GRIMSBY Town moved into third place in the Skrill Premier with an excellent home victory over Kidderminster Harriers in front of the television cameras at Blundell Park.
The Mariners fell behind to an early deflected goal by Michael Gash but they levelled within 10 minutes through skipper Craig Disley.
A Scott Neilson double then secured the points for Grimsby, who moved above their visitors in the league table and made the perfect start to their Christmas programme of fixtures.
Town were unchanged from their last league game at home to Welling, meaning those who came into the side for the FA Trophy success at Barnet last time out were forced to give way.
James McKeown started in goal, with Sam Hatton, Shaun Pearson, Clayton McDonald and Aswad Thomas across the defence.
Alex Rodman, Disley, Scott Kerr and Neilson were the midfielders, with Ross Hannah and Lenell John-Lewis forming the strike partnership.
Joe Colbeck, Andy Cook, Paul Bignot, Dayle Southwell and Patrick McLaughlin were the Grimsby substitutes.
Kidderminster made the long trip east sitting two points and two places above their hosts but they suffered a setback at the weekend with a home defeat by Alfreton.
Harriers won twice at Blundell Park last season and the likes of strikers Anthony Malbon, Gash and Joe Lolley would be out to make it three wins out of three in Cleethorpes.
An early opportunity for the visitors saw a ball played in for Gash but Pearson’s challenge ensured the only damage was a corner, which came to nothing.
The away side had started well and a bal slid through by Kyle Storer for left-back Mickey Demetriou led to a good chance on three minutes but his first touch was poor and McKeown came out to challenge, again at the expense of a corner.
Grimsby’s first shooting chance came two minutes later, with John-Lewis letting fly from 30 yards but his effort was comfortable for visiting keeper Danny Lewis.
Midfielder Lee Fowler scooped a shot over the bar from 25 yards soon afterwards as Kidderminster’s promising start continued.
And their next attack led to the opening goal, as GASH beat McDonald before hitting a shot which deflected off Hatton and looped up over McKeown to find the top corner of the net.
The Mariners responded with an attack down the right through Rodman, who hit a good cross to the far post that led to Hannah hitting an acrobatic shot that was caught by Lewis.
A Town throw on the left led to a foul close to the edge of the Kidderminster box to give the hosts a free kick in a promising position. Kerr drove the ball across the six-yard line and it was deflected behind for a corner.
That flag-kick was headed away and from Hatton‘s resulting throw, Town were back on level terms when the ball was flicked on for DISLEY to sweep it past Lewis from close range.
Hannah hit a shot from 30 yards on 22 minutes but Lewis gathered it, before a low shot from Lolley at the other end rolled just past McKeown’s far post.
After the away side had the better of the opening exchanges, Town had come into the game and by the midway point of the half, they were doing most of the attacking.
And they had the lead just before the half-hour, when an attack through the middle saw Hannah take the ball towards the penalty area before NEILSON took over and curled a low shot into the bottom corner of the net from 20 yards.
Disley was booked for a challenge from behind on Lolley just inside the Kidderminster half, before Hannah also saw a yellow card for dissent.
Lolley cut in from the left and created a chance for himself when he skipped past Hatton on 36 minutes but the ball was cleared for a corner, which was headed away by McDonald.
A low, deep cross from Thomas on the left was cut out for a corner by Josh Gowling but Town could not profit from it, as Kerr’s low delivery was cleared.
John-Lewis shot over the bar from 20 yards on 44 minutes as the Mariners kept attacking in search of another goal before the break.
And after two minutes of added time were signalled, Hannah had an opportunity to get that third goal when he took the ball past Lewis but his touch forced him wide and he could only hit a right-footed shot into the side-netting.
That proved to be the last chance of the half, meaning Town took their narrow advantage into the dressing rooms at the interval.
No changes were made before the restart and Grimsby had a chance to extend their lead within 40 seconds when a chip by Neilson beat Lewis but dropped just beyond the far post.
Hannah then went close with a long-range shot that the keeper had to back-pedal to keep out, before Malbon sent an effort off-target for the visitors.
Hatton won a corner on the right on 49 minutes but Hannah could not get a shot in after the ball dropped for him from Kerr’s kick.
Right-back Lee Vaughan was given a warning for a foul on Neilson midway inside the Kidderminster half but Kerr’s free kick was headed away.
Neilson missed the target with a 25-yard effort, before Gowling became the latest to be shown a yellow card for a trip on the winger.
A spell of away pressure then led to a foul on Malbon near the edge of the Town box on the right. Danny Jackman’s free kick was headed away by McDonald and from the resulting corner, a shot was blocked to bring about another corner on the left.
The visitors failed to capitalise from it and they were punished soon afterwards when the Mariners stretched their lead. A flicked header from John-Lewis sent the ball into NEILSON’S path and he calmly lifted it over the advancing Lewis for 3-1.
Hannah almost made it four on 64 minutes when he unleashed a powerful drive from the right but it flew just wide of the near post.
Another Neilson shot was blocked by Neilson for a corner, which led to another one on the same right side. This time, it was met by the head of John-Lewis but he could not direct the ball towards goal.
Lolley fired well wide on 70 minutes after a slick Kidderminster build-up as the away side looked for a way back into the game.
The first substitution of the game saw James Dance replace Malbon for Harriers, before McLaughlin came on for Town in place of the impressive Neilson.
Lews had to dive full-length to push away a 30-yard first-time shot from Hatton after a Grimsby corner from the right was half-cleared.
Good play by Lolley for Kidderminster led to him creating an opening on 81 minutes but Demetriou’s shot was relatively comfortable for McKeown.
Cook replaced John-Lewis for the last eight minutes of the game as Town looked for more goals.
They were inches away from getting a fourth when a run from Thomas down the left led to him pulling the ball back but Gowling got a touch to the ball before Hannah could connect for what would have been a tap-in at the far post.
Hannah was replaced by Southwell with a minute left on the clock.
Three added minutes were played at the end of the game and Jackman sent a shot wide of McKeown’s goal in the second of them, before the keeper pushed away an effort from Storer
That proved to be the last chance for the visitors to bring themselves back within a goal as Town closed out the victory, claiming three points as their reward for a superb team performance.
Town will now look forward to their Boxing Day clash away to Lincoln City.
Click here to see Scott's second goal on Youtube.