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Bentley revels in ‘backs-to-the-wall’ win

Bentley revels in ‘backs-to-the-wall’ win

Tuesday 13 August 2019

Bentley revels in ‘backs-to-the-wall’ win

Morecambe boss Jim Bentley praised his side’s character after they fought out a 2-2 Carabao Cup draw with 10 men at highly-fancied Mansfield before winning 6-5 on penalties.

Despite losing Luke Conlan for a straight red on 22 minutes, Steven Old twice put Morecambe in front and also netted their sixth successful spot-kick before Ryan Sweeney blazed over in sudden death.

“It was an excellent win. I am proud of them. It was backs-against-the-wall stuff and we had to dig in,” smiled Bentley.

“We know Mansfield are a good side. They have quality in their side and they bring on quality so we had to put our bodies on the line and Mark Halstead made a couple of good saves.

“I am pleased there wasn’t any extra time as that would have been really tough.

“We needed to show character and we came through with flying colours.

“Some clubs could come here and fold, certainly when down to 10 men against good opposition. But we kept going and that’s the biggest thing for me tonight.”

Old netted a free header on 18 minutes but, after the Shrimps lost Conlan for his lunge on Kellan Gordon, Krystian Pearce headed an equaliser on 57 minutes.

Old looped another header home from a Jordan Cranston free-kick on 59 minutes only to see Omari Sterling-James turn and level on 68 minutes soon after coming on as a substitute to force penalties.

Mansfield boss John Dempster said: “I am gutted we are not in the next round.

“We worked hard to get back in the game but when you concede as easily as we did from set-plays it’s always going to be a struggle.

“I think the boys tried but you have got to be ruthless and we were not good enough defending basic set-plays in our box.

“After the sending-off, Morecambe parked the bus – and rightly so. They put their bodies on the line to defend and we came up short.

“The players practice penalties every day and yesterday was no different. You want players with the character to step up and those who did were brave enough to do so.”

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