Grimsby Town fell to defeat in their second EFL Trophy group match as they were beaten by Barnsley at Oakwell.
In a low-key game of few genuine chances, a goal in each half proved enough for the Sky Bet League One hosts to claim the three points.
Town started well and looked to be on top at the half-hour mark, with Abo Eisa going close to registering another spectacular goal as he created the best of the early opportunities.
But when the deadlock was broken, Barnsley took the lead through Owen Dodgson and they went on to confirm their victory when substitute Aiden Marsh made it 2-0 in stoppage time.
Grimsby boss Paul Hurst made two alterations to the team that started the first group match against Manchester City U21 last week, with Luke Waterfall and Eisa replacing Arthur Gnahoua and the injured Charles Vernam.
Goalkeeper Harvey Cartwright lined up behind a back three of Toby Mullarkey, Waterfall and Niall Maher, with Michee Efete and Anthony Glennon operating as wing-backs. Jamie Andrews, Alex Hunt and Evan Khouri were the midfielders and Eisa supported Rekeil Pyke in attack to form an XI showing eight changes following the league victory over Gillingham on Saturday.
The subs were Jake Eastwood, Harvey Rodgers, Danny Amos, Cameron Gardner, Jamie Bramwell, Kamil Conteh and Gnahoua.
Barnsley head coach Neill Collins changed his entire starting line-up after the weekend’s 2-0 victory at Cheltenham, which meant there was no place for former Mariners fans’ favourite John McAtee to face his old club. Ex-Town keeper Ben Killip and midfielder Josh Benson, who enjoyed a successful loan spell at Blundell Park, were included in the Tykes’ XI.
An early strike from Barnsley’s Kyran Lofthouse was blocked after Andrews had gone on a run through the middle at the other end.
A long throw from Mael de Gevigney was headed clear, then another throw from the right resulted in a Town free kick after a foul.
The away side’s first attack of note came after 13 minute and almost led to a third Eisa wondergoal of the season. The winger took the ball near the halfway line and weaved his way through the Barnsley defence on a run to the edge of the penalty area but sent his low shot just wide of the target.
Town continued to come into the game and Pyke turned a low Mullarkey cross just wide, although the offside flag had already gone up against the striker.
The hosts won the first corner of the evening on 23 minutes and striker Sam Cosgrove, making his debut after signing from Birmingham City, got to it first but headed wide.
Max Watters and Lofthouse linked up down the home right to work an opening two minutes after the half-hour, although they were unable to convert it into a chance in front of goal as the low ball into the box was gathered by Cartwright.
But the next time they attacked, Barnsley grabbed the lead. A long throw-in from the right was headed on by Watters into the path of DODGSON, who beat Cartwright with a low strike from 12 yards.
Town had edged the opening 30 minutes but the home side were now on top and Cartwright had to make a save from Watters to keep the score at 1-0.
A chip by Andrews landed on the roof of the net after a strike from Eisa was blocked, then an Efete cross went out at the far post for a goal kick as the Mariners aimed to get themselves level before the break.
At the other end, a good challenge by Glennon stopped Lofthouse at the expense of a corner, which was dealt with. Seconds later though, Cosgrove nipped in to dispossess Maher on the edge of the box but despite going through on goal, he could only fire wide.
One added minute was played at the end of the first half and with no further chances coming for either side, Barnsley went in with a single-goal lead at the interval.
Rodgers, Gnahoua and Bramwell replaced Maher, Mullarkey and Eisa as Town made a triple-substitution before the restart.
The visitors won the first corner of the second half but the low ball from it was cleared, then a corner at the other end also failed to cause a problem.
Efete headed wide after a free kick was chipped towards the far post by Hunt, before a shot from Khouri went wide.
Cosgrove made way for Marsh in Barnsley’s first change on 58 minutes, then a stoppage came for De Gevigney to receive treatment on an injury.
Gardner replaced Glennon on 65 minutes and a double-substitution for the home side at the same time saw Nathan James and Vimal Yoganathan come on in place of Theo Chapman and De Gevigney.
Town looked to have an opening soon afterwards as Pyke broke into the Barnsley half but with Gardner in support, the striker looked to go for goal himself and was stopped near the edge of the box.
Chances had ben few and far between since the break but Marsh called Cartwright into action to parry a shot from distance on 78 minutes.
Town then had an opportunity to put pressure on the home goal as they won two corners in quick succession with 10 minutes remaining. The second one was driven towards the far post and headed back across goal by Waterfall but nobody in black and white was able to turn it into the net.
A lengthy stoppage came after a nasty clash of heads between Lofthouse and Jamie McCart on the edge of their own penalty area. McCart was passed fit to continue but Loftthouse was replaced by Daniel Benson.
The fourth official signalled for a minimum of seven added minutes and in the first of them, the hosts put the result beyond doubt as a low cross from the right found MARSH and he tapped into the net from close range.
A late rally by the Mariners saw a header from Rodgers caught by Killip, before Waterfall was also unable to beat the keeper, who pushed his header away from goal.
That proved to be the last opportunity for the visitors to get on the scoresheet as Barnsley closed out the remainder of the game to collect the three points which took them to the top of the group.
The Mariners remain on one point with one group match remaining but the focus now switches back to the league and Saturday’s televised trip to Bradford City.