Jim cleans up at old mentor’s expense
AFTER cleaning Keith Curle’s boots as a youngster, Jim Bentley can toast to a turning of the tables in the dugouts as his Morecambe side grabbed an impressive victory over Carlisle.
Danny Grainger had put the Cumbrians ahead, but a Shaun Miller double and a Tom Barkhuizen strike sealed an emphatic win for the visitors – despite Derek Asamoah’s late consolation.
And Bentley couldn’t hide his delight as his side rose into the top half of League Two.
“We know we have lads that can play good football, so to work on that game plan and see it come off is brilliant,” explained Bentley, who was an apprentice at Manchester City during Curle’s time at Maine Road.
“We knew they were a good side, and they’ve brought in some impressive players, but we also knew they would give us chances.
“The plan was to expose them on the counter attack and it worked a treat.
“Sean Miller has hit a bit of a run now, and I’m delighted for him.”
Carlisle struck first when captain Grainger bent home a fine low effort from 18 yards for his first of the season.
Yet with the home side seemingly on course for three consecutive victories, Bentley’s men pulled level.
Carlisle’s young Newcastle loanee defender Macaulay Gillesphey mis- placed a pass straight into the feet of the in-form Miller, and the experienced striker needed no second invitation, blasting the ball into the far corner to equalise.
And after the break the Shrimps went ahead, launching a stunning break to take advantage of a bizarre situation.
With Carlisle’s players frozen solid awaiting the awarding of a throw in, the brilliant Jamie Devitt threaded an inch-perfect pass into Barkhuizen who slotted his side ahead. A third was soon to follow when another mesmerising Devitt ball cut Carlisle open and laid on a tap-in for Miller, who gratefully converted his fourth goal in seven days to seal the points.
And regardless of Asamoah’s injury-time reply, Cumbrians boss Curle confessed his side had been outplayed.
“There’s no doubt we were beaten by the better team on the day,” Curle explained.
“Unfortunately we probably scored at the worst possible time.
“Coming off the back of two wins, we go ahead and suddenly decide that it’s going to be our day again.
“It wasn’t through tactical naivety that we lost the game, because we’d prepared for their counter-attacking all week, so it is frustrating.
“But it’s all part of the learning curve for us.”
STAR MAN JAMIE DEVITT Morecambe