GRIMSBY Town cruised into the third round of the FA Trophy with a comfortable home victory over Havant and Waterlooville.
The Mariners got off to a flying start against the Hampshire side from a division lower, as Shaun Pearson’s second minute headed goal opened the scoring, before Andy Cook doubled the home advantage.
Town were three to the good at the break, as Greg Pearson marked a rare start with a goal, before Cook’s second of the game made it 4-0.
Grimsby were forced to play most of the second half with ten men after Joe Colbeck was sent off for two bookable offences.
But despite being a man short, the Mariners continued to dominate and closed the game out to secure their place in the competition’s last 16.
Three changes were made to the Town starting XI from last week’s 2-0 home victory over Tamworth.
Bradley Wood replaced Aswad Thomas at left-back, with Colbeck coming in for Scott Neilson on the right-wing and Greg Pearson given a start in attack in place of leading scorer Ross Hannah.
James McKeown started in goal, preferred to Greg Fleming, who began the goalless home draw with Buxton in the first round of the competition.
Sam Hatton, Shaun Pearson, Nathan Pond and Wood formed the defence, while Colbeck, Craig Disley, Derek Niven and Marcus Marshall named as the midfielders.
Greg Pearson was joined up front by Cook, with Neilson, Ian Miller, Dayle Southwell, Andi Thanoj and Michael Rankine all on the substitutes’ bench.
Havant and Waterlooville made the long journey north looking to continue a run of form that had seen Lee Bradbury’s side climb out of the Blue Square Bet South relegation zone and up to 17th in the table.
Strikers Ollie Palmer and Sahr Kabba were the men looking for the goals to cause an upset for the Hampshire outfit.
An early free kick gave the Mariners a first opportunity to get the ball into the penalty and from it, the hosts opened the scoring with less than two minutes on the clock.
Hatton’s delivery from the right was met by PEARSON, who headed past visiting keeper Clark Masters and into the net.
Town had started well and they could have doubled their advantage in the fifth minute, when Marshall found Colbeck on the edge of the area. His shot was pushed away by Masters though, with Marshall unable to convert the rebound from a tight angle.
A snap-shot by Niven from long range led to a corner as Masters pushed the ball wide but Colbeck’s kick was cleared by Christian Nanetti after Niven had headed it across goal.
The next Grimsby attack did bring a second goal, as Marshall took the ball on the left and hit a perfect cross for COOK to head home at the far post with nine minutes played.
At the other end, a poor clearance from McKeown gave the visitors an opportunity and Palmer tried to find the empty net from 35 yards but his shot lacked any power and was easily intercepted by Pond on the edge of the penalty area.
Colbeck was shown the first yellow card of the game for a trip on winger Chris Arthur and it signalled the start of the away side’s first short spell of pressure.
A Hawks corner came on 15 minutes and Palmer’s kick was half-cleared by Disley but the visitors retained possession until they were awarded a free kick on the right. Palmer’s delivery was headed away by Pond.
Cook won a corner off defender Ryan Woodford at the other end and after a short corner between Marshall and Colbeck, the latter’s cross was headed wide by Pond.
Disley forced a save out of Masters after he picked up a loose ball in midfield on 21 minutes and continued his run into the box after passing to Colbeck.
Town were still well on top, looking comfortable in defence and aiming for more goals in attack.
A Colbeck corner from the Town left was headed away but Grimsby kept possession and a long throw from Hatton eventually led to Niven firing a volley tamely wide from 25 yards.
The next attack almost led to a third goal, as Cook ran into space down the left and cut inside before pulling the ball back for strike partner Pearson but defender Dan Butler did well to get there first and divert it away.
A late challenge by right-back Jake Newton on Marshall earned the defender a booking just before the half-hour.
Hatton’s low cross was deflected out for a corner on 31 minutes but Colbeck’s low delivery was poor and was cleared. Again, Town kept possession though and they worked the ball back for Pond to hit a shot off-target.
A foul on the tricky Nanetti gave the away side a free kick on the right edge of the Town box two minutes later but Arthur’s far-post delivery was caught by McKeown.
Greg Pearson and Marshall linked up down the Mariners left to create the next chance but the ball was cut out before it could reach Colbeck, coming in from the right.
But the next time Grimsby went forward, they did make it 3-0, as PEARSON’S glancing header beat Masters after another cross from the impressive Marshall on the left.
A foul by Wood led to a warning from the referee after a show of dissent by the left-back but again, Havant and Waterlooville were unable to profit from the resulting free kick.
A more dangerous moment for the mariners came when Kabba showed good skill to take him into the box, before firing a shot from a narrow angle that McKeown had to block for a corner.
One additional minute was played at the end of the half and with no further chances for either side, Grimsby took a commanding three-goal lead into the dressing room at the interval.
Thanoj replaced skipper Disley before the restart, with Shaun Pearson handed the captain’s armband for the second half.
The visitors made a lively start to the second period and they could have had a goal back when a cross from the left was headed down by Kabba but McKeown got down well to make a good save.
Grimsby’s first attack of note after the break came eight minutes in, when Marshall ran through the middle before finding Colbeck on the right, although his cross was well taken by keeper Masters at his far post.
Town were reduced to 10 men on 58 minutes, when Colbeck showed his studs in a challenge with Butler near the halfway line. Referee Christopher Kavanagh had no hesitation in brandishing a second yellow card to the winger, followed up by a red.
But the numerical disadvantage did not stop the Mariners increasing their lead further two minutes later, as COOK got the ball on the turn on the edge of the box and took it on before drilling a fine finish into the far bottom corner of Masters’ net.
Southwell was sent on in place of Greg Pearson immediately after the goal, while Arthur was the next to go into the referee’s notebook as he was shown a yellow card for a foul on Shaun Pearson.
A double substitution by the away side saw Scott Jones and Steve Ramsey come on for Kabba and Arthur, with Rankine replacing Cook for the Mariners soon afterwards.
Hatton smashed a wild shot high and wide after some neat approach play by Grimsby on 71 minutes, as the hosts looked to add to their goal tally.
Hatton then linked up with Thanoj on the edge of the box after good hold-up play by Rankine on the right, with Thanoj shooting just over the bar.
Ed Hutchinson replaced Nanetti as Havant and Waterlooville made their final substitution with eight minutes to go.
Despite being a man light, the Mariners were continuing to dominate possession and territory, looking to add to their score and rarely coming under threat at the other end.
Ramsey hit a shot well over the bar for the visitors after fellow substitute Hutchinson played the ball back from the edge of the box.
Four added minutes were played at the end of the game, before the final whistle confirmed Town’s place in the third round draw.
The Mariners now return to league action for the crucial home televised clash with Wrexham on Friday.
Grimsby Town: McKeown, Hatton, Niven, Pearson -S, Colbeck, Disley, Cook, Pearson - G, Wood, Pond, Marshall.
Subs: Miller, Southwell, Thanoj, Neilson, Rankine.
Havant and Waterlooville: Masters, Newton, Butler, Bailey, Harris, Woodford, Nametti, Ryan, Palmer, Kabba, Arthur.
Subs: Strugnell, Hutchinson, Taggart, Ramsey, Jones.