GRIMSBY Town extended their winning run to three games with a comfortable away victory at Aldershot.
The Mariners had a dream start when they raced into a two-goal lead through Lenell John-Lewis and Ross Hannah with just 10 minutes gone.
James McKeown saved a penalty from Brett Williams as the hosts failed to reduce the deficit before the break, before substitute Liam Hearn made the points safe early in the second half.
Town boss Paul Hurst named an unchanged side after the victory against Tamworth last time out.
That meant it was McKeown in goal, behind a back four of Sam Hatton, Shaun Pearson, Chris Doig and Alan Goodall. Scott Neilson, Craig Disley, Scott Kerr and Patrick McLaughlin were the midfielders, with Hannah and John-Lewis again named as the strikers.
The Town substitutes were Liam Hearn, Richie Jones, Andy Cook, Clayton McDonald and Aswad Thomas, meaning there was no place for Alex Rodman against his former club.
The Mariners got off to the perfect start when they took the lead with just three minutes on the clock. Neilson worked some space on the right to cross and the ball was perfect for JOHN-LEWIS to head home.
Grimsby had the ball in the net again with their next chance, as a free kick sent into the box by Hatton was met by a diving header from Disley but although he beat keeper Nick Pope, the goal was ruled out after referee Wayne Barratt spotted a foul.
Two corners came soon afterwards as the Mariners dominated the early stages, before they doubled their advantage on 10 minutes.
Another Hatton free kick led to the goal, as his delivery from the left was glanced into the net at the near post by HANNAH to make it 2-0.
Aldershot were yet to threaten the Town goal as the 15-minute mark passed, with the home side’s best opportunity so far being a cross from Lewis Young, which went past the far post with nobody there to convert it.
Hatton was shown the first yellow card of the game for a foul on 19 minutes and Martin Rowlands hit the resulting free kick over the bar from 25 yards. Another shot, this time from Mark Molesley, also cleared the bar for the hosts after a run down the right by Emmanuel Oyeleke.
Goodall, playing the last game of his loan spell from Fleetwood, was forced off through injury soon afterwards, to be replaced by Thomas.
Neilson worked his way into the Shots penalty area on 27 minutes but he could not turn the run into a goalscoring opportunity as his cross went out for a goal kick at the near post. A home corner came two minutes later and it led to a golden chance for Aldershot to get back into the game when McLaughlin was adjudged to have brought Young down inside the box after McKeown punched the ball from the flag-kick.
The referee pointed to the spot and Brett Williams stepped up but his penalty was saved by McKeown to keep Town’s two-goal cushion intact.
The Mariners stopper was called into action again on 33 minutes when Oyeleke broke through the defence but could not beat McKeown with his shot. Oyeleke was involved again five minutes later when he headed a cross towards goal at the far post but again, McKeown was there to make the stop. Aldershot had a spell of pressure as half-time loomed, with Thomas forced to concede a corner when Williams looked to square the ball across goal. That corner was headed away by John-Lewis and it proved to be the last chance of the half, meaning the Mariners went into the dressing rooms with a commanding lead.
Hearn replaced Hannah for Town before the restart and the away side had the first shot of the second half, with McLaughlin firing wide.
Aldershot won a corner seven minutes in but it was headed clear by Hatton, before Young won another flag-kick off Thomas.
This time, Craig Stanley missed the target with a header at the near post.
And the home side were punished for their miss when the Mariners extended their lead on 54 minutes.
HEARN was the man on the scoresheet, chipping a cross-shot over keeper Pope which hit both posts and rolled into the net.
McLaughlin tried his luck with a shot from near the halfway line just before the hour but his effort lacked power and went through to Pope.
Home substitute Jordan Roberts headed a cross wide as the Shots looked for what was now likely to just be a consolation goal.
Hatton received treatment at the midway point of the half after going down injured but the right-back was passed fit to play on.
A shot by McLaughlin was blocked as Town looked to add to their score, before the rebound from Disley went wide of the mark.
Molesley also missed the target with a shot at the other end shortly before Aldershot boss Andy Scott made a double substitution in an attempt to find a way back into the game. But Town were still in control, as Kerr was the next to try a shot but saw his effort go high over the bar.
More Mariners pressure saw two corners in quick succession around the 77-minute mark. Pearson got to both but his header from the second went out for a goal kick.
Jones came on for Hatton with eight minutes to go and Town could have had a fourth goal when Hearn got to the ball and picked out strike partner John-Lewis but he could not get it under control.
An Aldershot corner with two minutes to go was claimed by McKeown at the second attempt, before home substitute Jaydon Gibbs was also denied as he looked to pull a goal back as the game moved into three minutes of added time.
Town were then able to close out their victory and they will now look forward to a top-of-the-table clash against leaders Cambridge United at Blundell Park on Tuesday.