you concede early you make it hard for ourselves.
“I am disappointed because it was a game we felt we could come and take points from and we haven’t.”
STAR MAN JAMIE DEVITT Moreca