All roads lead to Morecambe, after the whites scrapped and scraped their way to a 1-0 win over Carlisle at the UniBol on Tuesday night.
A thoroughly excruciating watch, as by hook or by crook we dealt with about 67 long throws and 13 corners (actual amount), including an absolutely bum clenching series of them in injury-time to seal a vital victory.
Dapo and Lloyd put in enterprising displays on the wings but it was the twin towers at centre-back who were the standouts, as we somehow survived the aerial bombardment that the Cumbrians identified as their best route to goal.
After an at best shaky display in the reverse at Blundell Park, the pairing of Ricardo Santos and Alex Baptiste stood firm to repel everything Carlisle threw at them. The latter just edges the award after a display of bravery, perfect positioning and countless headed clearances.
It is surely between him and Santos for our player of the season award and if you’d said that after the first 3 months of the season you’d of been carted off.
The 16 wins by a single goal illustrate just how important he has been in this Phoenix from the flames like rise from deadbeat lower mid-table fodder to having automatic promotion in our hands with three games to play. The veteran defender has played every single minute of this run since Ryan Delaney’s red card at Prenton Park gave him his chance to cement a spot alongside Santos, dispelling fears over his injury record after a couple of seasons heavily disrupted by ailments before he rejoined the Wanderers.
Huge credit is due to Baptiste for digging deep and providing the backbone to this side, as his reliability and leadership from the back has helped propel us to the higher echelons of the league. We finally stumbled upon a partnership at the back who compliment each other and appear absolutely determined not to be breached.
Their output in the closing few games will be vital in determining our fate and I’m confident that the Grimsby debacle was a one off and they can help us finish the job.
Not all heroes wear capes, this one just takes his dioralyte.