GRIMSBY Town moved into the third round of the FA Trophy with a comfortable home win over Weston-Super-Mare.
Conor Henderson put the Mariners ahead with his first goal for the club but the National League South side hit back through the impressive Dayle Grubb.
The hosts restored their lead shortly before the break when Omar Bogle scored, before Jon-Paul Pittman made the result safe with a third goal just after the hour.
Town boss Paul Hurst made six changes from the team that won 4-0 at Welling United last time out but nevertheless, named a strong starting XI for the visit of the Seagulls.
James McKeown remained in goal, with Shaun Pearson coming into the centre of defence in place of Josh Gowling, as Richard Tait, Toto Nsiala and Gregor Robertson made up the back four.
It was a completely different midfield four, as Danny East, Henderson, Josh Venney and Marcus Marshall came in for Nathan Arnold, Craig Disley, Craig Clay and Andy Monkhouse.
And Bogle was partnered by Pittman in attack, with Padraig Amond named on the bench alongside Clay, Arnold, Harry Clifton and Andy Warrington.
Weston booked their place in the second round only three days before this tie, with Scott Wilson’s hat-trick sealing a 3-2 home win over Wealdstone – the third goal of which came in added time at the end of the contest.
Wilson was on the teamsheet again as Ryan Northmore’s men looked to pull off an upset and win through to the last 16.
Town were on the attack within seconds of the kick-off, with the strikers linking up for Bogle to send a weak shot through to visiting keeper Luke Purnell from inside the penalty area.
The away side’s first attack came on three minutes but Wilson could only fire a cross-shot at McKeown from a narrow angle.
Town won a corner at the other end a minute later and from it, they went close to taking the lead when Pearson met Henderson’s delivery but the defender could only head it just over the bar.
Tait had to do some good covering to stop Dayle Grubb from having a chance after Wilson beat Pearson down the Weston right, before a foul on Marshall gave the Mariners a free kick in a central position, close to the edge of the box. From it, Henderson hit the visitors’ wall.
A Wilson shot from 25 yards was comfortable for McKeown, then a foul on Venney gave Town another free kick as the game moved from end to end. Again, Henderson shot and this time, Purnell was called into action to push the ball out for a corner, from which Pearson was penalised for a foul.
The Mariners took the lead with their next attack, on 12 minutes. A cross from East on the right was knocked back by Marshall for HENDERSON, who struck a crisp half-volley beyond Purnell and into the bottom corner of the net.
Town had taken the initiative and were on top as the 20-minute mark approached, although Weston were showing some positive signs, particularly with the pace of Wilson.
A good move by the Mariners almost led to a second goal, as a clever dummy by Bogle on the edge of the box let East in to shoot, only for the ball to come back off the angle of post and crossbar.
And they were punished for the miss, as the away side got themselves back on level terms on 22 minutes. A ball into the box from Jake Mawford was not dealt with and after an initial shot was blocked, it fell for GRUBB to blast into the net from 10 yards.
Grimsby’s response saw them win a corner on the left but Henderson’s delivery from the flag was comfortably caught by keeper Purnell.
A block on Bogle gave Town a free kick around 30 yards from goal on 27 minutes but Henderson could not make it count as he fired over the bar.
Purnell came out on top at the end of the hosts’ next attacking move, claiming a right-wing cross from Tait ahead of Pittman.
And the keeper took another catch two minutes after the half-hour, after Bogle turned and shot from 12 yards following a low cross by Pittman.
A deflected shot saw the away side win a corner on the left on 34 minutes but Wilson’s delivery did not lead to a goalscoring opportunity.
Purnell did well to push a powerful volley from Tait clear, then Bogle narrowly missed the target with a chip that dropped just wide of the far post, as the Mariners looked to restore their lead before half-time.
And that goal came a minute before the break, when a ball by Henderson through the middle found BOGLE and after a mix-up in the away defence, the striker’s perseverance eventually saw him find an opening to fire past Purnell for 2-1.
One added minute was played at the end of the half and with no further chances coming for either side before the referee’s whistle, Town took their newly-restored advantage into the dressing room.
No changes were made before the restart and the first yellow card of the game was shown by referee Ollie Yates two minutes in, with Jacob Cane booked for a foul on Henderson.
Weston’s Grubb won a corner off Nsiala after a good turn took him into the Town box and the ball from the flag led to another after Nsiala headed behind. And a third consecutive flag-kick came when McKeown pushed the ball over his bar.
This time, it was half-cleared but a foul by East gave the away side a free kick on the left side of the box. Grubb drove the ball in and again, McKeown elected to push it over the bar for another corner but this time, Grubb’s delivery from the right beat everybody and went out for a goal kick.
A short period of Grimsby pressure then followed, ending when a cross from Robertson failed to find a man in black and white.
Pittman won a corner on 56 minutes and from it, Henderson’s ball was met by Pearson and his header was deflected out for another one. This time, Bogle headed wide.
Venney was booked for a foul on Wilson two minutes before the hour and Grubb’s resulting free kick had to be swept behind by East for a corner. McKeown claimed a catch from the flag-kick.
Town had their third goal of the afternoon on 61 minutes, when PITTMAN picked the ball up 25 yards out, created an opening with a superb first touch and then beat Purnell with a shot that flew into the net to open up a two-goal cushion.
The Mariners were now showing plenty of confidence, with Pittman flicking a ball over the top for Marshall, but the winger could not take advantage from a narrow angle.
The away side made the first substitution of the game on 65 minutes, as Jake Llewellyn replaced Ben Withey at right-back.
Weston were looking for a route back into the game and they won a corner on the right a minute later, although Grubb’s kick was cleared.
A free kick soon afterwards provided another opportunity for the visitors to threaten and they almost took it, with McKeown having to dive full-length to pull off a brilliant fingertip save and stop Grubb’s shot from finding the top corner.
Clifton came on for Tait in Town’s first substitution of the game – a move which saw East move to right-back as the youngster slotted in on the right side of midfield.
Bogle could have made it 4-1 after collecting a ball from Robertson but Purnell did well to dive and stop the striker’s shot.
Soon afterwards, the visitors went close to reducing the deficit to one goal when Wilson’s pace took him beyond the Town defence but his low shot went across goal and narrowly wide of the far post.
Grimsby were still looking for more goals and Bogle had one disallowed for offside, before Purnell got a hand to a chip from Henderson to deny the former Arsenal midfielder his second of the game.
Arnold came on for Bogle and Jamie Edge replaced Cane as both sides made a further change with 82 minutes on the clock.
Grubb let fly with a snap-shot from 25 yards that McKeown had to push out for a corner, which was eventually brought clear by Marshall.
A poor challenge on East earned Ollie Barnes a booking, with the Town defender also shown a yellow card for his reaction to the foul.
Pat Keary was the next to go into the referee’s notebook for a foul on Marshall as the winger looked to break over the halfway line. The free kick eventually led to Clifton getting the chance to shoot from the edge of the box but his effort lacked enough power to beat Purnell.
Three added minutes were signalled by the fourth official and Town were able to see the game out to confirm their place in the next round after a professional performance.
They now return to league action with a trip to Bromley on Tuesday.