The Iron head into their away clash at Torquay United on Saturday bidding to make it back-to-back wins over the Gulls.The two sides met at Glanford Park earlier in the season, with Scunthorpe emerging 3-1 victors through efforts from Sam Winnall, an Anthony O'Connor own goal, and Hakeeb Adelakun.
The Last Away Trip…
The last away meeting between the two sides came ten years ago in February 2004, when they met at Plainmoor in what was then known as Division Three.In the Iron side that day were both Cliff Byrne and Matt Sparrow, each of whom have since returned to Glanford Park this season for their second spells with the club.
The game finished 1-0 to the Gulls courtesy of a 13th minute strike from versatile defender Matthew Hockley as he headed home following a flowing six-man move from the home side. That goal proved to be enough to give Torquay their sixth win in seven games, and lifted them up to sixth place in the league standings.
The Devon side were on top for the majority of proceedings and only a brilliant save from Iron goalkeeper Tom Evans prevented midfielder Alex Russell from doubling their advantage. It was a disappointing day for the away side, who failed to register a shot on target until Cleveland Taylor’s effort in injury-time.
The joint-biggest win in Iron history…
United romped to a magnificent 8-1 away win against Torquay in Division Three on 28 October 1995 - matching the long-standing club record for biggest ever win, which had been set by achieving victory with the same score-line against Luton Town 30 years earlier.
Iron striker Andy McFarlane, who would later go on to represent the Gulls, stole the show as he netted an incredible four times. He was able ably supported by John Eyre who netted a brace, while the two remaining goals were shared between Tony Ford and current Torquay manager Alan Knill - who would later have a difficult 18-month spell as Iron boss from March 2011 until October 2012.
The result lifted the Iron up to 14th place in the division, but had immediate repercussions for Gulls manager Don O’Riordan who was fired by then Chairman Mike Bateson. The return leg in April 1996 would prove to be a much tighter affair, with a single goal enough to give the Iron all three points.
The Iron ended the season in 12th place, while Torquay would go on to finish nine points adrift at the bottom of the table and were only spared relegation courtesy of Conference winners Stevenage falling short in terms of the necessary league requirements.
The play-off clashes...
The Iron were drawn against the Gulls in the play-off semi-finals following the completion of the regular 1987/1988 Division Four season. Having been scheduled to travel to Plainmoor in the first leg, an Andy Flounders strike wasn’t enough to prevent United falling to a 2-1 defeat thanks to goals from Paul Dobson and David Caldwell.
In the return leg, a late Steve Lister penalty gave the Iron hope of completing a memorable comeback in their last game at The Old Show Ground, but fell just short as Mark Loram’s strike saw Torquay progress with a 3-2 aggregate win.
Torquay would go on to lose 5-4 to Swansea City on aggregate in the final, with United moving in to current home Glanford Park ahead of the next season.
Other memorable scorelines…
22/10/1977 Torquay 4-2 Scunthorpe
17/08/1985 Scunthorpe 4-0 Torquay
10/03/1990 Torquay 0-3 Scunthorpe
22/11/1997 Torquay 2-4 Scunthorpe
26/10/2002 Scunthorpe 5-1 Torquay