The Football League Paper - - LEAGUE TWO - By Jamie Bow­man

MORE­CAMBE boss Jim Bent­ley pointed the fin­ger at his de­fend­ers af­ter his side slumped to a third con­sec­u­tive home de­feat against Bristol Rovers at the Globe Arena.

The hosts re­peat­edly pegged back the visi­tors with Rovers left hang­ing on af­ter Paul Mullin’s late penalty en­sured a thrilling fin­ish to a game full of goal mouth ac­tion.

“We are the league’s top scor­ers but we’re the worst de­fen­sively so it’s not rocket science to work out where we need im­prove­ment,” said Bent­ley.

“We’re get­ting killed for any silly lit­tle er­ror, which hap­pens when you’re strug­gling but our game man­age­ment is poor.

“I think we’ll score goals against any­one all sea­son so there are pos­i­tives but we know how to put the ball in one net but not how to keep it out of the other. All our good work early in the sea­son is drift­ing away be­cause of our per­for­mances at home.”

Rovers, who won at Hartle­pool ear­lier in the week, be­gan the game well and should have taken the lead when Barry Roche saved one-handed from Billy Bodin af­ter the winger had been put through by Jer­maine Easter.

With the hosts strug­gling for a foothold in the game, Rovers flooded for­ward and Roche was at it again just be­fore the half-hour when he tipped Lee Mansell’s 12 yard drive on to the post.

But Mansell made amends less than a minute later when he got on the end of Jake Gosling’s left wing cen­tre and tucked the ball be­yond the un­lucky keeper.

It was some­thing of a shock when More­cambe equalised two min­utes be­fore the break fol­low­ing a rush of blood from glove­man Lee Ni­cholls who charged off his line only to be ex­pertly lobbed by the cool Shaun Miller.

Rovers re­gained the lead just af­ter the break fol­low­ing a great piece of play from Bodin, who rounded a cou­ple of de­fend­ers be­fore slip­ping in Easter. His shot was par­ried by Roche back into the path of Bodin, who grate­fully lashed in the re­bound.

Matty Tay­lor looked to have put the game be­yond doubt with a close-range fin­ish from Lee Brown’s cross only for More­cambe to strike back through Tom Barkhuizen.

Sub­sti­tute El­lis Har­ri­son made an in­stant im­pact with an em­phatic penalty af­ter Shaun Bee­ley’s hand­ball be­fore Mullin made it a ner­vous fin­ish for Rovers.

De­spite con­ced­ing three goals, Rovers man­ager Dar­rell Clarke was left sat­is­fied af­ter another suc­cess­ful away day for his side who com­pleted their fourth win on the road this sea­son.

“We thor­oughly de­served the win and it was cer­tainly an en­ter­tain­ing game, but not great for my heart,” he said.

“But we’ve had two long away trips this week and got six points so I’m a happy man.

“It’s great we’re be­gin­ning to get the re­wards in front of goal and de­spite the fact we were sloppy with the goals we con­ceded, I’m not go­ing to crit­i­cise my back line too much. They’ve been out­stand­ing most of the sea­son and the main thing is you win the football match.”


FORE­BOD­ING: Billy Bodin of Bristol Rovers ham­mers home the re­bound and, inset, team­mate El­lis Har­ri­son scores a penalty

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