Jim jumps for joy as Shrimps se­cure win

The Football League Paper - - LEAGUE TWO - By Mark Mudie

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

mbe

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