Grimsby Town put their midweek disappointment behind them as they returned to winning ways with a comfortable home victory over Dagenham and Redbridge.
Jordan Maguire-Drew scored one goal and made another as he broke the deadlock on the half-hour, then sent a free kick into the box in first-half stoppage time which was converted by Luke Waterfall.
Dagenham rarely threatened but they did pull a goal back though Callum Reynolds, although his header in added time at the end of the game came too late to affect the result.
New signing Jordan Cropper came straight into the Town starting XI after penning a deal until the end of the season following a successful trial period.
He replaced the injured Michee Efete in one of two changes to the team that began the defeat by Solihull on Tuesday, with Sean Scannell also coming in as Scott Burgess dropped to the bench.
Goalkeeper Max Crocombe lined up behind a defence of Cropper, Andy Smith, Waterfall and Danny Amos, with Maguire-Drew, Gavan Holohan, Harry Clifton and Scannell in midfield and John McAtee supporting Ryan Taylor in attack.
Burgess was joined by Shaun Pearson, Erico Sousa, Tristan Abrahams and Emmanuel Dieseruvwe among the substitutes.
Dagenham travelled north knowing a win would take them above the Mariners in the league table and a step ahead in the race to reach the play-offs.
Former Town loanee Brandon Comley was named in their starting line-up, with striker Junior Morias among the others to watch in the away side.
An early McAtee cross was cleared after he did well to chase down a long kick by Crocombe, before a low drive from Clifton took a deflection for the game’s first corner on five minutes. Maguire-Drew’s ball from the flag was headed clear.
McAtee let fly with a low effort from distance which was comfortably stopped by keeper Elliot Justham, then Morias sent a shot high and wide in the visitors’ first attack of note.
Joshua Hare beat Scannell to the ball after a McAtee cut-back from the right, before a long throw from Cropper caused problems in the away penalty area until the ball eventually ended up with Justham.
A shot by Scannell came at the end of a flowing move by the Mariners and it took a deflection for a corner on its way wide of the target. Again, Maguire-Drew’s delivery was headed clear.
At the other end, a cross from Morias was blocked for Dagenham’s first corner but the ball from the flag was headed clear by Holohan, before a follow-up cross was also dealt with.
Maguire-Drew curled a shot wide of the far post after cutting in from the right on 21 minutes, before a cross from William Wright was headed behind for an away corner. It was headed back to the taker and a follow-up cross led to a scramble in the box until the referee blew for a Town free kick.
Matthew Robinson won another away corner on 25 minutes but it caused no problems as McAtee headed clear at the near post.
Left-winger Myles Weston was among the main threats for the visitors but a cross from him was caught by Crocombe, before Holohan almost profited when Justham was slow to come off his line for a through-ball but the midfielder could not get enough power on it to take it towards goal.
The opening goal came on the half-hour, when a long throw from Cropper was cleared and the ball was lifted back into the penalty area by Holohan. MAGUIRE-DREW beat the offside trap to run onto it and after his initial shot was blocked by Justham, he slotted the rebound into the net to put the Mariners ahead.
Dagenham were given an almost instant chance to hit back with a free kick for a foul by Maguire-Drew on Dean Rance in a central position, 25 yards from goal. Wright was unable to take advantage though as his strike flew just over the bar.
Waterfall had to concede a corner on the left on 39 minutes but he was in the right place to head it clear, before a Hare cross from the right could only be prodded behind for a goal kick by Weston at the far post.
Holohan sent a cross out of play for a goal kick after good play by Maguire-Drew down the right, then Morias headed tamely over the bar after a cross from Robinson on the Dagenham left.
Elliott Johnson was shown the first yellow card after pulling McAtee back on the Town left as the game moved into two added minutes. And from the resulting free kick, Maguire-Drew’s delivery to the far post was met by WATERFALL, who beat Justham with a volley from close range.
That meant the hosts went in at the break with a commanding advantage after creating the better chances throughout.
Angelo Balanta and Mauro Vilhete replaced Weston and Comley for the visitors before the restart and after a quiet start to the half, Morias was caught offside as he looked to run onto a through-ball five minutes in.
Reynolds sent a header comfortably through to Crocombe following a free kick, before a drive from Maguire-Drew was blocked after he beat his man and cut in from the right.
A long throw from Cropper was headed behind for a corner on 58 minutes and Maguire-Drew’s delivery beat everybody but Town retained possession and the ball was worked back to McAtee, whose chip back into the box was just too high for Waterfall to connect with.
Rance fired well wide from distance, before Joshua Walker replaced Morias in Dagenham’s third and final substitution on the hour.
McAtee almost made it 3-0 to the Mariners soon afterwards when he dispossessed Johnson on the home right and raced clear. He cut into the box and went around Justham but could not apply a finish as his shot was cleared off the line by Wright, amid handball claims by McAtee and the home fans.
Vilhete fired harmlessly over the bar as Dagenham continued to struggle to cause genuine problems for Crocombe and his defence.
Holohan was caught offside to end a promising attacking move from the Mariners on 70 minutes.
A stoppage came soon afterwards when Cropper went down with what appeared to be cramp but he was passed fit to continue after receiving treatment from physio Dave Moore.
The visitors earned a corner on 77 minutes but Waterfall was in place to head it clear, then Scannell set off on a run down the left but was eventually stopped.
Wright was booked for a foul, before Dieseruvwe replaced Maguire-Drew and Burgess came on for Taylor as Town made a double-substitution with 11 minutes to go.
A low cross from Vilhete was cut out before Rance fired the loose ball wide as the Mariners’ clean sheet remained intact.
Abrahams became the third substitute to come off the home bench when he replaced McAtee with five minutes to go.
Dagenham pulled a goal back as the game moved into four added minutes, when REYNOLDS met a corner at the near post and headed past Crocombe.
Town were now looking to run the clock down and they did so successfully, aided by a free kick and a late corner which helped keep the ball away from danger.
The referee’s final whistle confirmed a welcome and deserved three points and the Mariners will now look ahead to another big game next Saturday, when they travel to Chesterfield.