'Point gained' for Grimsby Town as two sent off in feisty derby scrap
PAUL Hurst insists that Grimsby Town’s home draw with Lincoln City was a point gained – after a gruelling derby battle at a packed Blundell Park.
A New Year’s Day crowd of 7,405 watched as a below-par Mariners display saw them struggle to a 1-1 stalemate with their local rivals.
Both sides had a player sent off and there were bookings, fouls and scuffles galore in a typically tempestuous derby clash.
However, Town defender Ian Miller’s first-half equaliser proved enough to keep the hosts at the summit of the Blue Square Bet Premier.
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And joint boss Hurst was quick to accentuate the positives – despite what he admits was a disappointing performance.
“When you consider that we had to finish the game with ten men and that we haven’t played well, then it’s probably a point gained,” he said.
“Looking at the other results yesterday, it could have certainly been worse for us. It was a very scrappy game. Every opportunity they had, they threw the big men forward, with lots of long throws and lots of free-kicks, and in general we defended them quite well, particularly when we went down to ten men.
“When we went forward early in the game we looked like we were causing problems, but we were second-best in terms of a lot of second balls and we didn’t pass the ball, which is unusual for us.
“Our players are an honest bunch and at half-time they weren’t happy with each other, and I’m sure after the game they weren’t.
“We know collectively that it wasn’t good enough yesterday.”
Hurst was keen to pay tribute to the Mariners fans, however. He believes the large home support made a huge difference in the closing stages, especially after full-back Aswad Thomas’ sending off.
“It was fantastic to get that many fans to watch us,” he added.
“It was just a shame we couldn’t perform to the levels that we have been, but, that said, they’re supporting a team that’s top of the league with a chance of getting promotion. If many of them come back again, I’d like to think that most times they’ll see a better game.
“We thank them – when we went down to ten men they really started to make some noise.”