Jim cleans up at old men­tor’s ex­pense

The Football League Paper - - LEAGUE TWO - By Matt Hill

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.”


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