THE Mariners went into tonight's game looking to bounce back from Saturday's defeat to Scunthorpe as they took on newly promoted League One outfit Bradford city at Blundell Park.
The home side made a few changes to the squad that lost at Glanford Park, Lenell John-Lewis returned to the squad as a substitute, and Scott Nielson was handed his place in the starting XI after recovering from a knock that ruled him out of the last game.
In a fairly uneventful first half, Town started brightly, with good passing and movement in all areas. Paddy McLaughlin looked eager for the Mariners and showed his ability early on, starting a promising attacking move through the middle of the park inside three minutes. Though the team showed good pace on the ball, the City defence eventually regrouped and stopped the home side in their tracks.
The visitors, still on a high from the triumph at Wembley that saw them promoted at the end of last season, didn't take long to get into their stride and show why they are at that level. Mark Yeates managed to find a way through the Mariners defence, but no one was there to connect with an otherwise dangerous cross.
Town then had a chance of their own when a free kick floated deep into the area met Shaun Pearson, whose header went wide of the mark.
Bradford could have broken the deadlock again on 7 minutes, Kyel Reid's cross found James Hansen in the area, but he could only direct the ball to the wrong side of the post.
In the minutes that followed the Yorkshire side began to settle into the game more, and Town did well to deal with any danger and keep the scores level. They were lucky to escape a shot from Yeates as he fired wide on 10 minutes, and Nathan Doyle also game close for the Bantams soon after.
The Mariners responded well to the pressure, and soon found another opening when Nielson played in Cook, but his attempt was well saved by Bradford 'Keeper John McLaughlin
Two good chances in as many minutes followed for the home side, when Nielson did well to get out of trouble following heavy pressure from the City defence, he flicked on for Hatton, but the goalkeeper game to the rescue again, snatching the ball from his feet.
Town were then awarded a free kick by Referee Ross Joyce in a promising central position. However they failed to capitalise on the opportunity as Sam Hatton blazed over from 30 yards.
Bradford continued to demonstrate their quality over the next ten minutes and were presented with another opportunity when the ball sprang loose in the air. James Hansen charged it down and narrowly avoided a clash with McKeown as he punched clear.
City had another chance on 41 minutes after Nelson was brought down just outside the box by Aswad Thomas, but were unable to make anything of it.
Both sides made changes at the start of the second half. The Bantams double substitution saw former Mariner Alan Connell make way for Garry Thompson, along with Kyel Reid who made way for Nahki Wells. Town introduced Craig Disley in place of Aswad Thomas in their only change.
Bradford looked the more likely to score in the early stages after half time, but neither side posed much of a threat to their respective goalkeepers.
That all changed however on 60 minutes when Garry Thompson drilled in a low cross that found James Hansen, who bundled home from close range to give the visitors the lead.
The Mariners bosses made their second change immediately after the goal, sending in Scott Kerr for McLaughlin.
Town then almost had a chance to level the scores after a good ball from Andi Thanoj but Cook was unable to get contact on it.
John Lewis, Hannah and Southwell then replaced Rodman, Nielson and Cook with just over 20 minutes to go
John-Lewis nearly got himself on the end of a good free kick from Sam Hatton, but fired his shot just wide.
Bradford found themselves under an immense amount of pressure with the hosts looking to draw themselves level. Two corners in quick succession were enough to shake the Bantams defence and a third very nearly broke it, but Ross Hannah's shot was well blocked.
However despite an encouraging performance from the home team, the League One outfit made sure of the victory with five minutes to spare. Mark Yeates hit a stunning free kick from 25 yards to give the Yorkshire club a 2-0 lead.
The Mariners next play Hull City on Friday, Kick of 7pm.
Grimsby 0-2 Bradford City
(Hansen, 60, Yeates, 85)
Attendance 1330, (146 away fans)
James McKeown, Sam Hatton, Aswad Thomas Shaun Pearson, Chris Doig, Craig Disley, Liam Hearn, Andy Cook, Paul Bignot, Joe Colbeck, Scott Nielson, Andi Thanoj, Dayle Southwell, Paul Walker, Ross Hannah, Lenell John-Lewis
John McLaughlin, Stephen Darby, James Meredith, Andrew Davies, Kyel Reid, James Hanson, Nathan Doyle, Mark Yeates, Rory McArdle, Jack Bentley, Jason Kennedy, Louie Swain, Garry Thompson, Calum Hepworth, Nakhi Wells, Michael Nelson