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Dazza & Smudge: Town Safe

By: Rob Sedgwick
Date: 03/04/2000

Striker Daryl Clare and midfielder David Smith believe Grimsby Town are virtually safe from the clutches of relegation as they prepare for the last six games of the season.

Clare, who has put in several decent performances since his return from an extended loan period at Northampton, said after the well-earned point against Huddersfield: "I think we are getting there, and if we can have another couple more performances like that then we will be fine. "It was one of our best performances of late. We have had a couple of bad results and we were relying on our home form to get it right and luckily we did. "After the two away trips to Charlton and Barnsley it could not have got any worse, but the crowd were good, the lads were wound up before the game and it went all right." It was Clare's first start of the season alongside Lee Ashcroft, and they were visibly enjoying the link up, with some slick football being played between them and midfielders Stacy Coldicott and Alan Pouton. Of the selection, he said: "We are similar, and I know how Lee plays, and he knows how I play so it went well in the first half. I think he tired in the second half but with a couple of games under his belt this partnership may work well." Clare relished the chance to play at home, putting Steve Bruce's Terriers on the back foot for most of the game. He said: "The last few games we have been chasing, and fighting and scrapping to get into them, but the first 45 minutes we controlled the game with a lot of nice football and we were unlucky not to score and create a few more chances." Team mate David Smith was pleased to get back in the team after a groin problem saw him come off at Charlton and miss the Oakwell horror show. He said: "I thought we played really well and possibly could have come away with three points if we had a bit more luck in front of goal. "It was a good performance from everybody and possibly we deserved more, but we got a point. Some of the results have gone our way as well, so one more win and we would hope we are safe. "We have got a lot of hard games to come. We now know what to do and this is the start." Pouton had just one regret after a man of the match performance - he wished he had hit his goalbound shot that bit harder. The £150,000 signing from York had a massive game on his recall to the side and figured in the key moment in the 48th minute. He latched onto a perfect lay-off from Ashcroft and hurtled into the box, leaving defenders in his wake. He drew Nico Vaesen and slipped the ball past him. But full back Jamie Vincent raced back to clear off the line. "I didn't get as much on it as I wanted and Vincent worked back well to clear. It was about a yard from the line,'' he said. Pouton, who admitted he had been disappointed not to play at Barnsley, felt that Town had been the better side against quality opposition. "`It was a good point gained,'' he said. Keeper Danny Coyne was also pleased. He saved the Mariners in the second half when tipping over a goalbound shot from Vincent. "It got a slight deflection. It was nice to keep a clean sheet,'' he said.

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