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Gaffer: Second half spirit and changes earned point

3 February 2018

Manager Gary Johnson praised a spirited second half display as the Robins battled back to claim a deserved point with Grimsby at Blundell Park.

The Mariners went ahead early on after a Cheltenham error saw Simeon Jackson score on his debut after just three minutes.

But the Robins hit back with 13 minutes to go as defender Will Boyle darted in to meet a Joe Morrell free kick to nod home from close range. 

"We said we had to stay in the game in the first 20 minutes and then the same thing happened as last week with an early goal," admitted Johnson.

"We shouldn't have given the free kick away and then we let them in - it took us the rest of the game to find a little bit of quality to get the game back.

"We are competing with the Grimsbys of this world and the point does mean we keep them behind us in the table. They were desperate to get a first win in 11 and we denied them that.

"It was a good set piece to get the equaliser. We work hard on them and I thought Boyley deserved his goal because he played very well.

"I was disappointed by the first half. But in the second half we gave it more of a go and looked like we had more quality and had more goalmouth incidents."

Johnson was also pleased by the impact of his bench as Jerell Sellars, Sanmi Odelusi and Elijah Adebayo all impressed after coming on just after the hour mark.

He added: "I thought the front two, when they got into it, created opportunities in the last 15 to 20 minutes.

"Sometimes you have to be brave and make changes. I didn't feel our strike-force was effective enough in the first half, but they did better in the second half.

"We needed fresh legs and impetus towards the end and to give Grimsby something different to think about.

"We made three changes and that helped us get back into the game.

"We wanted to go for the game too and Jerell (Sellars) could have won it for us late on too."

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