Miller just in time to deny Reds a victory
MORECAMBE manager Jim Bentley admitted he would have been gutted had his side returned to Lancashire with nothing to show for their efforts after drawing with Crawley Town.
Shaun Miller popped up against his old side with seven minutes to play to grab a point for the Shrimps.
Matt Harrold had given the hosts the lead early in the second half but Bentley felt his side deserved something from the game.
“It was a very difficult side on a very difficult pitch” Bentley said.
“Matt Harrold has been around the block and is a good target man, and it was a battle at times as we tried to play some football on that pitch but I think overall it’s a fair point. I would have been gutted with a 1-0 defeat.
“Some of our setpieces caused them problems. Alex Kenyon had a couple cleared off the line and we looked a threat.
“Second half, with the wind behind them, they banged it into the box and we found it hard to get out for spells before shifting the formation slightly, ending up getting the goal from a set play.”
In a lacklustre first half, the home side had the better of it, with Harrold seeing his header saved by Morecambe ‘keeper Barry Roche, before Kenyon had an attempt hacked off the line by John Ashton.
Shrimps striker Miller was next to try his luck but saw his dipping volley deflect just wide of Paul Jones’ left-hand post.
Crawley duo Shamir Fenelon and Lyle DellaVerde then both had chances to break the deadlock towards the end of the half.
At the other end, Luke Conlon forced Jones to beat away a powerful effort as Morecambe went into the interval the stronger.
But after the break it was Harrold who gave the Reds the lead with an accurate first-time finish into Roche's bottom righthand corner after DellaVerde’s low cross was cleared to him just inside the box.
Kevin Ellison fired a free-kick over the bar as time ticked on before exCrawley loanee Miller stabbed home from close range. And manager Mark Yates was left to rue Crawley’s missed chances in the opening 45 minutes of the match.
“We dealt with their threat until the one chance late on,” the Crawley boss said.
“We couldn’t hang on and I think we maybe lacked that cutting edge a little bit.
“Chances were few and far between if we are being honest but I think we got better as the game went on.
“Chris Atkinson will go back to Crewe now which frees up a loan spot. I want a striker and it's a position we are looking at.”
STAR MAN FRANK