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David Artell salutes Grimsby’s ‘warriors’ after crucial win over Forest Green

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 2 Mar 2024

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David Artell described his Grimsby players as “warriors” after an all-important 1-0 victory over Forest Green eased their relegation fears.

Grimsby picked up their first League Two win since late-December – with Harvey Rodgers settling the scores – to move six points clear of the danger zone.

Chances were few and far between throughout the 90 minutes at Blundell Park – certainly after the early winner from Rodgers – with neither goalkeeper tested as Rovers failed to boost their own survival hopes.

Steve Cotterill’s side are five points from safety with 11 games to play.

Artell said: “This wasn’t a game that was ever going to define our season, but we really wanted to win it.

“Saying that (it was a must-win game) is just words really, but what I would say is that we had 13 or 14 warriors out there.

“It wasn’t particularly pretty, but I can’t remember them having a chance. If you offered me a performance or result then I would have taken the result, of course, but off the ball we were outstanding to a man.

“We know that it wasn’t pretty, but the other side is it was a game we know will help us (at the end of the season).”

Grimsby settled first and went 1-0 up in the eighth minute when Rodgers looped over Vicente Reyes from the edge of the penalty area.

Chances were at a premium for the remainder of the first half with Rovers midfielder Emmanuel Osadebe dragging a half-volley narrowly wide.

Harvey Bunker took aim upon the restart as Rovers pushed and probed for a way back into what was an all-important relegation showdown.

At the other end, a wayward strike from substitute Kieran Green was as close as Grimsby came to extending their advantage, while Jamie Robson struck over with the last kick of the game for Rovers.

Rovers manager Cotterill added: “We didn’t start very well in the first 10 minutes and we made it look like it was going to be our third game in a week.

“They started fresher than us, but I thought we were miles better than them and we should never have lost that game.

“We didn’t quite play sharply enough and that’s because we couldn’t.

“I thought we were the better team by an absolute mile. We just couldn’t find that sharpness and work their goalkeeper enough.

“I feel for the boys really because that’s their third big effort in a week – we could’ve easily won the other night and we deserved to win this one.

“That’s a tough one for us to take as I don’t know what they did after 10 minutes.”

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