The pace of Tony Rougier and Bent caused early problems but defences held the upper hand before Vale took a 21st-minute lead. Jeff Minton's pass found Tony Naylor and his low cross to the edge of the six-yard box was struck home by the inrushing Bent. The goal sparked a flurry of activity with the Vale captain Dave Brammer at the hub of the action.
Danny Coyne, the Grimsby goalkeeper, made a superb save after Minton and Allen Tankard worked a free-kick which Brammer hit from 25 yards. But Coyne had to rely on Danny Butterfield's clearance off the line when Brammer volleyed as the visitors struggled to clear a corner.
Vale's superiority finally brought a second goal in the 31st minute with Naylor's fifth in five games. Minton made the pass and Naylor applied a cool left-foot finish, a low shot from 12 yards. Bent almost added a third before the break with a clever lob which Richard Smith cleared with a header from underneath the crossbar.
Grimsby took off the full-backs Butterfield and Tony Gallimore at the break but Vale soon went close again with Naylor's shot striking a post. The visitors finally began to get into the game as Lee Ashcroft produced their first effort on target before they pulled a goal back on the hour. Stacy Coldicott crossed from the right and the substitute Bradley Allen headed beyond the stranded goalkeeper Paul Musselwhite.
Grimsby went in search of an equaliser as Vale began to show signs of fading. Allen dragged a shot wide after escaping on the left and Musselwhite was forced to tip over an anxious attempt at a clearance by Tankard.
Vale's fraying nerves were finally calmed when the 36-year-old substitute Foyle netted from eight yards past the advancing Coyne.Reuse content