An excellent second-half performance earned Grimsby Town all three points against Macclesfield Town at Blundell Park.
After a tight opening 45 minutes, the Mariners stepped up the tempo after the interval and got their reward when Ethan Robson’s first goal for the club put them ahead.
Substitute Max Wright went close to adding a second but in the end, one goal proved enough to win the game.
Three changes were made to the Town starting XI after the midweek defeat by Salford, with Elliott Hewitt, Robson and Ahkeem Rose coming in for Ludvig Ohman, Elliott Whitehouse and Moses Ogbu.
James McKeown started in goal, with Hewitt, Luke Waterfall, Liam Gibson and Luke Hendrie forming the defence.
Jordan Cook, Jake Hessenthaler and Robson were the midfielders, with Matt Green and Rose either side of James Hanson in attack.
Whitehouse was named among the substitutes, along with Harry Clifton, Harry Cardwell, Sam Russell, Mattie Pollock, Wright and Charles Vernam.
Macclesfield were making their third visit to Blundell Park in a little more than a month, after the Mariners progressed from the Carabao Cup tie between the two clubs at the second attempt after the initial match had been abandoned.
After losing on penalties that time, Daryl McMahon’s men would look to make amends by taking three points from this league encounter.
After a quiet opening to the game, the first real opening came on 12 minutes as Rose made progress down the left and cut into the penalty area but saw his shot blocked for a corner.
Soon afterwards, Hessenthaler shot from the edge of the box but the ball was comfortably caught by Macclesfield goalkeeper Owen Evans.
At the other end, McKeown had to dive to push a swerving, long-range shot by midfielder Jay Harris away for a corner but the visitors were unable to create any danger from the flag.
Robson headed wide from Green’s chipped cross on 22 minutes, before a good move down the Grimsby right ended when Hewitt pulled the ball back but could not find Green.
Theo Archibald sent a half-volley well over the bar from the edge of the box for the away side, then Hessenthaler linked up with Hendrie down the left but the ball ricocheted out for a goal kick.
Emmanuel Osadebe played a ball through for Virgil Gomis as Macclesfield attacked on 34 minutes but the striker could not get it under control and McKeown collected it.
The visitors won a corner three minutes later and it was headed out by Green for another one, which caused no problems.
Rose was tripped by Archibald on the left on 40 minutes and after Robson’s free kick was not fully dealt with, Hanson retrieved the ball on the right and crossed for Green, whose header was cleared.
A foul on Green on the opposite flank brought another free kick soon afterwards and it eventually led to Green heading over the bar after good work by Hessenthaler to chase the ball down on the left.
A low shot by Archibald took a deflection on its way out for a corner, which was cleared by the Town deefence.
No additional time was played at the end of what had been a very tight first half, with little goalmouth action as the scores remained level at the break.
Wright replaced Rose before the restart and a Hessenthaler free kick three minutes in found Hanson but his header went wide of the target.
Another free kick came soon afterwards when Wright was fouled on the right and this time, it was Robson who delivered the ball into the box but Green’s header was caught by Evans.
At the other end, a good cross-field ball from Archibald found Corey O’Keeffe and he cut into the box but his shot was blocked and the ball bounced back off him for a goal kick.
A cross from O’Keeffe on 53 minutes was headed out for a corner by Waterfall and after it was not fully dealt with, another corner came soon afterwards. This time, McKeown punched Connor Kirby’s ball away and Wright completed the clearance.
The deadlock was broken on 56 minutes and it was the Mariners who took the lead. A long ball was played forward for ROBSON on the left and he cut into the box before finding the net from a narrow angle.
Macclesfield’s response was good and they could have been back on level terms within two minutes after a ball from the right landed at the feet of Gomis but his volley was blocked.
Robson volleyed over the bar from the edge of the box after the ball had bounced around following a long throw by Hewitt.
At the other end, Arthur Gnahoua won a corner but the referee blew for a Town free kick as O’Keeffe put the ball into the penalty area after Kirby had played it short.
Hanson won a corner for Grimsby on 66 minutes but Hessenthaler’s ball beat everybody and went out for a goal kick at the far post.
Joe Ironside replaced Gnahoua in Macclesfield’s first substitution, before Wright was pushed over by Harris on the edge of the box after a strong run through the middle. Cook’s shot from the free kick hit the visitors’ wall.
A foul by O’Keeffe on Wright gave Robson another chance to swing the ball into the box from the right but Waterfall could not get on the end of it.
Clifton replaced Cook with 17 minutes to go, before Ben Stephens came on in place of Gomis for the away side.
Town were inches away from a second goal on 80 minutes when a free kick from the left was headed on by Hanson but Wright’s low volley crashed off the post.
Another free kick, this time from Robson on the right, was flicked away for a corner before Hanson could meet it at the far post.
Whitehouse replaced Robson in the final Town change with seven minutes to go and a foul on Wright gave Town another free kick in a dangerous position as the game moved into three minutes of added time.
The Mariners opted to take the ball to the corner flag and manage the game, gaining two corners in quick succession as the clock ticked down.
Macclesfield attacked in search of aa last-gasp equaliser but it was not to come and Town were left to celebrate a well-earned victory.
The Mariners are next in action on Wednesday, when they make the trip to Chelsea in the third round of the Carabao Cup.
Town: McKeown (c), Hewitt, Hendrie, Waterfall, Gibson, Hessenthaler, Robson, Cook, Hanson, Green, Rose.
Subs: Russell, Vernam, Pollock, Wright, Clifton, Cardwell, Whitehouse.
Macclesfield Town: Owen Evans, 6. Theo Vassell, Fiacre Kelleher (C), 12. Miles Welch-Hayes, 11. Theo Archibald, 16. Corey O’Keeffe, 8. Jay Harris, 14. Connor Kirby, 20. Emmanuel Osadebe, 7. Arthur Gnahoua, 19.Virgil Gomis.
Subs: Reice Charles-Cook, 3.Eddie Clarke, 15. Fraser Horsfall, 22. Brice Ntambwe, 10. Ben Stephens, 9. Joe Ironside.
Referee: James Adcock
Attendance: 3794 (69)
Possession: Grimsby Town 47% – 53% Macclesfield Town
Corners: Grimsby Town 5 – 7 Macclesfield Town
Shots On Target: Grimsby Town 3 – 1 Macclesfield Town