There were two changes to the City starting line-up for this seasonal Sunday fixture at Grimsby Town with Alan Power and Ben Tomlinson coming in for Conner Robinson and Tyrell Waite. A third change was ruled out during the warm-up with Tom Miller pulling up injured with Jake Caprice retaining his place at right-back as a result.
It was a chilly late December afternoon as referee Steve Rushton led the two teams out and once the pre-match formalities were completed and a minute's silence for former Town chairman Peter Furneaux was observed, City kicked off.
An early Sean Newton cross was claimed by James McKeown before a Marcus Marshall centre was cleared by Town skipper Craig Disley. In a bid to calm things down Carl Magnay went down easily under a Ben Tomlinson challenge but did enough to win a free-kick.
In the seventh minute Daniel Parslow went in hard on Delano Sam-Yorke and when Newton whipped in the free-kick the ball found Hamza Bencherif at the back post but his effort was saved well by McKeown.
At the other end Grimsby won the first corner of the game but City stood firm and from a free-kick a couple of minutes later Sean Pearson headed Scott Neilson's delivery well wide. After a quiet spell, two more Grimsby corners came along in the 19th minute but these also came to nothing.
Two minutes later the hosts took the lead with Disley keeping up his record of scoring against the Imps; the skipper ghosting in to meet a cross from the right before heading past Paul Farman.
Disley was booked less than a couple of minutes later following a cynical challenge on Sam-Yorke, who shortly afterwards diverted a Tomlinson cross inches wide.
The hosts were forced to make a change in the 27th minute with Jack Mackreth replacing a hobbling Neilson in midfield and was quickly in the action, forcing Bencherif to head a centre behind for a corner.
City were forced to defend a couple more Grimsby corners before Mackreth fired well wide and after the substitute headed a ball out for a goal-kick, Tomlinson was booked for what referee Steve Rushton indicated as persistent infringement.
Two minutes before the break a superb dipping volley from Newton was tipped behind at full stretch by McKeown but the 'keeper was left clutching thin air when the corner was half-cleared as CHARLEE ADAMS powered home an unstoppable 25-yard effort for a spectacular first for the Imps.
City's tails were up now and towards the end of two added minutes, a swift break down the right saw Marshall and Caprice combined and when the latter whipped in a cross there at the back post to slide home was ALAN POWER to silence the home fans with a second goal.
HT: GRIMSBY 1 IMPS 2
Carl Magnay was replaced by Paul Bignot for Grimsby before the second half got underway and when it did John-Lewis headed tamely wide from the Mariners' first attack.
At the other end Sam-Yorke had an effort ruled out for offside after McKeown sliced a clearance straight to Mendy who duly played a cross back into the mix. Town's respose saw Arnold drill a low effort straight at Farman.
Shortly after appeals for handball as Tomlinson flicked the ball against a Town defender were waved away, a quick Town attack ended with Farman tipping over a Mackreth effort with Arnold sending the corner out for a goal-kick off the top of the bar.
Newton was denied by McKeown after he fired goalwards when his free-kick crashed against the wall whilst in the 59th minute Jon Nolan replaced Arnaud Mendy in the middle of the park for the Imps.
More appeals for handball after the ball appeared to hit Parslow on the arm following a slick City attack fell on deaf ears and after Farman saved well with his legs from Pittman, a swift City counter-attack ended with Tomlinson rattling the bar with a powerful strike from the edge of the box.
At the other end John-Lewis headed a corner well over before Jordan Burrow replaced ben Tomlinson for the Imps. Two minutes later City extended their lead.
Former Grimsby man MARCUS MARSHALL was the man with City's third but all credit to Sam-Yorke who was the architect, breaking down the right before firing a cross across the face of goal. There was Marshall to slide home in front of the travelling fans.
Four minutes later more great work by Sam-Yorke saw him draw a foul out of Bignot who was booked for his troubles. At the other end Farman saved well from Parslow after a free-kick was played into a packed area.
In the 81st minute Farman denied Pittman with a fine save from close range and as the Imps counter-attacked, Newton's cross failed to find a team mate.
As the clock ticked on John Lewis had a couple of efforts blocked as the bodies were thrown on the line; this before Power was booked for a foul on Macreth and Paddy McLaughlin replaced Craig Clay for the hosts.
In the last minute of normal time Farman claimed a Disley header after he met a corner before a swift City counter-attack ended with Sam-Yorke firing just wide.
Two additional minutes passed without further incident so the travelling hoards were left to celebrate as the players and management went across to salute at the final whistle.
FT: GRIMSBY 1 IMPS 3