Grimsby beg for Bonetti

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The Independent Online
THERE will be begging bowls on the streets of fair Cleethorpes today. Ivano Bonetti, former star of Juventus, Sampdoria and Torino, scored the only goal of Grimsby Town's match at Tranmere and lifted the Mariners, unbeaten in six games, to a heady second place in the Endsleigh League First Division

And why the begging bowls? Grimsby must raise pounds 50,000 from their patrons in order to keep Bonetti until the end of the season. "Grimsby doesn't sound glamorous compared to some of the places I have played in," Bonetti acutely observed, "but it is a great little club, the fans are marvellous to me and the team is capable of promotion."

He had a second-minute effort disallowed for offside but scored 24 minutes later from John McDermott's low cross. It crowned a spell of first-half dominance for the Humbersiders as Jim Dobbin and Gary Childs both hit Rovers' woodwork. Tranmere raised their game in the second half but John Aldridge, of all people, missed their best chance when he fired over from the penalty spot after Mark Lever had fouled Gary Jones.

Grimsby are a point behind the leaders, Millwall, who lost their unbeaten away record at Stoke when Nigel Gleghorn's shot was deflected in off Ben Thatcher.

News on the Wolves managerial front? It is whispered that Pierce Brosnan is a surprise front-runner, but it may take more than 007 to reverse the slide. They lost 2-1 at Huddersfield, the Terriers' England under-21 striker Andy Booth scoring a fine first, chesting down Rodney Rowe's cross and firing home.

Sunderland are fourth after a 1-0 win at West Brom, inflicting the Baggies' sixth successive League defeat. Lee Howey marked his first start since 9 September with a powerful header from Steve Agnew's corner.

None of the Second Division's top three sides won. The leaders, Swindon, lost their unbeaten home record to Shrewsbury, Oxford beat Crewe, who slipped beneath Notts County after the Magpies had eked out a goalless draw at Swansea.

But the top three in the Third all won, opening up a six-point gap. Leaders Chester beat Darlington 4-1, Stuart Rimmer and Chris Priest scoring two each, and Preston cruised to a 3-0 win against Hartlepool. The critical action at third-placed Gillingham came in the final 10 minutes when visitors Fulham had Nick Cusack sent off, Leo Fortune-West scored the game's only goal and the Cottagers' Martin Gray joined Cusack a minute from time for violent conduct.

In Scotland, John Collins scored a hat-trick for Celtic as they beat Hearts 3-1 while Partick lost 2-0 at home to Raith and had their goalkeeper, Nicky Walker, rushed to hospital with a suspected broken jaw.

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