A brilliant Abo Eisa double saw Scunthorpe United ease to a 3-0 derby victory to put space between them and Grimsby Town in the League Two table.
Neil Cox's side went into the game having lost their last three games but managed to stop the slide against their Lincolnshire rivals who put in another forgettable display, keeping them second from bottom.
The defeat is Grimsby's fifth in a row away from home, with the Mariners conceding at least two goals in all five of those losses.
Story of the game
The hosts were out for revenge having lost the last two meetings between the clubs, with Hurst in charge of the Iron when they picked up their last victory against Grimsby over a year ago.
Grimsby’s last league win had been the 1-0 success over their Lincolnshire rivals in the reverse fixture last month, and Scunthorpe had lost their last three, so three was vital for both clubs coming into the game.
As expected, due to the magnitude of the game, it was a tentative start for both teams who had made seven personnel changes between them to try and ignite that spark that both desperately needed.
Ryan Loft had a good chance to head Scunthorpe into the lead before Eisa found that opener with an excellently taken free-kick from just outside the box. The midfielder bent in his fifth goal of the season with power and precision to give The Iron an early lead.
Matt Green threatened to get in behind the Scunthorpe defence on a couple of occasions and managed to find that space thanks to an excellent ball down the line from Danny Preston. However, Emmanuel Onarise was equal to it every step of the way and slid in to block Green’s shot.
Like the reverse fixture, it was a physical encounter between the Lincolnshire rivals, with any real on-the-ball quality in short supply.
However, the hosts doubled their lead five minutes before half-time, which was helped by some haphazard defending from Grimsby at a corner-kick. Loft got the final touch as the ball rolled into the back of the net, giving The Iron a comfortable lead at the break.
In an attempt to get a quick reaction from his side, Hurst made three changes at the break and changed shape to a more attacking 4-3-3 to try and get more bodies forward and stretch the play.
James Hanson had a sight of goal after Luke Hendrie got down the right-hand side and swung a cross into his path, but the Grimsby forward could not get a good connection on the ball, and the chance went begging.
Ball retention was not a problem for the visitors, but creating chances was as Scunthorpe could weather the storm relatively easy and hit Grimsby on the counter-attack which they did to score their third of the afternoon.
Eisa slipped passed the Grimsby defence in what looked to be a tight offside call and slotted the ball past the on-rushing James McKeown to put the game out of sight for The Mariners.
From that point on it was plain sailing for The Iron as they sat back and allowed Grimsby to hold the ball in the middle third while remaining compact in defence.
Takeaways from the match
Scunthorpe's aggressive pressing does the job
It was a much-improved performance for the Iron, with the midfield changes before the game doing the trick.
Devarn Green and Eisa came in for the derby, and alongside Alex Gilliead and Alfie Beestin they hassled the Grimsby backline on the ball and drowned out Jay Matete and Elliott Hewitt in the middle of the park.
Grimsby static in attack
Rollin Menayese and Jay Matete had decent debuts for Grimsby in defence and midfield respectively but in attack Hurst's side left much to be desired once again.
The lack of mobility between Green and Hanson as an attacking pair showed early on as Grimsby struggled to create chances once again.
Scunthorpe United - Abo Eisa and Emmanuel Onarise
The midfielder Eisa's brilliant opening goal got the ball rolling for his team, and he was instrumental in orchestrating Scunthorpe's midfield play and high press.
Onarise was astute in his defensive efforts with a brilliant slide tackle in the first half to deny Green a golden chance, and he did not put a foot wrong all game.