FOREST Green Rovers' manager Steve Cotterill believed his side were "miles better" than Grimsby Town on Saturday and suggested fatigue was behind their 1-0 defeat.

Harvey Rodgers scored the only goal of the game in the eighth minute to lift the hosts six points clear of the relegation zone, whilst Rovers remain five points adrift of safety.

"We didn’t start very well in the first 10 minutes and we made it look like it was going to be our third game in a week," said Cotterill.

"They started fresher than us, but I thought we were miles better than them and we should never have lost that game.

"We didn’t quite play sharply enough and that’s because we couldn’t.

"I thought we were the better team by an absolute mile. We just couldn’t find that sharpness and work their goalkeeper enough.

"I feel for the boys really because that’s their third big effort in a week – we could’ve easily won the other night and we deserved to win this one.

"That’s a tough one for us to take as I don’t know what they did after 10 minutes."

Grimsby boss David Artell described his Grimsby players as “warriors” after the all-important victory. 

 "This wasn’t a game that was ever going to define our season, but we really wanted to win it," he said.

"Saying that (it was a must-win game) is just words really, but what I would say is that we had 13 or 14 warriors out there.

"It wasn’t particularly pretty, but I can’t remember them having a chance. If you offered me a performance or result then I would have taken the result, of course, but off the ball we were outstanding to a man.

"We know that it wasn’t pretty, but the other side is it was a game we know will help us (at the end of the season)."