AN injury time winner sent Grimsby Town to defeat as Stockport County came from behind to snatch all three points at Blundell Park.
After a first half low on goalscoring chances for either side, the Mariners took the lead in fine style through Nathan Pond’s overhead kick.
Their visitors showed few signs of getting back into the game until a surprise equaliser came courtesy of Danny Rowe with 10 minutes left to play.
Town were unable to respond and the game looked to be heading towards a draw but County substitute Danny Whitehead had other ideas, smashing a shot home from the edge of the box in added time to leave the hosts empty-handed.
Grimsby managers Rob Scott and Paul Hurst opted to stick with the same starting XI that began the campaign at Southport on Saturday.
That meant James McKeown started in goal, with Bradley Wood keeping his place at right-back ahead of Sam Hatton, who again had to be content with a place on the bench.
Shaun Pearson, Pond and Aswad Thomas completed the back four, while Joe Colbeck, Craig Disley, Derek Niven and Frankie Artus were the midfielders.
Andy Cook and Greg Pearson were the strikers looking to hit the net and open their accounts for the season.
There were changes on the Town bench, with Liam Hearn and Simon Ford both included after missing out on Merseyside. Hatton, Anthony Elding and Louis Soares completed the list of substitutes.
Stockport travelled east looking to build on their opening day win over Alfreton and go some way towards making up for the 7-0 defeat when they visited Cleethorpes last season.
Town kicked off in bright sunshine and they made a good start, with Colbeck heading against the bar from a narrow angle after a Thomas cross from the left on two minutes.
The away side had their first opportunity of the game soon afterwards, when a ball into the box from Danny Hattersley to Sean Newton was not dealt with by Niven but midfielder Danny Rowe could only fire over the bar from 12 yards.
Shaun Pearson then had to head a cross away before it could reach striker Craig Hobson inside the penalty area.
A good move by the Mariners on seven minutes led to Niven pushing a ball through for Greg Pearson inside the Stockport box but the offside flag was raised against the forward.
Another spell of possession came soon afterwards and this time, Thomas tried his luck with a drive from 35 yards but visiting keeper Ian Ormson was able to reach up and claim a catch from the shot.
A poor clearance by Colbeck gave Stockport another chance to create danger on 16 minutes but when Newton crossed from the right, Hobson could not cause any problems for McKeown with his header from 12 yards.
Thomas floated a ball towards the 18-yard line for Greg Pearson three minutes later but his shot on the turn lacked the power to beat Ormson, who stopped it comfortably.
A foul on Wood by Rowe gave Grimsby a free kick just inside the centre circle but they were unable to turn it into a chance in front of goal, as the delivery from Thomas was headed away before a cross from Colbeck was cut out after the Mariners worked the ball back.
Stockport were looking the sharper in attack and Hobson flashed a first-time shot over the bar after a low cross from Newton just before the half-hour.
The visitors forced the first corner of the game on 32 minutes but Rowe’s delivery from the left was cleared from danger.
At the other end, a free kick was sent towards the far post by Artus but caught by Ormson.
The keeper then almost cost his team when he placed the ball on the ground, unaware Greg Pearson was lurking behind.
The Town striker nipped in to take it away but could not find the net, as Newton got back well to cover and ensure the only damage was a corner.
Colbeck won a corner on 39 minutes when his cross was deflected behind by Newton but the winger could not find a team-mate from the flag.
Colbeck was involved again three minutes before the break, when he worked some space on the edge of the box before fizzing over a cross that nobody in black and white could get on the end of.
Artus won another corner, this time on the left, but Pond could only send the ball wide after meeting it at the far post.
One added minute was played at the end of what had been a low-key first half and with no further chances for either side, the game remained goalless at the halfway point.
No changes were made by either side before the restart and the first shot of the second half came from Wood, who curled a 25-yard effort over the bar.
Colbeck won a corner on the right five minutes in, which led to Shaun Pearson heading wide at the near post.
A deep cross from Wood was cut out before it could reach Cook and that proved to be the former Barrow striker’s last involvement in the game, as he was replaced by Elding.
Greg Pearson also made way for Hearn at the same time, as the town bosses made a double substitution with 58 minutes on the clock in a bid to spark their attack into life.
The changes had an immediate impact on the atmosphere around the ground, as the home supporters were energised with a sense of anticipation.
Thomas crossed into the box after he was picked out by Niven on 65 minutes but Elding could not get a good connection on the ball and Stockport eventually cleared their lines.
Then, the Mariners came the closest yet to opening the scoring when Colbeck pulled the ball back across the six-yard line with pace but Disley could only push it wide of the mark.
The next time the hosts attacked, they did break the deadlock, when a cross from the right bounced inside the box and centre-back POND hit a spectacular overhead kick that crashed in off the bar.
Stockport had created little since half-time but had the chance to change that with a free kick on the right, close to the edge of the Town penalty area.
They could not capitalise though, as Newton’s delivery bounced through to McKeown.
The visitors equalised out of nothing with 10 minutes to go, when Thomas failed to fully clear near the corner flag and ROWE picked the ball up, before moving inside and drilling a low shot past McKeown and into the bottom corner of the net.
After taking the lead, Town had shown little sign of surrendering it but they were now forced to start again if they were to claim all three points.
Soares replaced Artus on the Grimsby left, before Stockport goalscorer Rowe also left the field, with Cameron Darkwah sent on in his place.
The visitors were also pushing for a winning goal, winning a corner on the left with five minutes to go that almost led to Darkwah having a shooting chance at the near post.
Another corner from the left was headed clear by Wood two minutes later, before a mistake by defender Danny O’Donnell almost let Hearn in on the edge of the box, although the centre-back recovered well to clear the ball.
Four added minutes were signalled at the end of the regulation 90 and it was the visitors who snatched the win in the second of those extra minutes.
Substitute WHITEHEAD picked the ball up 20 yards out and cut inside before lashing a shot past keeper McKeown to spark wild celebrations on the County bench and among their 173 travelling supporters.
Town will now look to Saturday’s home clash with newly-promoted Nuneaton for their first victory of the season.