FOREST GREEN boss Mark Cooper lauded his side as substitute Junior Mondal sent a dogged Rovers joint top of the early-season table.

Livewire Mondal broke the stalemate on 76 minutes – finding the bottom corner of James McKeown’s net after Dom Bernard’s inviting cross and Shawn McCoulsky’s initial strike was blocked.

Cooper said: “I didn’t think it was a very good game as a spectacle because Grimsby came and sat behind the ball, which makes it difficult. We had to be patient and their threat is from set-pieces and they’ve got James Hanson, who is a real threat in the box, we let them get too many balls into the box, but we defended brilliantly.

Cooper withdrew striker Matt Stevens at the break for Dayle Grubb and his influence along with Mondal spiced up a pedestrian first-half.

Cooper added: “We had two forwards on the pitch in the first-half and we were too static, we couldn’t get the ball in and around them, so we went with one forward and one number ten and then two number tens and we tried everything to knock the door down and it was a game of chess and we were trying to break them down and in the end we did.”

The season maybe in its embryonic stages, but Cooper is more than satisfied with his side’s start.

He added: “We’re joint top of the league after three games, so all isn’t bad.”

Watch Mark Cooper's full press conference below