Mansfield Town kicked off 2019 in fine style with a 1-0 win at Grimsby.
David Flitcroft’s promotion chasers started the New Year as they mean to go on by extending their impressive unbeaten league run to 17 games.
Neal Bishop bagged his first goal since the middle of October to separate the two sides at Blundell Park.
Flitcroft made a solitary change to the side which settled for a point against Swindon Town last time out.
Timi Elsnik dropped to the bench as striker Danny Rose returned to the starting line-up for the first time since November.
Conrad Logan was the star during the draw against Swindon and he made a good early save to keep out Grimsby goal getter Wes Thomas from close range.
The Stags upped the ante after almost going behind.
Tyler Walker’s probing ball evaded the returning Rose, before the latter clubbed a volley wide.
Walker then played CJ Hamilton in behind, only for James McKeown to produce a super stop to keep the game goalless.
But the high-flying visitors weren’t to be denied for long as Bishop’s bullet header broke the deadlock in the 21st minute.
And it was almost two when Walker’s rip-roaring effort flew just wide.
Down the other end Logan once again denied Thomas, this time tipping his strike past the post.
And minutes after the restart Logan had to be up to his best once again to keep out loanee Elliot Embleton.
The Stags missed chances to wrap the game up.
With a quarter of an hour remaining Walker was denied from point-blank range by a brilliant McKeown save after being found by Jacob Mellis.
Matt Preston then headed wide when he should have hit the target.
Substitue Elsnik almost put the game to bed late on when he fired wide.
Hamilton’s firmly struck effort was well saved by McKeown at the death.
Grimsby: McKeown, Rose, Hall-Johnson, Hendrie, Fox (Woolford, 45), Embleton, Hessenthaler, Clifton, Pringle (Rose, 62), Thomas, Cardwell (Vernam, 79).
Unused subs: Russell, Welsh, Pollock, Cook.
Mansfield: Logan, Preston, Pearce, Sweeney, White, Mellis, Bishop, Rose (Elsnik, 62), Benning, Hamilton, Walker.
Unused subs: Kean, Graham, Law, Butcher, Khan, Atkinson.
Referee: Matt Donohue
Attendance: 5,931 (865)