SHRIMPS SOUR SMITH’S START

The Football League Paper - - LEAGUE TWO - By Derek Quinn

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

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