Grimsby Town: Shaun Pearson makes a birthday wish
CENTRE-back Shaun Pearson has an extra incentive to win Grimsby Town's last game against Southport tomorrow – he doesn't want anything to ruin his birthday.
The defender turns 23 on the day and hopes the fact it's come on a day when Southport are the visitors is a good sign.
Pearson's man-of-the-match display off the bench in the reverse fixture was praised by managers Rob Scott and Paul Hurst.
That was his first league outing of 2012 and first for almost two months.
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And he believes that was the performance that kick-started his season into life.
Pearson said: "It was a good game for me personally; it was the game where I got back in the team and cemented a place back in there.
"It holds good memories for me and we won the game as well thanks to (Liam) Hearnsy's late goal.
"Physically at their place it was tough but we dealt with the aerial bombardment there well.
"I presume they will play the same way again.
"If we can match the commitment again, then I don't see why we can't win again.
"We know if we win we can get a top-eight finish which, while not being as high as we wanted, isn't bad considering the shaky start we had."
Pearson isn't greedy but admits he'd like a birthday goal as well as a win to sign off with.
And after proving a threat at set-pieces this season, there's every chance he could get his wish.
He went on: "It would be nice to get a goal on my birthday and a clean sheet.
"I've had a few chances this year and not really converted as many as I'd like.
"Wherever I go, I always look to be a threat from set-pieces and I have four goals this season.
"The quality of the balls in has been good recently and that's helped.
"I went close at Southport before Dusty (Ian Miller) got the goal just before half-time.
"Hopefully, it will be my turn this time."
A birthday win would cap off a good week for the ex-Boston defender who picked up two trophies at the club's awards night on Tuesday including the Mariners Trust Most Imporved/Unsung Hero award.
Pearson reckons it's a title that fits the bill perfectly.
He added: "I think the title of the award sums up my season really.
"At the start of the season, I had my first real big dip in form and when you are a young lad, it is a new experience.
"I had to learn how to deal with it.
"The gaffers brought me out of the team and in hindsight, that did me the world of good.
"Since getting back in, I think I've done myself justice and show what I can do."