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Grant McCann praises Doncaster’s fast start after win at Grimsby

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 17 Feb 2024

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Grant McCann lauded his Doncaster side for their outstanding second-half display in a resounding 5-1 demolition of Grimsby at Blundell Park.

Goals from Luke Molyneux and Joe Ironside put Doncaster in control before an own goal from Niall Maher and strikes from Matthew Craig and Kyle Hurst rubber-stamped victory.

Grimsby captain Danny Rose was on target from the penalty spot.

Defeat leaves David Artell’s team six points above the relegation zone, while their victorious neighbours – Doncaster – eased their own fears against the drop with a second win in three Sky Bet League Two games to move 13 points clear of the bottom two.

McCann said: “We started really well and scored two good goals.

“But then for whatever reason we stopped doing what got us into those positions.

“We didn’t win enough duels and second balls and the group knew that.

“At half-time I had to give them a gentle reminder because, for a spell, they got on top of us and couldn’t get in the game.

“We gave the ball back to them. We made it easy for them.

“We had to reset at half-time and I said to the players they’re a good team, get on the ball and play, be positive.

“When you’re playing in a derby game, away from home and with a full house, you have to start well. We made the boys aware of that.

“We did it well both halves and that’s what’s won us the game.”

Doncaster enjoyed a perfect start and found themselves 2-0 up with eight minutes on the clock when Molyneux curled into the top corner before Ironside pounced inside the Grimsby area after combining with Hakeeb Adelakun.

Grimsby were handed a lifeline in the 19th minute when Molyneux fouled Charles Vernam and Rose sent the resulting penalty kick straight down the middle.

Doncaster restored their two-goal cushion in the 51st minute as Maher turned into his own net from a Jamie Sterry cross, while Craig added gloss to the scoreline with a tidy left-footed finish in the 72nd minute.

And there was still time for Kyle to mark his cameo with a fifth.

Artell was left to rue his side’s poor start.

“They scored a very good first goal and that happens,” he said. “We then conceded a quick goal which knocked us.

“Then for the rest of that first half we were comfortably the better side. Even their staff said the same thing.

“We got a goal and should have been 3-2 in front.

“You got in 2-1 and we are still in the game. Really in it.

“And that’s the first half. We go out and concede again after six minutes and that knocked the stuffing out of us.

“It’s not the first time that’s happened.

“We have to understand that teams are trying to knock the stuffing out of us. It doesn’t have to be fatal.

“That’s football and that’s life. People will try and knock you down. The question is, do you get back up?

“Some of our lads found that difficult after the third goal.”

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