GRIMSBY Town earned a stunning victory over League Two leaders Plymouth Argyle to claim all three points in new manager Marcus Bignot’s first away game in charge.
The Mariners produced a superb team performance in Devon and took the lead on the stroke of half-time with Danny Collins' header.
Town stretched their lead when Omar Bogle made it 2-0 just after the hour, before Bogle’s second of the game made the points safe four minutes from time.
It meant more than 300 travelling supporters in the 10,000-plus crowd had a day to remember, with the result setting the standard for the rest of the season.
Bignot named an unchanged starting XI after the draw with Barnet last week.
That meant goalkeeper James McKeown again lined up behind a back four of Zak Mills, Collins, Josh Gowling and Danny Andrew.
James Berrett, Brandon Comley and Luke Summerfield were the central midfielders, with Ashley Chambers and Kayden Jackson supporting Bogle in attack.
Just one change was made on the bench, with Dean Henderson replacing Andy Warrington. The other substitutes were Shaun Pearson, Craig Disley, Tom Bolarinwa, Andrew Boyce, Scott Vernon and Dan Jones.
Plymouth came into the game seven points clear at the top of League Two and were looking to at least maintain that advantage. Top scorer Graham Carey was likely to be a major threat to the Mariners’ defence.
Bogle almost had an opportunity inside the first two minutes when he brought the ball down inside the penalty area but he did not get a chance to shoot as it was cleared for a corner.
A run by Jackson from the right followed but his intended pass to Bogle did not reach its target and again, the hosts cleared.
Grimsby’s positive start continued with some good build-up play involving Summerfield and Bogle around the edge of the Plymouth box on 11 minutes, although they were unable to turn it into a chance in front of goal.
The second Town corner of the game came a minute later and after Collins won the header from Summerfield’s delivery, Plymouth eventually cleared as far as Berrett, whose cross was caught by home keeper Luke McCormick.
At the other end, a cross towards Arnold Garita saw the striker aim to flick the ball over McKeown but he could not get a strong enough connection on it and it bounced through to the keeper.
A better chance came for the hosts on the quarter-hour when Garita flicked the ball on to Craig Tanner. He took it around the advancing McKeown but after being forced wide, his shot hit the side-netting.
Chambers twisted and turned his way into the box in Town’s next attack, which led to a corner when his low cross was cleared by Gary Miller.
A foul on Bogle on the halfway line gave the Mariners a free kick on 23 minutes but after they took it quickly, Jackson could not get away from Ben Purrington.
Mills did well to block two shots in quick succession and keep the score goalless three minutes before the half-hour as Carey looked to strike from close range after another flick by Garita.
Andrew then tried a shot at the other end after charging forward but his attempt from 18 yards flew wide of McCormick’s target.
Bogle escaped a booking for a foul on Ryan Donaldson, before another free kick soon afterwards was caught by McKeown after being sent into the box by midfielder David Fox.
A Town break soon afterwards saw Berrett send a cross into the box that was just behind Bogle but the striker managed to adjust and meet the ball, although his shot was off-target.
A free kick from Carey at the other end was headed out for a corner by Collins. Town half-cleared the delivery from the flag but the home side retained possession and won another corner when an effort by Fox was deflected over the bar.
A corner then came at the other end when a Berrett cross was well-defended by Yann Songo’o, although the Mariners were unable to make the most of the opportunity from the flag.
The game was moving from end to end and Plymouth looked set to take the lead on 38 minutes but for a vital touch from Collins which stopped Garita from having a tap-in at the far post after a ball across the six-yard line.
Sonny Bradley let fly with a drive which deflected off Garita and went out for a goal kick as Plymouth went in search of an opening goal before the break.
Town were also looking to break the deadlock and a minute before the interval, they had their breakthrough.
Gowling’s flick-header from a Mills long throw fell for Chambers at the back post. His shot was deflected out for a corner and after the hosts failed to clear their lines from the flag-kick, the ball was lifted back into the box by Berrett and COLLINS headed it into the net from close range.
One added minute was played before the referee’s half-time whistle blew, with the Mariners holding the advantage.
No changes were made before the restart and Town had another corner a minute in, which led to Bogle looping a header out for a goal kick.
Garita spotted McKeown off his line and tried a long-range shot at the other end but with the keeper back-pedalling, the ball dropped over the bar for a goal kick.
Fox escaped punishment for a late challenge on Jackson, before McKeown did well to get down and stop a shot from Tanner.
Jake Jervis replaced Jordan Slew up front for Plymouth on 57 minutes, before a volley from Donaldson took a deflection off Summerfield and went out for a corner.
Soon afterwards, Carey and Jervis played a one-two to create an opening for the hosts but good defending by Gowling made sure the Mariners’ advantage remained intact.
At the other end, a Summerfield corner was touched away before Collins could connect with a header as the game continued to open up.
A foul on Comley gave Town a free kick on the left just after the hour and from it, Town doubled their lead. Andrew’s delivery was headed back across goal by Collins and BOGLE was there to head it home for 2-0.
Plymouth’s response saw Carey shoot wide after Comley had done well to get back and put a challenge in when Andrew lost possession.
McKeown then had to come out of his penalty area to beat Jervis to the ball, before McCormick had to punch clear at the other end to stop a chipped cross from Bogle finding Berrett, with Chambers also looking to get on the end of it.
A ball from Jackson towards the far post proved just too far ahead of Berrett as the Mariners looked to make certain of the three points.
And they added the pace of Bolarinwa to the game with their first substitution on 70 minutes, with Chambers making way.
McKeown did well to hold onto the ball from a Carey free kick as the home side looked for a way back into the game.
And the Town keeper was called into action again to stop a low shot from Carey, before getting up to keep out Garita from the rebound.
That proved to be Garita’s last involvement as he was replaced by Louis Rooney for the last 15 minutes of the game.
Plymouth were still fighting to haul themselves back into the contest and Rooney saw an effort scooped away for a corner by McKeown after Andrew had done well to get a challenge in.
Bolarinwa went down injured but was passed fit to continue and after play continued, the hosts won another corner. Carey’s kick beat everybody but the ball was kept alive and defender Bradley eventually shot wide.
Bogle had a chance after a good ball into the box by Jackson but after controlling it, the striker could not connect with a shot.
But it did not matter as the Mariners made it 3-0 with four minutes left to play. A ball in behind the Plymouth defence set Bolarinwa away through the middle. The winger was brought down by McCormick inside the box but the referee allowed play to continue and the ball fell for BOGLE to tap it into the net.
Disley replaced Comley soon after the goal, with the points now safe for the visitors.
Four added minutes were signalled and the Mariners comfortably closed them out to secure a clean sheet to cap a fantastic performance and record a result which gave a clear sign of their intentions for the rest of the campaign.
Town are next in action on Tuesday, when they face another of the division’s promotion contenders as Carlisle United visit Blundell Park