Fleet’s mini-revival came to an end at high-flying Grimsby as the title chasers proved too strong despite a decent showing from Liam Daish’s men.
But the Fleet cause wasn’t helped with a goal inside the first minute – Marcus Marshall tucking home Andy Cook’s cross – and two injuries (Craig Stone and Stefan Payne) within five minutes of each other during the first half.
The Mariners’ defence proved equal to Fleet’s latest weapon – Gareth Gwillim’s corner deliveries, of which he enjoyed a couple – and they looked dangerous going forward, Craig Disley flashing a header wide of the post from a free kick and Jamie Devitt causing a few problems down the flank. And on 38 minutes the Grimsby pressure told and Cook was able to fashion himself a shooting chance as he beat Preston Edwards from Ross Hannah’s ball in.
Josh Scott headed over for the Fleet a few minutes later and Liam Enver-Marum twice got sight of goal but couldn’t unleash one of his trademark piledrivers.
Fleet had a lucky escape immediately after half-time when Shaun Pearson beat Edwards to a cross and shot against the woodwork and Cook couldn’t quite connect with the rebound, much to the relief of the small travelling band of away supporters. But Fleet settled quickly and enjoyed plenty of possession, their midfield continuing where it left off against Hereford with some slick balls to feet. Enver-Marum had looked likely to capitalise on the few chances that had come his way and he duly accepted one on 74 minutes, when a strong run saw him hold off his marker and he fired home to give his side hope.
The visitors pressed for an equaliser, bringing on Nathan Elder in place of Neil Barrett and Ian Miller was forced to clear Joe Howe’s cross before Enver-Marum shot wide on 80 minutes.
But the home side steadied their nerves three minutes from time with a four-man move that was topped off by Disley picking a spot beyond Edwards from 25 yards and the 3,000+ crowd erupted as much in relief as delight.
TEAM: Edwards, Stone (Bellamy 20), Gwillim, Saville, Lorraine, Barrett (Elder 77), Carew, Howe, Payne (Azeez 25), Enver-Marum, Scott. Subs not used: Menz, Walsh.