Best laid plans go awry in Robins win
CHELTENHAM boss Gary Johnson admitted the coaching book was thrown to one side as his team clinched a vital three points on a controversial afternoon.
Two goals in a minute from Billy Waters and Harry Pell earned the struggling Robins a much-needed win against a Morecambe side who were reduced to ten men on 41 minutes when Alex Kenyon was sent off for his reaction to a late Kyle Storer challenge.
The Shrimps were also left without boss Jim Bentley after his angry response to the decision saw him sent to the stands.
Johnson said: “I told the lads at halftime that we had to throw the coaching book out of the window and just show the relentlessness we would need to get back in the game. We just had to put them under pressure and to be fair we did that.
“It was nice to get the win. We haven’t had one for a while.
“After their lad was sent off I had to say a few things to the lads at half-time about how bad it would look on them if they didn’t get anything from the game.
“A few players haven’t done themselves justice in the last few weeks, but once we got ahead we showed we have good footballers and managed the game well.’’
It is fair to say rookie ref Michael Salisbury will not be on Bentley’s Christmas card list after a performance that infuriated the Morecambe boss.
Bentley said: “I let myself down with my reaction after Alex was sent off but I saw a lot of things going on that I didn’t agree with. Their lad has stamped on Alex and then they surrounded the referee to try and get him sent off which I thought was not allowed these days.
“I will have to look at the part Alex played in the sending off but he has stud marks on his legs after he was caught a long time after the ball had gone, and that was one of only several big decisions that went against us.
“Peter Murphy has had to go to hospital after being elbowed and that was missed as well, and some of the things I saw were not right.”
Murphy gave the home side the lead on six minutes after Russell Griffiths could only parry Rhys Turner’s shot.
After the sending off Morecambe defended resolutely but their resistance was broken on 70 minutes when Waters struck from close range after a goalmouth scramble.
Seconds later goalscorer Waters turned provider with a cross for Pell to score the winner from close range.