Paul Hurst picked out the adaptability shown by his Grimsby players as the struggling side rallied for a crucial 2-1 League Two victory against Crawley.
A late winner from Brentford loanee Joe Adams gave the Mariners their first three points since December 19, boosting their survival hopes and moving them off the foot of the Football League in the process.
That came as the result of fellow relegation candidates Southend being without a midweek game.
Filipe Morais opened the scoring against his former club, with Jack Powell levelling things up on the half-hour mark from a direct free-kick.
Chances dried up from then on, but amid two penalty shouts at the other end, it was Hurst’s side who forged the match-winning moment when Adams bundled home.
After earning his first victory since being reappointed as the club’s manager, Hurst said: “It’s taken a little longer than I would have liked, but in so many ways it doesn’t matter how that victory comes.
“I’ve no doubt that we will play better than that and not win games. We have done that already. There are lots of things that we can do better.
“I have to say, it was difficult conditions. It’s not a total excuse. At times they played some good football and we did on a couple of occasions, but not enough.
“Credit to the players for hanging on in there, working hard.
“They’ve had to put up with me changing the system on two occasions from what we started with, which I felt was needed – and very late on with the sending off.
“I was very relieved to see that late header from a corner go over.”
Grimsby defender Joe Bunney was sent-off for two bookable offences in added time, but the Reds were unable to capitalise in the minutes that remained.
Crawley head coach John Yems said: “I don’t think we were wrong in what we tried but we were bad in both boxes and it’s cost us.
“We missed so many chances. We have got to get better at it.
“They were two bad goals for us to give away, terrible goals. I’ve had a chat with the players and it just feels like we’re switching off.
“That’s not good enough against a side like them. If we have got any ambitions, we have got to be a lot better than that.
“Of course, we have to be more clinical. That’s what I said. We weren’t good enough in the final third, defending in it and attacking in it.
“It isn’t just happening. This has been creeping up and creeping up. Goals win games, as we all know, for and against. We haven’t been good enough.”
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