22 March 2023

Mansfield boss Nigel Clough and Grimsby’s Paul Hurst agree draw is fair result

22 March 2023

Managers Nigel Clough and Paul Hurst both felt a draw was a fair result as their respective Mansfield and Grimsby sides battled out a goalless League Two stalemate on Wednesday night.

The result leaves Mansfield two points off the play-off places in eighth spot, while Grimsby remain 15th as they returned to league action following their FA Cup defeat at Brighton on Sunday.

And Hurst said he was pleased with how his Mariners side started the game and then how they coped with the hosts coming back into it in the second half.

He said: “I thought we were the better team in the first-half and forced a couple of good saves. The start of the game was very open with a real tempo to it.

“So I was disappointed we didn’t go in at half-time a goal up. In the second-half Mansfield changed system and probably had the edge but we stayed in the game and – after all the hype around Sunday and the travelling – I thought it was a really good effort from the players tonight.

“It was good to get a clean sheet. It doesn’t matter who we played against, we still conceded five at the weekend so it was important to get back to keeping teams out.”

Clough, meanwhile, took heart from the result despite his Stags side being unable to pull level on points with Salford, who lie in the last play-off place ahead of the weekend’s games.

They did not create as many clear chances as the visitors, but Clough felt there was not much between the sides and that one moment of quality would have been enough to win the game for either side.

He said: “It was a good clean sheet for us, first and foremost, as they caused us a lot of problems from set-pieces in particular, albeit more in the second phase rather than the first.

“Christy Pym has made two very good saves to keep us level, while – at the other end – we had a few situations ourselves that we didn’t make the most of again.

“We changed the formation a bit in the second-half and we began to cause them a few more problems in wide areas.

“We were unlucky on a couple of occasions when the ball didn’t quite fall for us after deflections and when Jordan Bowery saw a shot pushed away by the goalkeeper.

“I think the game just missed that one bit of quality from both sides. We saw in our draw at Stockport on Saturday that those bits of quality can make a difference.

“In those cases, they were good crosses, good headers and they found the net. That was what was missing today.”

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