There was added spice to this League Two clash at Blundell Park thanks to the presence of former Mariners Padraig Amond and Toto Nsiala in the Hartlepool starting XI.
The pair played a major part in getting the Mariners promoted last season but both departed for the north-east after failing to agree new deals in Cleethorpes.
And they played a major role in Pools’ 3-0 victory with Amond netting twice and Nsiala putting in an imperious performance at the back in keeping a clean sheet.
Three things we learned from this League Two fixture
1. Mariners miss their departed duo
Had Grimsby had Amond and Nsiala in their ranks then the result would probably have gone the other way. Amond showed his predatory instincts with his brace but the Mariners had enough chances to win the game, even with conceding three goals.
Their best chances on the afternoon fell to Shaun Tuton and Omar Bogle but the strike pair couldn’t convert – they were the sort of chances that the Irishman gobbled up for the Mariners last term.
And at the back, Grimsby showed their frailties. The first goal saw Lewis Alessandra take the ball past Ben Davies, Luke Summerfield and Shaun Pearson too easily, whilst Amond was allowed the freedom of Blundell Park to ghost in behind the other Mariners’ defenders.
Whilst for the second goal, Amond was again allowed time and space to make his run in between a gaping hole in the Grimsby back-line.
But Nsiala put in a classy, almost flawless performance at the back against his former club, despite a 90-minute barracking from the Blundell Park faithful.
2. Nathan Thomas is on Championship club’s radars
There have been several Championship scouts at Blundell Park in recent weeks, most of them checking out League Two’s top scorer Omar Bogle. But in the battle of the division’s form players, it was Nathan Thomas who shone with a classy display that was capped by a wonderful 20-yard chip over James McKeown for Pools’ third goal – it was a strike that was sure to have impressed the visiting scouts from Brighton & Hove Albion.
3. Grimsby players need to work on their fitness levels
In his post-match press conference, Mariners’ boss Paul Hurst questioned the fitness of winger Tom Bolarinwa, who came on as a seventh-minute replacement for the injured Ashley Chambers.
The former Sutton United man shone for a 45-minute period after his introduction but faded after Pools registered their third goal on the hour mark.
Hurst said: “He played well for a period of time and then he blew up because Tom in my view isn’t fit enough to play for 90 minutes and that’s something we’re going to have to try and work with him on.
”But there’s no doubt he was positive in his play and with his style, he gets the crowd up and gets them on the edge of their seats and he’s hard to mark, so this isn’t a dig at Tom at all but he will either end up being used as an impact substitute or getting brought off in games when you’d still like to leave him on.
”We’ve got to try and get him fitter so he can be a threat for longer and longer in games.”