Accrington manager John Coleman hailed on-loan Manchester United goalkeeper Radek Vitek after his stunning stoppage-time save secured a goalless draw at home to Grimsby.
The January signing kept out Danny Rose’s header in the second minute of time added on to ensure play-off-chasing Stanley avoided defeat against their struggling visitors.
Accrington’s best chances came in the first half, with Harvey Cartwright pushing over a Ben Woods strike after two minutes and keeping out Jack Nolan’s low drive on the half-hour mark.
Coleman, whose side are two points off the top seven, said: “We didn’t play anywhere near like we can. We started off really brightly, had a couple of good chances but didn’t take them and surrendered possession cheaply.
“We have got to take the positives of the clean sheet and we were resilient with our defending, but we brought the problems on ourselves by not keeping the ball well enough and not passing the ball better.
“We weren’t good today, but we know we can play better than that and the pleasing thing is we didn’t concede.
“We showed character to not go under, our keeper has made a great save late on and we have got to build on two clean sheets on the bounce and now we have got to think about how we can play better.
“Radek has hit ground running with us, that’s two clean sheets and he has integrated with the lads well and it will be a good move for both parties.”
David Artell believes his Grimsby side are moving in the right direction.
The Mariners, who are in 20th place in League Two, dominated possession and chances, albeit without being able to find a goal that would have earned them a first win of 2024.
Artell said: “It’s another clean sheet on the road. That’s two on the spin and we were much better than last week (a 2-1 home loss to Tranmere) which was unacceptable.
“We have come here to try to play football, but we have not what we got we deserved, as we deserved to win, but what let us down was our decision-making in the final third.
“We couldn’t drive home the control we had.
“They had a shot in the second minute, but I can’t remember anything else after that.
“We have been in the ascendancy, been in control but haven’t made the crucial decisions in the final third which our play warranted.
“It was an unbelievable save from Danny’s header at the end, but we looked solid and there is plenty to build on. It was a good away performance. We are just missing a goal or two, but I am sure they will come.”