Grimsby manager Michael Jolley described his side’s 1-0 victory over Carlisle as “probably our best win of the season”.
The Mariners ended a winless run of 10 games thanks to Joe Grayson’s last-minute winner, in the process denting their visitors’ hopes of making the play-offs.
It was a much brighter performance from the hosts after their Good Friday defeat away at Colchester and Jolley paid tribute to his players for their efforts in overcoming the Cumbrians.
“It was a good performance from us and I’m really pleased with the quality and the effort from the players – we thoroughly deserved to win the game,” Jolley said.
“I think we started the game better than them. We were on the front foot, we had more final-third entries and more chances to score.
“They were going to have a period in the game because they’re a good side, they’re still trying to get into the top seven.
“It was probably our best win of the season in the context of everything that’s been going on.
“I think we were missing seven senior or important players from the group, and if you factor in the academy players that were on the bench, the average age of the squad was very young, so to deliver a good performance like that in those circumstances, really well done to all the players.”
For Carlisle, hopes of making the play-offs were dealt a huge blow as they missed the chance to move into the top seven.
The Cumbrians sit two points off seventh-placed Exeter and have now been overtaken by Colchester following their draw with Yeovil.
Boss Steven Pressley was left frustrated as he saw his side’s lack of a cutting edge cost them at Blundell Park.
“It’s very frustrating,” Pressley said. “I didn’t think it was a particularly good spectacle of a game.
“It was a game with very few chances for either side, and we’d hoped we’d get the all-important breakthrough.
“Looking at the game as a whole, we lacked quality in the final third. We had control for periods in the mid-third, but our decisions in the final third really let us down.
“When we needed the quality, when we needed the decision-making, it wasn’t there, and I thought we turned down opportunities to put the ball in the box.
“In terms of effort from the players, I’ve no complaints, I was just disappointed in the quality in the final moments, and because of that we didn’t manage to find a breakthrough.
“We took a huge step on Friday and gave ourselves the opportunity, and unfortunately we didn’t manage to show enough quality or a mentality to get the breakthrough.”