Whitehouse cleans up again

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The Independent Online
Grimsby Town 2 Sheffield United 4

While his former club went down at home yesterday, Brian Laws reflected on the passion which is both his strength and weakness.

Laws conceded that the Ivano Bonetti dressing-room fracas last season, which left the Italian striker with a fractured cheekbone, probably contributed to his dismissal as Grimsby's manager on Friday.

Of his two years in charge at Blundell Park, he said: "I've got no regrets. It has certainly not spoilt my enthusiasm. I've been passionate as a player and passionate as a manager and, if I continue to be that, I'll get back into football. I can't help myself - that's the way I am."

Grimsby are second from bottom after the caretaker manager John Cockerill, youth coach under Laws, failed to get off to a winning start against Sheffield United, despite his side having much of the play.

"The lads showed great character today, coming back from behind twice," he said. "We were just poor defensively."

A Dane Whitehouse double lifted United into the top six. They went ahead in the 27th minute when Grimsby's goalkeeper, Jason Pearcey, could only parry Mitch Ward's cross, and Don Hutchison tucked home the rebound.

Grimsby drew level six minutes later when Steve Livingstone played a one-two with Clive Mendonca and slid the ball past Alan Kelly, but United were ahead again a minute before the break when Petr Kachuro created the opportunity for Whitehouse to beat Pearcey at the far post.

Livingstone grabbed another equaliser for Grimsby four minutes into the second half after good work by Neil Woods, and it looked then as though the Mariners could go on and win the game.

However, Kachuro grabbed United's third goal 11 minutes from time before Whitehouse wrapped things up three minutes later.

Goals: Hutchison (27) 0-1; Livingstone (33) 1-1; Whitehouse (44) 1-2; Livingstone (50) 2-2; Kachuro (80) 2-3; Whitehouse (82) 2-4.

Grimsby Town: Pearcey; Fickling (Jobling, 45), Smith, Rodger, Gallimore; Woods, Childs (Wrack, 82), Shakespeare, Black; Livingstone, Mendonca (Forrester, 82).

Sheffield United: Kelly; Ward, Hutchison, Vonk, Nilsen; Holdsworth, White (Short, 78), Patterson, Taylor (Walker, 63); Kachuro,Whitehouse. Substitute not used: Tracey (gk).

Referee: R Poulain (Huddersfield).

Man of the match: Whitehouse. Attendance: 5,935.