TEN-man Grimsby Town picked up their first win of the season as they beat newly-promoted Macclesfield Town at the Moss Rose.
The Mariners took the lead through Jordan Cook’s first goal for the club just before the half-hour but went on to lose Mitch Rose to a straight red card.
The home side pressed for an equaliser but Town held firm at the back and went on to secure the victory their performance had deserved when substitute Charles Vernam grabbed a second goal.
One change was made to the Grimsby starting XI after the 4-1 opening day defeat by Forest Green Rovers, with Jake Hessenthaler coming in for Harry Clifton.
James McKeown started in goal, with Harry Davis, Alex Whitmore, Danny Collins and Paul Dixon forming a back four.
Hessenthaler, Rose and John Welsh were the midfielders, with Martyn Woolford and JJ Hooper lining up either side of Cook in attack.
Clifton was given a place on the bench, where Ahkeem Rose was also selected along with Louis Robles, Vernam, Max Wright, Reece Hall-Johnson and Sam Russell.
Macclesfield were playing their first home game since promotion from the National League after six years out of the top four divisions.
They would look to the likes of Koby Arthur and Harry Smith to create danger, with veteran midfielder Danny Whitaker another to watch in the Silkmen’s side.
Town won the first corner of the game on five minutes after a cross from Hooper at the end of a good forward move. The ball from the flag eventually came to Collins but it was then cleared for a throw-in.
A cross from Hessenthaler then fell for Woolford but his far-post header drifted across the face of goal.
Another Town corner led to a shot from Collins being cleared off the line, before the ball was sent back in but the offside flag went up.
At the other end, an effort from Whitaker was blocked by Whitmore on the edge of the penalty area, then a Dixon cross for Town failed to find a team-mate and the ball rolled away from danger.
Woolford beat two defenders in Grimsby’s next attack but his shot came off Cook and went away from goal.
A long throw from Rose on 26 minutes was headed clear, before Rose hit the post and Cook was denied secons later when his shot was blocked on the line by Jamie Grimes.
The Mariners had created the better chances so far and they eventually made one count when they opened the scoring on 29 minutes. COOK was the man on the scoresheet, letting fly from outside the box to beat home keeper Rhys Taylor and find the top corner of the net.
The hosts responded well to going behind and a diving header from Whitmore was needed to deal with a cross by Jared Hodgkiss.
Another cross was turned behind for a corner by Davis but the resulting delivery from Whitaker was headed away by Hessenthaler.
Hessenthaler beat Arthur down the left and worked the space for a cross but nobody could get on the end of it. Town kept possession though and Cook went close with a shot which was clawed away for a corner by Taylor.
Good hold-up play by Cook led to a shooting opportunity for Hessenthaler on 42 minutes but he fired off-target.
One added minute was played at the end of the half and with no further chances for either side, it remained 1-0 to the Mariners at the interval.
No changes were made before the restart and Hessenthaler had Town’s first chance of the second half as he cut in from the left but saw his shot caught by Taylor.
The home side won a corner on 54 minutes but the delivery into the box was headed clear by Collins, before a follow-up ball went out for a goal kick.
Rose headed over the bar after Dixon’s cross at the other end, before another Macclesfield attack led to Smith heading wide from Arthur’s cross.
A double substitution for the hosts on the hour saw Scott Wilson and Malachi Napa replace Tyrone Marsh and Callum Maycock.
Soon afterwards, the Mariners were reduced to 10 men when Rose was shown a straight red card for a mistimed challenge on Arthur.
A shot from Wilson was blocked before fellow substitute Napa fired wide as Macclesfield continued their search for an equaliser.
A corner came for the home side on 73 minutes but it was dealt with by the Town defence, with David Fitzpatrick’s follow-up ball into the box going through to McKeown.
The keeper was called into action when Hodgkiss sent a low cross over but McKeown stopped it at his near post.
Hessenthaler did well to keep possession for the away side before Woolford took advantage of a defensive mistake but could not make it count as he sent the ball across goal.
Whitmore then did well to make a block for a corner from Smith after the ball had been sent into the Grimsby six-yard box. From the flag, McKeown made a save from a close-range effort before Arthur fired over the bar.
Nathan Blisssett had replaced Hodgkiss before the corner, with Vernam coming on for Cook in the red of the Mariners afterwards, with six minutes left to play.
Another home corner came on 86 minutes but was headed away, before Whitaker’s cross was also headed away by Collins.
A shot from Wilson was saved by McKeown and another corner was taken quickly, with the pressure on the Town defence eventually relieved when Welsh was fouled.
The hosts had been pushing for a leveller but the Mariners made the points safe with a second goal a minute from time. VERNAM did well to win the ball from Grimes near the corner flag before cutting in and beating Taylor from a narrow angle.
Six added minutes were played before Town and their travelling supporters were able to celebrate an excellent result.
The Mariners are next in action on Tuesday when Rochdale visit Blundell Park in the first round of the Carabao Cup.
12 Rhys Taylor
2 Jared Hodgkiss (C)
3 David Fitzpatrick
6 Jamie Grimes
5 Fiacre Kelleher
18 Callum Maycock
22 Koby Arthur
24 Michael Rose
23 Danny Whitaker
10 Harry Smith
8 Tyrone Marsh
25 Luke Simpson
4 Keith Lowe
14 Miles Welch-Hayes
11 Ryan Lloyd
13 Nathan Blissett
16 Malachi Napa
9 Scott Wilson
1 James McKeown
24 Harry Davis
3 Paul Dixon
6 Danny Collins
25 Alex Whitmore
8 Mitch Rose MF
4 John Welsh (C)
7 Jake Hessenthaler
16 Martyn Woolford
11 Jordan Cook
9 JJ Hooper
23 Sam Russell
12 Reece Hall-Johnson
15 Harry Clifton
20 Max Wright
14 Louis Robles
21 Ahkeem Rose
18 Charles Vernam
Attendance: 2,589, (852)