Cambridge United produced a near faultless away display as they despatched Grimsby Town 0-2 at Blundell Park in Sky Bet League Two.
A late first half header from George Taft and a neat slotted finish by Rushian Hepburn-Murphy earned United a precious victory which moved them nine points clear of the bottom two.
The U’s lined up with three changes as Brad Halliday and Harrison Dunk returned from injury and Jevani Brown moved back into the starting eleven.
After an evenly matched opening quarter of the game, Dimitar Mitov was forced into the first save of the match with a smart catch at his near post when Kristian Dennis had ran into space inside the United area.
The first sight at goal for the U’s fell to David Amoo when the winger drifted onto a pass by Brown, but having beat the last defender Danny Collins, couldn’t slot the ball beyond James McKeown in the Grimsby goal from ten yards out.
That opening encouraged United though and it was Colin Calderwood’s men who bossed proceedings for the remainder of the first half. Their hard work was rewarded a minute before the break, when a peach of a cross from George Maris from a set piece wide on the left side looped directly onto the head of George Taft for the centre back to flick into the top corner.
The U’s continued to play some neat football after half time too, looking particularly threatening on the counter attack. An excellent ball forward by Amoo sent Maris through one-on-one after an hour, but United were denied a second as the midfielder’s attempt was closed down quickly by McKeown.
Elliot Embleton had Mitov scrambling across his goal line on 65 minutes with the midfielder’s swinging free kick drifting fractions wide of the top corner as United held onto their lead.
Calderwood brought Hepburn-Murphy, Lewis and Coulson on to give United the extra legs required to see out the fixture.
The contest was put to bed seven minutes from time when a delightful reversed pass from Jevani Brown set Hepburn-Murphy through on goal and the youngster made no mistake, producing an exquisite finish before celebrating in front of the jubilant travelling away support.
The U’s came close to a third in the dying embers when Hepburn-Murphy with blistering pace forced a two on one situation and passed to Coulson, but the young winger bent his shot just past the far post.
Grimsby Town: McKeown, Hall-Johnson, Ring, Collins, Hessenthaler, Dennis, Clifton (Cook, 66 mins), Embleton (Vernam, 78 mins), Davies, Hendrie, Thomas
Cambridge United: Mitov, Halliday, Taylor, Taft, Dunk, Amoo (Hepburn-Murphy, 64 mins), Deegan, Maris, Lambe (Coulson, 76 mins), Brown, Ibehre (Lewis, 76 mins)
Attendance: 4,772 (165)