Four points, but two very different games for Grimsby Town
By Matt Dannatt...
BOTH may have earned them valuable points, but Grimsby Town's last two away performances couldn't have been more different.
At Hereford United last Saturday, the Mariners put in a comfortable and composed performance to record a fine 2-0 victory.
But little over 72 hours later on Tuesday evening, Town were laboured and had to dig deep to salvage a point after trailing 2-0 at winless AFC Barrow.
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Only a remarkable second-half revival, led by two-goal hero Anthony Elding, ensured they left Holker Street with anything to show for their 400-mile round trip to the Lake District.
After the game, joint boss Rob Scott described his side's first half showing as "leggy" – understandable after the number of miles they've clocked up from their last two fixtures.
The ball was given away too cheaply and too often against the Bluebirds, denying the Mariners the platform to build from that they had enjoyed throughout the match at Edgar Street.
In Herefordshire, Town showed impressive tempo and composure to quickly move the ball well in tight areas, yet it was the home side who did so impressively in spells at Barrow.
And, while, the ball was worked forward with patience and purpose last Saturday, days later, the service to the pairing of Dayle Southwell and Andy Cook was poor, meaning the frustrated forwards were left to feed off scraps.
To their credit, in the second-half, the Mariners rallied and were markedly improved, with substitutes Louie Soares, Andi Thanoj, pictured, and Elding all making an impact from the bench.
In the end it was a point – a good one at that – and one that had looked highly improbable just half an hour earlier.
It had been an impressive fightback from Town, and one that showed character and resilience – many of the Town fans who travelled to Holker Street would have seen their side lose that game in seasons gone by.
It's not realistic, or for that matter fair, to expect any side to perform at their best every game, week-in, week-out – especially when playing two games in the space of four days.
But, as Scott said in his post-match interview, Town had slipped below the high standards set by their showings on the road against Hereford, and before that, Wrexham.
Let's hope they can recapture that, and the form that saw them win so convincingly at home to Mansfield, when they welcome top-of-the-league Forest Green Rovers this afternoon.