Rotherham United quickly overcame the disappointment of Tuesday night with a 2-1 victory over Grimsby Town.
Adam Le Fondre's two first half goals were enough for the Millers who dominated much of the match. Wes Fletcher's consolation was the only black-spot on an otherwise excellent performance.
Ronnie Moore made three changes to the side that were beaten midweek, with Tom Pope, Micky Cummins and new loan signing Gavin Gunning all given starts.
The new faces all looked eager to impress, and Pope particularly appeared to be revelling in his starting role. His cross in the first minute was almost turned in by the outstretching Le Fondre, and on five minutes he received Cummins' header in midfield, but dragged his shot wide from twenty yards.
On eight minutes the breakthrough finally came, and Pope was again the thick of the action. Gary Roberts won the ball in midfield and played a ball into Pope. His clever flick found Cummins whose through ball was perfect for Le Fondre to control and slide past goalkeeper Nick Colgan.
The game began to die down following the goal, as Grimsby searched for a leveller, but despite much of the possession, they were unable to create anything clear-cut, and were limited to shots from distance.
Just before the half-hour mark Roberts found Le Fondre on the right with a searching ball, and his cross was just too high for Pope who couldn't get his header on target.
The game soon fizzed back into life, and the Millers pressed for a second. Pope picked Marc Joseph's ball out of the air and played a ball inside. Roberts slid a first touch pass into the path of Le Fondre, but his shot was deflected for a corner, despite the shouts of handball from the Millers players.
On 36 minutes Nicky Law broke down the right hand side, and with attacking options charging into the box, his cross was cut out at the near post. From the resulting corner, Cummins' header was saved before Le Fondre pounced on the line to poach his second of the game, and give the home side a deserved 2-0 lead going into the break.
Half-Time: Millers 2-0 Grimsby
Kevin Ellison's cross after getting the better of Peter Bore was the only action of a slow start to the second-half as the Millers continued to hold control of the game.
On 66 minutes Bore's miss-hit clearance only reached Ellison who played in Le Fondre, but his shot was high and wide from just inside the area.
At the other end, Peter Sweeney's shot from just outside the area trickled wide of Andy Warrington's goal before Pope missed the chance to put the Millers 3-0 up. Le Fondre took control of Joseph's ball and found the onrushing Law who found Pope 12 yards out. The striker took a touch before wriggling through two challenges, and scooping the ball wide from the edge of the six yard box.
The Millers had a second penalty shout on 80 minutes as Roberts was sent tumbling in the area as he looked to latch onto Law's cross. Two minutes later and Law again turned provider, as he picked the ball up in his own half and bursting forward riding the challenges before feeding Le Fondre on the left, he cut infield and opened up his body, but Colgan was equal to his effort pulling off a fine one-handed save.
Three minutes of added time were indicated, and when substitute Wes Fletcher latched onto Adam Proudlock's through ball and slid the ball past Warrington, it left a nail biting finish in prospect.
Marcus Marshall was introduced for his debut in place of the impressive Pope, and the Millers were able to hold on, and move to within three points of the automatic promotion places.
Full-time: Millers 2-1 Grimsby
Millers: Warrington, Joseph, Mills, Sharps, Gunning, Law, Roberts (Harrison 87), Cummins, Ellison, Pope (Marshall 89), Le Fondre.
Unused: Annerson, Tonge, Green, Taylor, Broughton.
Grimsby: Colgan, Bore, Atkinson, Linwood, Jarman, Sweeney, Leary, Widdowson, Akpa-Akpro (Fletcher 68), Chambers (Proudlock 58), Coulson.
Unused: Overton, Heywood, Hudson, Clarke, Featherstone.
The Millers Match report is brought to you in association with The Rotherham NHS Foundation Trust