United boss Russ Wilcox hailed the collective efforts of his team after Saturday’s 2-2 draw with Bury at Glanford Park took them back to the top of League Two.The home side took the lead just after the hour-mark through Paddy Madden, but soon found themselves pegged back when Tom Soares flicked in a Chris Sedgwick free-kick seven minutes later.
With 13 minutes remaining their advantage was restored when substitute Paul Hayes followed up the rebound of his own saved penalty to seemingly set United on their way to a crucial three points.
However, deep into six minutes of additional time an exquisite effort from Shakers replacement Danny Rose rescued an unlikely point for his side.
Despite the set-back, the result saw the Iron remain seven points clear of fourth-placed Fleetwood Town with just four games of the regular campaign now remaining as they look to secure a return to League One at the first time of asking.
As has so often been the case in recent months, Wilcox utilised his substitutes expertly to transform the game, and the 50-year-old The Iron Player: “The key has been the squad.
“It’s never about eleven people. I always say that before the game. It’s not always the team that start, and again I thought that was the same [against Bury].
“The team that started did well, but you have to give credit to Paul Hayes and Michael Collins. Their introduction changed the flow and tempo of the game, and all of a sudden we got a foothold.
“We looked like the team more likely to score, and that’s exactly what we did.”
The introduction of Collins – who recently returned from a loan spell at AFC Wimbledon – saw United take control of the midfield battle at a crucial stage, with the 27-year-old shaking off the frustration of being substituted at half-time in last weekend’s 1-0 win at Torquay United to star against the Shakers.
That display of positive attitude pleased Wilcox, who added: “It’s great. He’s come back in the building and come back fit.
“Everyone saw what Mickey’s about. He was obviously disappointed last week, but I want him to be disappointed.
“Last week was just a tactical change, nothing to do with how he played the first half. Again, I have to make the big decisions, and we won the game 1-0.
“He has to stay focussed now, and we’ll see where we go in the next four games.”
See much more from Russ Wilcox, Terry Hawkridge and Paul Hayes on The Iron Player.