Exeter City took all three points in Sky Bet League Two as they beat Grimsby Town 2-0 at St James Park.
Jayden Stockley got City's first of the afternoon in the first half with a tidy finish at the back post, before Liam McAlinden confirmed the victory with an excellent finish in the second half.
Match report sponsored by Speedy Freight
Paul Tisdale made two changes to the side that beat Heybridge Swifts in the FA Cup last weekend, as Lee Holmes and Liam McAlinden replaced the suspended Lloyd James and striker Reuben Reid.
The Grecians started the opening minutes well with Holmes delivering some dangerous crosses from set-plays.
Both central defenders, Troy Brown at Jordan Moore-Taylor, had opportunities with headers early on, but were unable to force their efforts past James McKeown in the Grimsby goal.
City continued to dominate possession in the opening 20 minutes, consistently looking for the likes of Jayden Stockley and the spritely McAlinden in the Town box in blustery conditions.
But Tisdale’s side made their good start count on 27 minutes when they took the lead through Stockley.
The lively Holmes took a quick free-kick with Dean Moxey, before cutting in on his right foot to curl a cross towards goal, and the City number 11 was on hand at the back post to knock the ball in from close range.
Pierce Sweeney then had a good opportunity to double City’s lead on 38 minutes when he won possession back in the centre of the field and unleashed an effort from distance which edged just over the Town goal.
The away side had to wait until the 41st minute to create their first meaningful chances when they forced Christy Pym into two saves.
The first, a good clearance from a dangerous corner, but the City keeper had to be at his best as he tipped over from Sam Jones’ close range header to keep the scores level going into the break.
With the away side looking for a way back into the match, they begun the second half with much of the ball, but City did well to reduce them to a Luke Summerfield effort from distance.
But with the away side pushing forward, the Grecians broke well to find their second of the afternoon.
After winning back possession, Hiram Boateng broke well centrally and played a fantastic ball forward for McAlinden. The City forward did brilliantly as he ran at two Town defenders before cutting in on his left foot to curl a fantastic effort into the far corner.
Rusell Slade’s side continued to battle, though, with substitute Diallang Jaiyesimi and Sikiri Dembele looking to work the channels and test the City full backs as they searched for a way back into the match. But credit to City who defended resolutely as they frustrated the away side and looked dangerous on the counter-attack.
Tisdale’s side had a golden chance to add their third of the afternoon on 77 minutes when excellent running from McAlinden saw him win back possession high up the pitch and deliver a wonderful cross to Stockley’s head, but the forward was unable to keep his attempt on target as it flashed just over.
But a third wasn’t to be, despite Stockley's late effort from distance, as the Grecians saw out what was a professional performance at St James Park as they took all three points against the side from Lincolnshire.
Exeter City: Pym, Sweeney, Woodman, Holmes, Stockley, Moore-Taylor, McAlinden, Moxey, Taylor, Brown, Boateng (Byrne, 83)
Subs not used: Hamon, Jay, Wilson, Edwards, Reid, Storey
Grimsby Town: McKeown, Davies, Dixon (Mills, 72), Clarke, Collins, Berrett, Jones, Summerfield, Vernon (Matt, 69), Woolford (Jaiyesimi, 57), Dembele
Subs not used: Killip, Rose, Hooper, Osborne
Booked: Davies, Dixon
Attendance: 3,854 (Inc, 254, away)