Pell loses armband and finds his form
HARRY Pell gave up the Cheltenham captaincy and got back to top form with a double as they took a step towards survival with victory over ten-man Morecambe.
The midfielder had been struggling during a run of four straight defeats, but he was replaced as captain by the returning Kyle Storer and moved out to the right wing, delivering an outstanding performance.
And acting Cheltenham boss Russell Milton admitted it was a relief to see the switch pay off.
“We have discussed the captaincy and Pelly was comfortable with Kyle having it,” he said.
“Maybe it’s coincidence, but we wanted to free him up and we played him wider so he could get up and down the pitch and use his height.
“There won’t be many full-backs who’ll fancy going up against him at the far post and it was a good performance from him.”
With recovering boss Gary Johnson watching from the stands for the first time since undergoing heart surgery, Pell headed Cheltenham in front in the 33rd minute after a cross from Jordan Cranston.
By that point, Dan Holman had an effort cleared off the line by Aaron McGowan in the ninth minute and Danny Wright went close with a header.
Morecambe missed their chance to take the lead in the 14th minute when Michael Rose’s penalty was well-saved by Scott Brown after Cranston had tripped Paul Mullin in the box.
Kevin Ellison shot just wide of the far post in the 27th minute, but Cheltenham deserved to be ahead at half-time with Pell doing the honours.
Wright put Cheltenham 2-0 up in the 48th minute from the spot after Alex Kenyon handled Will Boyle’s header on the line and the Morecambe man was shown a straight red.
Cheltenham took total control, with Pell firing in the third from a 20-yard freekick in the 57th minute.
Morecambe scored a consolation goal in the 79th minute, as Emmanuel Onariase put into his own net.
Shrimps boss Jim Bentley said: “We made poor decisions and we have been bullied again and I’d go as far as saying this pitch is worse than Newport’s.
“I don’t think our players got the protection they needed from the referee.
“We missed the penalty which changes things because we could have been 1-0 up away from home. We had a couple of chances, but they are a physical outfit who played the pitch better than we did.”
STAR MAN HARRY PELL Cheltenham