As we approach undoubtedly the most important fortnight in the Blue Square Bet Premier campaign, boss Paul Cox believes today’s vital win over Barrow is the mark of a good team.
Our side, who lost at Wrexham two days ago, returned to winning ways in fabulous style at Holker Street, with both Matt Green and Lee Stevenson bagging two goals apiece.
“It’s a really tough place to come at the best of times, but I thought the hunger we showed in the second half was immense,” said our boss.
“In the first [half] we looked laboured and it took us time to get into our rhythm.
“The lads got a [telling off] in the dressing room at half-time, but they shoved my words back down my throat with their performance after the break.
“In the second half, nobody could have questioned the result. A massive credit has to go to the players and the supporters, who again turned out in their droves.
“The mark of a good team is when you suffer a defeat and how you react. It was a strange scenario after losing at Wrexham, but these lads have mental strength.”
He added: “The boys have been absolutely tremendous. We’ve come to a difficult place and got a good result against a hard, battling side.”
Despite emerging as comfortable winners, both teams were evenly matched for over half-an-hour on a bright and warm afternoon in South Cumbria.
But after Richie Baker saw his spot-kick saved by Alan Marriott, Green struck twice in quick succession, one of which was a penalty, to dash the Bluebirds’ survival hopes.
However, Dave Bayliss’ men felt aggrieved that our team were awarded a spot-kick, as Danny O’Donnell’s foul on Louis Briscoe was on the very edge of the area.
“It’s the referee that makes the decisions,” continued Cox.
“It was a foul, whether it was inside the box or not, but luck evens itself out over the season and I don’t think it had a massive bearing on the game.
“In the second half, on what was a hard and bobbly pitch, we played extremely well, so I’ll leave the decision-making to the referee.”
Kidderminster Harriers’ win over Lincoln City means the Worcestershire outfit stay top of the table, but Cox is hoping we can pressure on Steve Burr’s men next week.
Cox added: “I said to the lads at half-time that we don’t have time to be fatigued.
“We’ve got two weeks of the season left and some important games coming up. In some, we’ll need to put on a real ‘Mansfield Town’ performance to win the match.
“Kiddy [Harriers] are still in the driving seat as they’re still top. We’ve achieved nothing yet, but hopefully we can win our midweek game and start to turn the screw.”