Jon-Paul Pittman: Grimsby striker hopes for redemption

Jon-Paul Pittman
Jon-Paul Pittman (bottom left) scored 10 goals for Grimsby in 2014-15

Grimsby striker Jon-Paul Pittman has apologised to the club's fans after his penalty shootout miss in the Conference promotion final loss to Bristol Rovers.

The former Wycombe man blazed his spot-kick over the bar to leave Lee Mansell to convert from 12 yards and send the Pirates back to the Football League.

Pittman, 28, joined the Mariners last summer on a one-year deal.

"I want to say a big apology to all the fans. Hopefully I can rectify it," he told BBC Radio Humberside.

"I want the ground to swallow me up and disappear but you can't do that. You have to dig in and go again and hopefully that is something I get the opportunity to do that.

"It's the best group I've ever played with and that's what makes it harder to swallow because I feel like I've let my friends down."

Meanwhile, boss Paul Hurst said finances may prevent him from retaining as much of the squad as he would like to.

The Mariners, who finished third in the regular season, now face a sixth successive season outside the Football League.

"We'll see how many of this group that I would like to retain will stay," he said.

"I stand by what I said, if we had had that group from the start we would have gone close to winning the league but financially we could not have afforded to have this squad all season.

"You have to live within your means and we have a budget to work to."

Despite the disappointment of losing out in the Conference play-offs for a third season in a row, Hurst says he has no intention of walking away.

"I'll be up for the challenge 100%. I will not be happy until this club is back in the Football League," he added.

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