Three goals in 11 minutes at the start of the second half sent Grimsby Town to defeat as they were beaten by league-leaders Swindon Town.
After a goalless first 45 minutes in very windy conditions at the County Ground, the hosts took the lead within a minute of the restart through Jerry Yates.
And before the Mariners had recovered, it was 2-0 as former Town loanee Diallang Jaiyesimi doubled Swindon’s advantage, before a Luke Hendrie own goal gave them a third.
James Hanson pulled a goal back and after that Town pushed forward but despite a brave effort to haul themselves back into the contest, they were ultimately unable to do so.
Grimsby boss Ian Holloway began with the same XI that started the home victory over Morecambe last week.
That meant goalkeeper James McKeown was once again behind a defence of Hendrie, Mattie Pollock, Luke Waterfall and Anthony Glennon.
Elliott Whitehouse, Elliot Grandin and Josh Benson were the midfielders, with Billy Clarke, Hanson and Charles Vernam in attack.
The substitutes were Sam Russell, Ludvig Ohman, Bradley Garmston, Harry Clifton, James Tilley, Max Wright and Matt Green.
Swindon came into the game sitting at the top of League Two and were looking to complete a double over the Mariners, having won at Blundell Park earlier in the season.
They would look to the division’s top scorer Eoin Doyle to add to his tally, while former Town loanee Jaiyesimi would also be among the dangermen.
An early booking came on three minutes when Swindon’s Anthony Grant was penalised for a foul on Vernam.
The hosts then created the first good chance of the game on nine minutes, when a shot by Doyle was deflected onto the bar.
Town won a corner two minutes later, which was headed away at the near post. The visitors kept possession though and a ball into the box from Granin was met by Waterfall, whose header was pushed away for another corner.
Swindon went close again when Michael Doughty advanced through the middle before hitting the post with his shot from the edge of the box, before a corner soon afterwards was caught by McKeown.
Good play by Vernam and Whitehouse led to a Town corner, although they were unable to profit from it as Pollock was penalised for a foul.
Pollock did well to block a cross from Jaiyesimi as the hosts attacked again, then another corner came when an attempted clearance by McKeown was taken by the wind, although it didn’t cause any problems.
The Mariners went close just after the half-hour when Vernam cut in from the left and let fly but his curling shot went just past the post.
Another shot by Doughty on 37 minutes was deflected away for a corner by Waterfall and the ball from the flag was headed out by Hanson for another one. This time, the ball was cleared.
A cross from Glennon at the other end on 40 minutes was headed out for a corner but Benson’s delivery was collected by home keeper Steven Benda.
The Town pressure continued with more good attacking play, although the move ended when Whitehouse was caught offside.
The game was moving from end to end as half-time approached and it was Swindon’s turn to win a corner next. They failed to trouble the Town defence from it though as the ball went out at the far post for a goal kick.
One added minute was played at the end of the first half and after a home free-kick was sent off-target by Doughty, the scores remained level at the interval.
No changes were made before the restart and the hosts broke the deadlock within a minute. A cross from Jaiyesimi on the right was kept in by Doyle at the far post and knocked back across goal for YATES to finish from close range.
And it didn’t take long for Swindon to double their advantage as their lightning start to the second half continued. This time, Yates got in behind the Town defence and chipped a cross for JAIYESIMI, whose looping header came back off the post and went into the net off McKeown.
A foul by Whitehouse on Doughty gave the home side a free kick in a dangerous position on 56 minutes but the midfielder’s shot was blocked by the Town wall.
But soon afterwards, it was 3-0 to Swindon when a cross from the right led to uncertainty in the Grimsby defence and the ball came off the unfortunate Hendrie and went into the net for an OWN GOAL.
After a solid first half, the Mariners had conceded three goals in 11 minutes but they pulled one back before the hour when a corner from the left was met by HANSON, who headed home at the far post.
Green replaced Grandin and Wright came on for Pollock as Town made their first changes on 63 minutes, with Jordan Lyden coming on in place of Jaiyesimi for the hosts at the same time.
Clarke was booked after a foul on Paul Caddis but the resulting free-kick came to nothing as Yates was caught offside.
At the other end, a long ball forward was headed out for a corner, which was punched clear by Benda. Glennon looked to bring it back towards the penalty area but Swindon broke and launched an attack which ended with Doughty shooting wide.
Another Town corner came on 69 minutes but Benda was first to Benson’s delivery, flicking the ball away for a throw-in.
Glennon was booked for a foul near the touchline on the Swindon right but again, they were unable to create anything from the resulting free-kick.
Garmston replaced Clarke in Grimsby’s final substitution on 73 minutes and two minutes later, a chance came for the home side after Whitehouse lost possession in midfield. Lyden could not take advantage of the opportunity though, as his shot was blocked for a corner.
Admiral Muskwe replaced Lloyd Isgrove for Swindon before the corner was taken but again, it didn’t cause problems.
Vernam shot wide after a quickly-taken free-kick as the Mariners continued to look for a way back into the game, before Muskwe cut in from the right and let fly with a drive which was stopped by McKeown.
A shot by Doughty was blocked as Swindon looked to put the result beyond doubt once and for all, before the hosts won two corners in quick succession as they looked to see the game out.
Seven additional minutes were played at the end of the game and Town kept pushing forward but they were unable to force a second goal as Swindon saw the remainder of the game out.
Town are next in action on Tuesday, when Newport County are the visitors to Blundell Park.
- Steven Benda
- Paul Caddis
- Rob Hunt
- Rarmani Edmonds-Green
- Ezekiel Fryers
- Anthony Grant
- Lloyd Isgrove
- Michael Doughty (C)
- Diallang Jaiyesimi
- Jerry Yates
- Eoin Doyle
- Luke McCormick
- Tom Broadbent
- Jordan Lyden
- Matthew Palmer
- Hallam Hope
- Admiral Muskwe
- Kaiyne Woolery
- James McKeown (C)
- Luke Hendrie
- Anthony Glennon
- Luke Waterfall
- Matthew Pollock
- Josh Benson
- Elliot Grandin
- Elliott Whitehouse
- James Hanson
- Billy Clarke
- Charles Vernam
- Sam Russell
- Bradley Garmston
- Ludvig Öhman
- Harry Clifton
- James Tilley
- Max Wright
- Matt Green
Referee: Sam Purkiss
Possession: Swindon 52%-48% Town
Next Up: Newport County (H)