Carlisle United 1-3 Grimsby Town
GRIMSBY Town made a flying start to 2017 with a brilliant victory over promotion-chasing Carlisle United at Brunton Park.
Town started well but fell behind to a first-half goal scored by the Cumbrians' top scorer Charlie Wyke.
But two goals from Omar Bogle after half-time turned the scoreline around, before new signing Adi Yussuf came off the bench to score on his debut and ensure all three points would be going back to North East Lincolnshire.
Town manager Marcus Bignot made four changes to his team after the goalless draw with Blackpool on New Year's Eve, with a change of system also made.
Andrew Boyce, Craig Disley, Ben Davies and Scott Vernon all came into the XI, with Luke Summerfield, Ashley Chambers, Dominic Vose and Tom Bolarinwa all making way.
Dean Henderson continued in goal, with Shaun Pearson, Boyce and Danny Collins making up a back three.
Davies and Danny Andrew operated as wing-backs, with Zac Mills, Craig Disley and Brandon Comley forming a central midfield trio and Vernon partnering Bogle in attack.
Striker Yussuf was handed a place on the bench, where he was joined by Vose, Bolarinwa, James McKeown, Josh Gowling, Kayden Jackson and Josh Venney.
Carlisle came into the game sitting second in the League Two table and knowing a win could send them to the top, depending on results elsewhere.
Keith Curle's side were also defending an impressive record which had seen them beaten only once in the league all season and with an unbeaten record at home.
They would look to the likes of top scorer Wyke to get the goals needed for to keep both of those records going.
Town started brightly, keeping possession and getting an early cross into the penalty area, where the ball was caught by home keeper Mark Gillespie.
The first attempt at goal came from Mills on eight minutes but his shot was saved by Gillespie and the ball was cleared for a throw-in by defender Shaun Brisley.
Town kept the pressure up from the throw, moving the ball from the right for Davies to have a shot which went out for a goal kick after a Mills cross was blocked.
The Mariners won a corner with 12 minutes on the clock but the ball from it was headed clear before it could reach Boyce at the far post.
A Davies cross then almost fell for Disley after Vernon cold not make contact with the ball but the skipper was unable to profit as the ball went through to the keeper.
A Carlisle attack came on 16 minutes but the offside flag went up as a cross was sent into the box, although Henderson had gathered the ball at the second attempt in any case.
The hosts had an opportunity to get the ball into the danger zone when Bogle was caught offside and keeper Gillespie played it long from the free kick but Pearson was first to it, heading clear.
Wyke had the ball in a promising position soon afterwards but opted to play it wide instead of advancing towards goal, with Shaun Miller eventually firing over the bar.
Carlisle used the long throw of Tom Miller to start their next attack, which led to Reggie Lambe drawing a good save from Henderson after Pearson had twice headed clear.
Bogle tried a shot from distance just before the half-hour but it did not cause any problems for Gillespie, who claimed a comfortable catch.
Carlisle then took the lead against the run of play a minute later. The ball came in from the right and after it fell to WYKE following a ricochet, his shot beat Henderson despite the keeper coming off his line and getting his foot to it.
And it could have got worse for the Mariners on 33 minutes after Collins missed a cross but the header from Wyke was well saved by Henderson, who tipped it over the bar.
Another cross looked to have caused problems before it was scrambled away, before a Town attack through Bogle eventually led to Disley over-hitting a cross which went out for a goal kick.
Nicky Adams sent a volley over the bar as Carlisle continued to look for a second goal, then a foul on Comley by Wyke gave Town a free kick with three minutes left to play before the break. Andrew's kick found its way to Davies, whose cross was blocked. The Mariners retained possession but when the ball was played back into the box by Pearson, Boyce headed it wide.
Pearson had to make a clearance after Davies was beaten on the Carlisle left, then a header went just past the post, with Jason Kennedy waiting for a tap-in.
One added minute was played before the referee's half-time whistle and with no further opportunities for either side, the hosts retained their advantage at the interval.
No changes were made before the restart and Town were back on level terms within three minutes. BOGLE cut in from the right and used his strength to create an opening before beating Gillespie to score his 17th goal of the season and make it 1-1.
Henderson punched clear after a cross from Adams at the other end, before a ball from Disley went through to Gillespie.
A free kick given for a foul on Wyke then led to a high, looping delivery being caught by Henderson.
Mills had a shot from distance as Town attacked again but it lacked power and was stopped by Gillespie.
That was the signal for Carlisle to make the first substitution of the game, with ex-Town winger Jamie Devitt coming on to replace Shaun Miller.
A spell of home pressure followed, although Pearson again did well to get the ball away from danger after a header from Michael Raynes looked to be going into the path of Wyke.
Lambe beat Pearson to get into the box a minute after the hour but he could not make the opportunity count, firing across goal and out for a goal kick from a narrow angle.
Yussuf was sent on for his Grimsby debut two minutes later, with Vernon the man making way for the new signing.
A stoppage came for Raynes to receive treatment after going down injured, before eventually being passed fit to continue.
When the game restarted, Andrew won a corner for the Mariners but it came to nothing, as a handball shout from the travelling Town fans was ignored by the referee.
A cross from Lambe was headed over the bar on 71 minutes after good pressure by Pearson.
Gowling then replaced Boyce in the Town defence, before a free kick was given for a foul on Mills in a promising position for the visitors. Davies stepped up to take it but his shot sailed off-target.
The Mariners won a corner soon afterwards and from it, they took the lead for the first time in the game. The ball from the flag fell perfectly for BOGLE and he headed it past Gillespie and into the net.
Carlisle reacted by sending Jabo Ibhere on for Tom Miller and the substitute could have restored parity soon afterwards but he could not force the ball home from close range after it looked like it was about to be 2-2.
A free kick was then caught by Henderson as the hosts kept searching for an equaliser but it was the Mariners who stretched their lead with their next attack. Bogle flicked the ball into the path of YUSSUF and he did the rest, racing forward and slotting past Gillespie.
The home side thought they had reduced the deficit when Devitt controlled the ball and beat Henderson but his shot came back off the post and was gathered by the keeper.
A Carlisle corner was headed clear, before a corner at the other end with five minutes to go led to Andrew's delivery going straight into the net, only for the goal to be disallowed for a foul on keeper Gillespie.
Four added minutes were signalled and a Carlisle corner was caught by Henderson in the first of them.
At the other end, Yussuf beat his man but shot over the bar but it didn't matter as the Mariners saw out the remainder of the game to register an impressive win.
Town are next in action on Saturday, when they travel to Hartlepool United