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Grimsby travelled to Lancashire in search of revenge following November's 2-3 home defeat to the Whites. With a 5-1 victory over Leicester sandwiched in between the two fixtures they must have fancied their chances of at least a draw, but little did they realise what lay ahead.

Preston were at full-strength, with Paul Godkin and Chris Farrelly returning to leave manager Stuart Black with a midfield selection-headache. The highly rated rookie boss eventually plumped for an adventurous 4-3-3 formation with Steve Brennan behind a front two of Worthington and Cassidy. Farrelly, Godkin and Chris Brennan made up a strong midfield whilst Andy Cooper started alongside Don Herd with Whaley and Black continuing at full-back. In goal the Mighty Quinn returned.

As in the away fixture the match started with both teams looking strong, and it was again Preston who stole the early advantage when Steve Brennan got past two defenders before centring a ball for WORTHINGTON who finished magnificently.

The home side's joy was short-lived though, as with less than 10 minutes on the clock disaster struck for Preston when the returning Mark Cassidy had to be pulled off, following what looked like in innocous challenge on the visiting keeper.

A reshuffle in the attacking positions saw Steve Brennan moving up front and the side returning to a 4-4-2 formation. Within minutes Preston were two-up thanks to the impressive FARRELLY who finished well following confusion in the vistors' box.

The game was effectively over when, from Grimsby's kick-off Steve BRENNAN takled a Grimsby midfielder before racing through a firing past the shellshocked goalkeeper.

The Mariners confidence was now low, and as they struggled to regain momentum, North End were able to run-riot for the remainder of the half.

First up was Chris FARRELLY who curled a shot beautifully from the edge of the box into the top right hand corner of the goal. Craig WORTHINGTON also netted after a neat move, but was substituted shortly after, sufferring with a dead leg.

It was left for Chris FARRELLY to complete an impressive first-half hat-trick to compound the visitors' misery before Grimsby regrouped to discuss how to respond to the 6-0
half-time scoreline.

Whatever plans were made for the second-half were in tatters when a planned move from the kick-off resulted in a goal. Paul Godkin played the ball back to Chris Farrelly who then played a long ball to Steve Brennan on the edge of the box. Brennan controlled the ball but was tackled as he bore down on goal - the loose ball fell to GODKIN who neatly slotted home.

Grimsby were now admitting defeat to the opposition and the plastic pitch, when Craig WORTHINGTON returned to the pitch. Within minutes he had secured his own hat-trick, slotting home after a Steve Brennan shot was parried by the keeper.

To Grimsby's credit they were persistent and were rewarded with a goal when poor marking down the Preston right allowed them time to cross. The cross was met by a startled Grimsby striker who steered the ball past the helpless Terry Quinn.

Any hopes of a comeback (!) were dashed when new signing KEV netted well after a quality cross from Alan McCormick. The tricky midfielder killed the ball on his chest before firing into the roof of the net.

Grimsby's misery was complete when Craig WORTHINGTON put North End into double figures, hitting a low shot to the advancing keepers' left.

All in all a remarkable result for the Whites, but one that's perhaps exaggerated by the visitors unfamiliarity with the artificial surface.

Hopefully North End can build on their run of four wins on the bounce when Birmingham travel to the Sports Arena on January 18.

Man of the match: Chris Farrelly