SHRIMPS SOUR SMITH’S START
MORECAMBE boss Jim Bentley had just the bare bones to pick from and struggled to hold back his emotions after ruining Alan Smith’s managerial debut.
With just four subs at his disposal and reduced to ten men before half-time, Bentley’s side condemned the Magpies to a tenth straight League Two defeat handing Smith a disastrous start as caretaker manager.
Lee Molyneux opened the scoring after just two minutes, with Paul Mullin and Michael Rose, from the spot, making it 3-0 with barely half an hour gone.
Andy Fleming was given his marching orders on 45 minutes, but despite Jonathan Forte pulling one back, Kevin Ellison sealed the thumping win.
And Bentley, sat in the stands as he serves a two-match ban for his dismissal against Cheltenham, was proud of his cash-strapped Shrimps.
He said: “Everyone knows the problems the club have with the transfer embargo and we could only field four subs with just 15 players to pick from but the lads were brilliant and I was so, so proud of them.
“Some of the football in the first half was brilliant but we had to be solid in the second after we went down to ten men and we did that really well.
“It was an emotional day I must admit. It has been a tough time for the club with the off field issues and my own ban but I couldn’t have asked for any more from the players or the supporters and this was a huge win for us.’’
For Smith, caretaker boss following John Sheridan’s dismissal, it was a sobering introduction to management and he felt the rub of the green went against his side.
He said: “The 4-1 scoreline didn’t sum the match up to be honest but I am disappointed and as gutted as the fans with the defeat.
“A few things went against us because if Sam Osbourne had gone down in the opening minute we could have had a penalty and I didn’t think their third was a penalty and it is those little things that go against you in games.
“We played much better in the second half and we passed the ball around well and if we had scored earlier it might have made a difference. We asked the lads to play with some freedom and they did that. Nobody hid but we know the result wasn’t good enough and we have a big few weeks coming up.’’
Molyneux fired in the opener after just two minutes with a sharp left-footed strike before Mullin doubled the lead after an Ellison effort was parried by Scott Loach.
Richard Duffy fouled Mullin to give Rose the chance to increase the lead from the spot, before Fleming was dismissed for dangerous tackle on Curtis Thompson. Despite the extra man, Notts County only pulled one back through Forte before Ellison rounded it off.
MISTY-EYED: Morecambe players celebrate after midfielder Lee Molyneux opens the scoring
JOY: Kevin Ellison celebrates