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Deflated

25 January 2015

JOHN Sheridan believes himself and the squad have let themselves down by surrendering a lead in their draw against Morecambe.

A near-bulletproof record at Home Park this season for the Greens had been scuppered by consecutive defeats to Oxford United and Luton Town in recent weeks, and John’s team looked to be returning to winning ways by the halfway point of their game against the Shrimps.

In stoppage time of the first half, returning Bristol City loanee Bobby Reid re-established his partnership with namesake Reuben Reid by playing an early ball forward to the striker, who shrugged off his marker, rounded keeper Andreas Arestidou and slotted home his first goal in more than a month.

“It was a brilliant ball,” said Sheridan, “and he’s took and finished it really well. That is the positive from the game.

“I felt once we got the goal, it’s about having that bit of know-how to win the game 1-0, win ugly. The most important thing today was to get the three points. I tried to say that to them at half time.”

Bobby himself had a chance to double his side’s lead after the restart after being put through on goal by Lewis Alessandra, but was unable to find a way past Arestidou – a missed opportunity that was punished in the 52nd minute.

A Shrimps corner was nodded towards goal, with the ball finding Jack Redshaw free in the six-yard box to head home and level the score, as the Pilgrims struggled to gain a foothold in the match for the entire second half.

“We are down again,” said John. “It’s a home result where everybody thought we were going to win the game but we haven’t again and we are making life every difficult. There’s no excuse.

“Morecambe are strong and organised. They get men behind the ball and I said we might have to be patient sometimes and play that extra pass. We got in some good areas but it’s just that final ball at times that lets us down.

“I said before the game: ‘don’t allow them to get men behind the ball, attack them early,’ and the goal was a prime example of that."

Sheridan brought on attacking players after the equaliser to get that home record back on track, but the change in formation and introductions of Nathan Thomas and new signing Ryan Brunt did not have the desired effect, as Morecambe’s organisation paid dividends.

“I went quite attacking; I ended up playing 4-2-4 really, at the end, with Nathan coming on,” said Sheridan.

“Putting Lewis out on the right with Ryan up front, we were just trying to chase a goal, but I did not really feel as though much was going to happen. Lewis was just the best option to play out there but I think it was a wrong decision, because he was our brightest player, and I should have kept him down the middle.

“We didn’t really get going in the second half, the game just ended up flat because we were after three points.

“I felt we were going to get three points when we got the goal. I thought we were going to go on and win the game but we haven’t created too much - even though we had a lot of the ball.

“They have had one or two chances and we are just huffing and puffing but I think it’s just a case of when you are 1-0 up, seeing the game out. A draw is not good enough and we need to win games.

“We do leave ourselves vulnerable, and we are very naive sometimes. I am not making excuses; the second half wasn’t good enough.

“We have let ourselves down today. When we are 1-0 up I expect ourselves to win the game, but we haven’t.”

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