Paul Hurst remained in good spirits after Grimsby Town’s 1-1 away draw at Bradford City despite being denied all three points by a late equaliser for the hosts.
It would have been the Mariners’ first victory over Bradford in 25 years had they held on to the end with a slender lead thanks to Danny Rose’s second goal of the campaign, but substitute Alex Gillead levelled in the final minute of normal time.
Overall though, the frustration of letting another lead slip was overcome with positivity from Hurst regarding his side’s general performance, particularly in the first half where they truly controlled proceedings.
He said: “There is some frustration and disappointment that we couldn’t see the game out and get the victory, but to come here and play as we did, especially in the first half was great.
“We defended well in the second half if we look at how many saves Jake [Eastwood] has actually had to make in the game. They had some forward pressure and pushed us back at times, but I still think we carried more of a threat than Bradford did in the first half.
“We were very good in the first half but we just needed another goal when we were on top. Maybe I’m biased because it is my team, but I haven’t seen many League Two games where a team has been as dominant as we were in that period.”
The teams were playing in front of a national audience on Sky Sports, but there was also a good crowd at Valley Parade which would always play some sort of factor in the momentum for both teams during the game.
Town wanted to settle things down quickly which they did and the reaction of the home support at half-time reaffirmed Hurst’s positive thoughts of how his team had played.
He added: “We spoke about trying to quieten the crowd early on which is easier said than done, and in the second half they probably gave their team the lift that they needed.
“There was clearly some discontent there [at half-time] and when you play at a big stadium with a load of fans in they’re going to let you know when you’re not playing well.
“It can be difficult for away teams but it can also be difficult for the home teams and in the first half it felt that way. For us, there were a lot of good things still and I’d like to think I’m fair and will say when I’m not happy but I think a lot of our performances have shown that we’re a decent team.”
Summer signing Rose has had to be patient in terms of waiting for genuine goal-scoring chances to come his way so far this term, but he showed his quality in the danger areas to head home the go-ahead goal.
He finished off a great team move, which did not initially materialise as Hurst expected, but of course, he was happy with how it ended.
The Town boss explained: “It was a great ball in [for the goal] have worked the ball into a good area, ironically for all the passing and what we want to try and do, Danny [Amos]’ ball out there was from a little deeper than we would normally like but Arthur [Gnahoua] had a fantastic touch.
“Then we had some real quality in the box and that is what Danny [Rose] will thrive on. I think he would probably like a few more crosses in there which I understand but we’ve got to get them in from the right areas which we’ve spoken about.”
Original story at https://www.grimsbytelegraph.co.uk/sport/