Grimsby Town's run of games without a win reached 17 as they were well beaten by loaal rivals Lincoln City at Sincil Bank.
A spell of three goals in seven first-half minutes did the damage for the hosts as Lee Frecklington, Matt Green and Scott Wharton all got on the scoresheet.
Town had hit the woodwork through Harry Cardwell and Martyn Woolford at 0-0 but the home side, with a strong wind in their favour, had always looked the more dangerous of the two sides.
The Mariners did manage to pull a goal back through Ben Davies from the penalty spot in the last minute of the first half to give the 1,696 travelling supporters in the sell-out crowd something to cheer.
But Town were unable to build on that after the interval as Lincoln saw out the game to claim all three points.
Three changes were made to the Grimsby side after last week's home draw with Port Vale, with Reece Hall-Johnson, Woolford and Cardwell coming into the team as Easah Suliman, Mitch Rose and Siriki Dembele dropped out.
James McKeown started in goal, with Hall-Johnson, Nathan Clarke, Danny Collins and Andrew Fox forming the defence.
Harry Clifton, Davies, James Berrett and Woolford were the midfielders, with Cardwell partnering Jamille Matt in attack.
Rose and Dembele were both named on the bench, along with new signing Gary McSheffrey, Ben Killip, Zak Mills, Diallang Jaiyesimi and Scott Vernon.
The home side were looking to get their play-off push back on track after a draw and a defeat in their previous two games.
Danny Cowley's men would look to the likes of Green and Matt Rhead to get the goals to fire them to victory.
An early Lincoln free kick was headed clear by Clarke, before the Mariners were asked to deal with several balls into their penalty area as the hosts started the game on the attack.
Town won the first corrner of the game on seven minutes and although the ball from the flag was cleared, the pressure continued with a throw-in on the left. It came to nothing though, as the referee blew for a foul and a Lincoln free kick.
A chance for the home side came with an excellent cross from Neal Eardley on the right but Rhead's header was cleared by Clifton.
At the other end, a long throw into the Lincoln box eventually led to Davies' shot being deflected over the bar for a corner, which was cleared after Clarke had headed it down inside the penalty area.
A high foot on Matt gave the Mariners a free kick inside the Lincoln half on 21 minutes and from it, they hit the woodwork twice in quick succession. Cardwell's header hit the bar, before Woolford's follow-up bounced back off the post.
Clifton became the first of the game to be shown a yellow card after a foul on Elliott Whitehouse near the halfway line soon afterwards, although the resulting free kick came to nothing.
Good play by Hall-Johnson down the right on 25 minutes saw him make progress and get a cross in but Cardwell could not connect with it.
Lincoln's next chance saw McKeown make a good save to deny Wharton after he shot from the edge of the box.
The hosts had been on top for much of the game so far and they won a corrner on the left on 28 minutes but it was well dealt with by the Mariners.
A cross from Green on the Lincoln right was deflected and looped up onto the roof of the net for a corner on 32 minutes. And this time, they made it count as the ball from the flag came out to FRECKLINGTON, whose shot bounced beyond McKeown and into the bottom corner of the net.
It didn't take long for the home side to double their advantage, as a mistake by Clarke and a back-heel by Freklington let Whitehouse into the box and when he squared the ball across the six-yard line, GREEN had the simple task of tapping it into the net.
Lincoln were rampant now and they could have had a quickfire third but for an excellent block and the intervention of the offside flag against Whitehouse.
But the home corner count was continuing to go up and after another one was not fully dealy with, they did grab a third goal through WHARTON on 39 minutes.
Town almost pulled a goal back in the last minute of the half when Clifton let fly from 25 yards but his shot was tipped over the bar by home keeper Ryan Allsop.
But when the resulting corner came in, the referee spotted a handball by Whitehouse and pointed to the penalty spot. DAVIES stepped up and blasted it to Allsop's right from 12 yards to make it 3-1.
Two added minutes were played at the end of the half, with the late goal giving the Mariners some hope after they had looked to be out of the game at three goals down.
McSheffrey replaced Cardwell before the restart and Town, now with the wind in their favour, made a bright start to the second half, with a string of long throws into the Lincoln box and a shot on the turn from Matt that proved easy for Allsop.
A Lincoln corner from the right was comfortably dealt with, before Hall-Johnson won a flag-kick at the other end in what proved to be his last action before he was replaced by Rose in a move which saw Davies switch to right-back.
A chance for Town came just before the hour when after a spell of head-tennis around the edge of the Lincoln penalty area, the ball broke for McSheffrey but he could only lift it over the bar.
Ollie Palmer replaced Rhead for the hosts on the hour, before Jordan Williams forced a save from McKeown with a low shot from inside the box. The rebound came back to him and he eventually won a corner, which was caught by the Grimsby keeper.
Frecklington then flashed a shot over the bar from 20 yards as the home side continued to look the more dangerous.
Harry Anderson replaced Green on 65 minutes for Lincoln, as Town's third and final substitution saw Jaiyesimi replace Woolford at the same time.
A foul on McSheffrey gave the Mariners a free kick on the right on 70 minutes but despite the new signing sending a good delivery into the box, nobody could get on the end of it.
Davies won a corner on the right on 77 minutes but the delivery from McSheffrey was caught by Allsop.
After James Wilson replaced Frecklington, a corner then came at the other end as a low cross was blocked by Fox but the hosts were also unable to turn it into a goalscoring chance.
A Town free kick from the right was heaed out for a corner with two minutes to go but Fox could only fire over the bar when the ball broke to him at the far post.
Palmer was booked for a foul near the dugouts before the fourth official signalled four additional minutes to be played at the end of the game.
And with no further chances of note for either side coming before the final whistle, it finished 3-1 to the hosts.
Town are next in action on Saturday, when they travel to Coventry City.
1 James McKeown
31 Reece Hall-Johnson
23 Andrew Fox
5 Nathan Clarke (C)
6 Danny Collins
7 James Berrett
15 Harry Clifton
2 Ben Davies
25 Martyn Woolford
29 Jamille Matt
17 Harry Cardwell
27 Siriki Dembele
20 Diallang Jaiyesimi
8 Mitch Rose
10 Gary McSheffrey
21 Scott Vernon
22 Ryan Allsop
23 Neal Eardley
3 Sam Habergham
16 Michael Bostwick
6 Scott Wharton
30 Alex Woodyard (C)
4 Elliott Whitehouse
19 Lee Frecklington
9 Matt Rhead
10 Matt Green
14 Jordan Williams
1 Paul Farman
2 Sean Long
15 James Wilson
26 Harry Anderson
24 Danny M. Rowe
8 Ollie Palmer
7 Tom Pett
Referee: David Coote
Attendance: 9,774 (1696)
Next Up: Coventry City