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MATCH REPORT

PUBLISHED
15:00 15th August 2015
By  Jack Gallagher

Match report from Glanford Park...

Paddy Madden scored twice as United picked up their first points of the new League One campaign, as they beat Crewe Alexandra 2-0 at Glanford Park on Saturday.

United boss Mark Robins opted to make two changes from Tuesday night's defeat to Barnsley.

Joe Anyon continued to deputise for the suspended Luke Daniels in goal, and it was as you were for the back five, as Scott Wiseman and Scott Laird continued to occupy the wing-back positions, with Jordan Clarke, David Mirfin and Jack King remaining as the three centre backs.

Things were changed around in the midfield somewhat, with Gary McSheffrey replacing the injured skipper Stephen Dawson. Neal Bishop and Sean McAllister kept their places in the engine room, with Tom Hopper returning to partner Madden up front.

It was almost the perfect start for Robins' side as, in the second minute, Hopper almost turned in a Madden cross - only for him to see his shot blocked from close range.

The home side almost took the lead a few moments later as King, who'd stayed in the penalty area from a previous corner kick, was found by Madden in acres of space. However, the stand-in captain put his effort into the travelling Alexandra fans behind the goal.

It wasn't long before the Iron did find the back of the net however, as Hopper dug out a sublime cross for Madden, who had the simple task of heading past Crewe 'keeper Ben Garratt on 10 minutes.

United looked dangerous with every attack, particularly down the visitors' left-hand side, as Laird was getting more and more space every time that he ventured forward.

Laird was the instigator once again in the 27th minute, when he picked out McSheffrey with a perfectly-flighted pass and after the midfielder failed to control the ball, McAllister struck an effort which hit the underside of the crossbar.

The visitors finally came to life just after the half-an-hour mark, as Brad Inman picked out Marcus Haber at the back post, but the tall striker couldn't generate any power as he stretched to reach the ball.

Despite Crewe getting a foothold in the game you felt the Iron could cut them open at any time and, shortly after, Madden once again found himself in space, but could only put his effort into the grateful hands of shotstopper Garratt.

The away side were growing more into the game though and, five minutes before half-time, the dangerous Inman broke into the United penalty area and curled an effort just wide of Anyon's far post.

That was to be the last action of the half, as the Iron went in a goal ahead and deservedly so.

Alexandra picked up where they left off at the start of the second half, with their sustained pressure forcing Iron defender King, to slice just over his own crossbar shortly after the restart.

United were under the cosh and, in the 54th minute, Haber was clean through on goal and could have levelled the scores if not for a crucial intervention from Mirfin.

Another chance came and went then for the Iron, as McSheffrey squared it for McAllister, who was ready to tap into an empty net, but like Haber moments before him, he was brilliantly denied by some last ditch defending.

It then took some heroics from Garratt in the Crewe goal to keep the deficit to one, and he somehow reached out to stop Hopper's downward header from six yards.

The Iron No 22 almost doubled the lead once more, but this time he couldn't get on the end of strike partner Madden's low driven ball across the face of the goal.

Crewe then spurned by far their greatest chance to get back into the game, as John Guthrie somehow fired over from six yards, after the ball fell into his path.

This would come back to haunt them moments later, as the lethal Madden smashed home from just inside the area on 65 minutes, leaving Garratt with absolutely no chance as the ball flew past him into the back of the net.

Madden was certainly in the mood and almost completed his hat-trick minutes after adding his second, but he placed his effort just wide of the goal.

Substitute Kevin van Veen then went close with a free-kick from the edge of the area, but his strike rose just over the crossbar.

The visitors continued to try and get back into the game, as substitute Colclough tried his luck from range in the 88th minute, but he saw the strike sail over the crossbar.

There were no surprises when the man of the match announcement was made on 90 minutes, as Madden's name was read to a rapturous applause.

Steve Davis and his side could have no complaints with the quality of the chances which they were presented with, as they were wasteful once more when Colclough fired straight at Anyon from close range.

It was the turn of an Iron substitute, Hakeeb Adelakun, to have the next effort on goal as the winger raced through on goal, only to see his effort repelled by 'keeper Garratt.

Madden continued to look for his hat-trick, and almost capped off the game by getting it, but after some good work on the left hand side, he fired wide from distance.

The Irishman would have to settle for a brace as, soon after, the full-time whistle blew and with it brought three points for the Iron.

TEAM LINE-UPS
Scunthorpe United:
Anyon, Clarke, Mirfin, King, Wiseman (Adelakun 84), McAllister, Bishop, Laird, McSheffrey (van Veen 56), Madden, Hopper (Henderson 66).
Substitutes not used: Watson, Goode, Ness, Wootton.

Crewe Alexandra: Garratt, Turton, Ray, Nugent, Guthrie, Fox (Atkinson 70), King, Bingham, Dalla Valle (Colclough 63), Haber (Saunders 79), Inman.
Substitutes not used: Richards, Cooper, Baillie, Wintle.

Attendance: 3,188 (122 away).

    QUICK FACTS

    For the first 50 years of their existence, England played their home matches all around the country.