Two second-half strikes from Paddy Madden completed a superb turnaround, as United beat MK Dons 2-1 at Glanford Park.Kieran Agard had put Karl Robinson’s men ahead in the first half, but the Iron showed terrific character to stun the visitors, with two crucial goals from the Irishman.
There were no alterations to the Scunthorpe eleven which drew at home to Northampton Town last week, as Graham Alexander went with the same line-up for the third successive game.
As far as fast paced starts go, United couldn’t have made a quicker one, as Duane Holmes rattled the crossbar within seconds of the whistle being blown, following a driving run.
Captain Stephen Dawson then backed up Holmes’ effort with one of his own. The Irishman didn’t manage to get his strike on target though, leaving Dons ‘keeper David Martin to watch the ball sail over.
12 minutes in, the hosts saw an appeal for a penalty turned down when Tom Hopper burst through on goal. The Iron man got to the ball before Martin in the MK Dons goal but, after a coming together between the two, referee Mark Haywood waved away the claims.
After a high octane opening to proceedings, chances then became in short supply. That was until just after the half an hour mark when Murray Wallace did superbly to block a goal-bound attempt.
Five minutes later though the visitors did take the lead, and much in similar fashion to the chance beforehand. However this time Kieran Agard finished neatly, as he slotted the ball into the back of the net with the inside of his right boot.
Agard’s strike would prove to be the last action of the half, an opening period which in truth was a frustrating one for Alexander’s side.
United began the second period with intent, as they penned the away side in. A succession of dangerous deliveries were put into the area, with a free kick from Josh Morris the pick of the bunch, but the Dons defence held out.
An inspired double change from Alexander then brought about a deserved equaliser for the Iron. Kevin van Veen initially did brilliant to wriggle free after being fed the ball on the left flank and then unleashed a low drive which was too hot for Martin to handle. The second of the substitutes, Madden, then arrived on time to stab the ball home and send the home crowd into celebration.
An unfortunate incident then followed which led to United ‘keeper Luke Daniels having to leave the field of play. After doing well to grab hold of a long range shot, Samir Carruthers followed in and caught Daniels, who was subsequently replaced by Joe Anyon.
Seven minutes from time, the marvellous turnaround was complete, and Madden had his second of the afternoon. Credit has to go to Morris, whose run and cross was sublime, leaving the Irishman to tuck the ball into the bottom left corner of the goal.
The visitors were quick to seek a response and could have levelled things up instantly, if not for some fantastic goalkeeping from substitute Anyon. Ben Reeves picked the ball up in a central position and let fly, but Anyon was up to it, as he tipped the ball superbly round the outside of the post.
As the game got closer to it’s ending, things expectedly became more and more stretched. Van Veen had a chance on the break in the final minutes, and only a fine stop from Martin foiled him.
Hearts were then in mouths when Ryan Colclough’s dipping drive flashed just wide of Anyon’s post, who did in all fairness look to have the shot covered.
The drama would soon come to it’s conclusion, as referee Haywood blew to signal the end of the game, to cap off a superb fightback from the home side.
Scunthorpe United: Daniels (Anyon, 75), Wiseman, Wallace, Mirfin, Dawson, Morris, Bishop, Hopper, Toffolo, Smallwood (van Veen, 61), Holmes (Madden, 61).
Substitutes not used: Mantom, Goode, Townsend, Ness.
MK Dons: Martin, Lewington, Walsh, Carruthers, Potter, Bowditch (Colclough, 71), Reeves (Powell, 87), George B Williams, Agard, Downing (Tshimanga, 90+3), Maynard.
Substitutes not used: Nicholls, George C Williams, Hendry, Thomas-Asante.
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