Grimsby Town bowed out of the Carabao Cup despite a brave performance as Premier League Nottingham Forest won at Blundell Park.
The visitors named a strong line-up and were in control at the break after Ryan Yates opened the scoring and Sam Surridge added a second.
But the Mariners came out fighting after half-time and put plenty of pressure on the Forest goal, with substitute Ryan Taylor hitting the post and Luke Waterfall also going close.
In the end though, they were unable to get the goal their efforts had deserved and the away side secured their passage to the third round when Surridge grabbed his second of the game.
Town boss Paul Hurst made four changes to his starting line-up following Saturday’s goalless draw with Sutton United. Jordan Cropper, Danny Amos, Harry Clifton and Aribim Pepple came into the XI, with Andy Smith, Anthony Glennon, Stephen Wearne and Taylor missing out.
Max Crocombe started in goal, with Cropper, Michee Efete, Waterfall and Amos forming the defence. Kieran Green and Bryn Morris sat behind Gavan Holohan and Clifton in midfield, with Brendan Kiernan supporting striker Pepple.
Glennon, Wearne and Taylor were all named on the bench, where there was also a welcome return from injury for Danilo Orsi alongside Ollie Battersby, Shaun Pearson, Evan Khouri, Jordan Maguire-Drew and Aaron Braithwaite.
Forest manager Steve Cooper named a completely different XI to the one that started their 1-1 Premier League draw at Everton on Saturday, although it was still a side with plenty of top-division and international experience.
Wales international Wayne Hennessey was in goal, while ex-Watford striker Emmanuel Dennis led the line and former Crystal Palace man Cheikhou Kouyate was among five making their debuts for the Reds.
An early foul on Pepple by Kouyate gave Town a free kick inside the Forest half but Morris’ ball from it was too far ahead of Waterfall.
Dennis had the first chance of the evening when he got on the end of a low ball to the far post but he could not trouble Crocombe as he fired wide.
Kiernan then tried a dipping volley from wide on the right after Cropper’s first long throw fell for him, although his effort flew over the bar and into the Osmond Stand.
Kouyate stayed down after being caught by Pepple on 11 minutes but was passed fit to play on after receiving treatment.
The volume went up as Cropper picked up the ball for a long throw from the right on 14 minutes but the ball from it was won by defender Loic Mbe Soh.
The visitors won the game’s first corner two minutes later but Town got the ball clear after a diving header from Mbe Soh was blocked.
But the Mariners were unable to hold out for much longer, as Forest took the lead on 18 minutes. Dennis sent a cross over from the right and it bounced perfectly for YATES to volley past Crocombe from the edge of the penalty area.
Hennessey came off his line to punch another Cropper long throw away from danger, before Dennis hit the side-netting at the other end with a low effort from the left.
Surridge was caught offside as Forest looked for an opening at the end of a spell of keeping possession, then their next attack saw Dennis win a corner on the left. Cafu’s delivery from the flag led to a Kouyate header, which was blocked.
The away pressure continued as Clifton was penalised for a foul on their right. This time, Cafu’s ball was lofted back into the box by Kouyate but Crocombe claimed a comfortable catch.
Town’s main attacking weapon so far had been Cropper’s throw and he got an opportunity to launch another one into the box on the half-hour but it was headed clear.
Pepple won another throw on the right three minutes later but again, the ball was intercepted before it could reach Waterfall. Forest cleared as far as Amos, who tried his luck from 40 yards but sent his drive over the bar.
Soon afterwards, the visitors doubled their advantage when a short backpass from Green was intercepted by SURRIDGE, who took a touch before slotting past Crocombe for 2-0.
Yates was spoken to by the referee after a foul near the halfway line and from the resulting free kick, Town had their best chance so far as Waterfall did well to get on the end of it but could only guide his header just wide of Hennessey’s target.
Good pressing by Amos on the left led to a Town throw-in on 43 minutes and this time, Cropper gave it short to Morris, whose cross was punched clear by the keeper.
Waterfall headed just over the bar after meeting a long throw from the right just before the game moved into two added minutes.
Town were finishing the half strongly and another attack led to Holohan crossing from the right, although it was too strong for Clifton to get to in front of goal.
That proved to be the last opportunity of a first half in which the Mariners had been forced to chase for long periods as their visitors kept possession and it was Forest who were in control at the interval.
Taylor and Wearne replaced Pepple and Kiernan as the hosts made a double-substitution before the restart.
A Cropper long throw created some early danger as Hennessey failed to claim the ball and a handball shout from the Pontoon Stand was ignored by the referee.
Another long throw seconds later caused more problems and this time, a header from Taylor hit the post before the ball was cleared for a corner.
Town had started the second half well and they created another chance from a long throw on 51 minutes. Again, Cropper’s throw was met by Taylor but this time, his header was caught by Hennessey.
A free kick near the left corner flag brought another opportunity to put pressure on the Forest goal, although Taylor’s near-post header was off-target.
Hennessey got down to stop a Waterfall header after the centre-back had met a cross from Morris, then Efete was in the right place at the other end to clear after Dennis had sent a low ball across goal.
Cropper had to receive treatment after going down inside his own penalty area and after initially attempting to play on, he was replaced by Pearson, with Efete moving to right-back.
A low ball from Holohan on the right was missed by Taylor as Town kept searching for a way back into the game.
Green saw a shot blocked after Clifton had done well to chase and win the ball on the left, before good pressure from Taylor led to a corner. From it, Waterfall headed just over the bar.
Oliver Hammond replaced Kouyate for Forest on 68 minutes, before Surridge was shown the yellow card after the referee ruled he had dived in an attempt to win a penalty.
Another opening came for the Mariners three minutes later after a good build-up but Efete’s low ball from the right was cut out for a corner before Taylor could get to it. Green then missed the target with a glancing header at the near post.
A chance came on 74 minutes when Amos crossed from the right but it took a deflection before falling too quickly for Holohan.
Taiwo Awoniyi replaced Dennis for the away side a minute later with the Mariners on top in the game, if not on the scoreboard.
But the result was put beyond doubt soon afterwards, as Awoniyi cut in from the left and passed to Cafu. He then slipped the ball through for SURRIDGE, who calmly slotted past Crocombe for his second goal of the game and Forest’s third.
Maguire-Drew and Khouri came on for Clifton and Green after the goal and a shot from Maguire-Drew on 80 minutes was caught by Hennessey.
Holohan and Maguire-Drew linked up nicely on the right after a sustained spell of Mariners possession but the substitute’s pull-back was cleared.
Dale Taylor replaced Cafu and Zach Abbott came on for Mighten as the away side made another two changes with five minutes to go.
A header from Wearne dropped wide as the Mariners kept searching for the consolation goal that their performance had deserved.
Hennessey was called into action to push a shot from Khouri out for a corner at his near post, with Taylor then heading over the bar from the corner-kick.
A cross from Maguire-Drew was caught by the keeper as the game moved into four added minutes, but the Premier League side closed out the rest of the time to secure a 3-0 victory.
The Mariners will now switch their focus back to league matters ahead of Saturday’s trip to Walsall.