What a year it has been for Scunthorpe United.Ups and downs have been plentiful for the Iron, with the rollercoaster ride of the last 12 months twisting and turning until the bitter end. Here is a look back at the 14 most memorable moments of 2014.
1. January 3rd, Scunthorpe United 3-0 Rochdale
Where better to start than New Year’s Day of 2014, when Scunthorpe United moved to the top of the League 2 table after a special second half performance in our three nil home win over Rochdale. With the game goalless at half time, two goals from Sam Winnall and a Dave Syers strike earned the Iron a very important victory over their promotion rivals, however in the end, both sides were to earn a place in League 1 come May.
2. The return of Marcus Williams
On January 10th, full back Marcus Williams returned to the club from Sheffield United on a permanent basis. Williams came through the ranks at Scunthorpe, spending seven years at the club before departing to Reading, but after falling out of favour at Sheffield United in November 2013, Williams joined on a short-term loan deal, before signing permanently for the Iron after the cancellation of his contract at Bramall Lane.
3. Welcome Paddy Madden, Dave Syers Gary McSheffrey and Andrew Boyce
The club made some big moves in the January transfer window to help fuel their promotion push, with a defensive, two midfield, and offensive addition. Centre-half Boyce signed from Lincoln City after excelling in the Conference Premier, while former Premier League winger McSheffrey joined on a free from Chesterfield. Dave Syers signed on a permanent basis after a successful three month loan from Doncaster Rovers. Arguably the biggest signing of all was the Irishman Madden, who moved to the club from Championship side Yeovil. Madden scored 22 times in League 1 during the 12/13 season, and the Iron faithful were hoping Madden could chip in with a few important goals for the remainder of the season.
4. February 14th, Accrington Stanley 2-3 Scunthorpe United
With the Iron keeping up their fantastic unbeaten run, on Valentine’s Day, the feat almost came to an end, but the romance of the occasion would not allow it. Two nil down at half time, things looking bleak, Sam Winnall and Hakeeb Adelakun struck back to draw the game level on the hour mark, before braveheart defender David Mirfin headed home the winner deep in to stoppage time.
5. February 22nd, Scunthorpe United 5-1 Portsmouth
Arguably the best performance of the season for the Iron, with the team racking up five goals, with only one coming in response. Midfielder Dave Syers grabbed a stunning hat-trick, while Sam Winnall continued his fine season with a goal, and their was even time for Paddy Madden to notch his first goal in claret & blue.
6. March 22nd, Scunthorpe United 1-0 Burton Albion
In a nervy third versus fifth battle, Russ Wilcox’s men knew that this could be a game that is decided by one flash of brilliance. Fortunately, it came for the home side. January signing Paddy Madden scored a superb volleyed priceless winner, to move the team up in to second place.
7. March 29th, Scunthorpe United 0-0 Wycombe Wanderers
Not the most entertaining of games, but the achievement from the team at the full time whistle was nothing short of record breaking. It was their 24th consecutive unbeaten game in the league, which turned out to be a Football League record, with the club earning plaudits all over the country.
8. April 26th, Exeter City 2-0 Scunthorpe United
Despite losing by two goals to nil, and ending the jaw dropping 28 game unbeaten streak, with results going the teams way elsewhere, Scunthorpe United were promoted back to League 1 at the first time of asking, and the celebrations began.
9. Summer Strengthening
With some players departing come June, the team needed reinforcing in many areas, so the shopping spree began! In through the door came 6ft 4” Spanish centre-half Miguel Llera from Sheffield Wednesday, as well as Blackpool’s central midfielder Neal Bishop, to add a layer of steel to the core of the side. Also joining the North Lincolnshire side was wide man Jennison Myrie-Williams, who signed from Port Vale, while two new strikers were needed to replace the outgoing Paul Hayes and Sam Winnall. Burton’s Billy Kee and Sheffield United’s Lyle Taylor fit the bill, with the lads ready for the season ahead.
10. August 12th, Blackburn Rovers 0-1 Scunthorpe United
After losing the opening game 3-1 to Swindon Town, the Iron were on their travels again three days later, with Lancashire the destination this time round, for a Capital One Cup 1st Round tie with Blackburn Rovers. The Iron toiled for 90 minutes at Ewood Park, and they were rewarded with a historic victory, courtesy of a close range effort by new signing Neal Bishop from a Gary McSheffrey cross.
11. August 30th, Scunthorpe United 2-1 Walsall
It took until the fifth league game of the season, but it was well worth the wait, as the Iron picked up their first three points of the season in fashionable style. A goal for teenage winger Adelakun, as well as a pinpoint perfect free kick from McSheffrey wrapped up the points at Glanford Park.
12. Goodbye to Russ, Hello to Mark
On October 8th the club said goodbye to manager and former player Russ Wilcox, with Russ leaving GP with the fantastic memories of earning promotion, and writing his own name in to Football League folklore. To replace him, ex-Huddersfield and Barnsley manager Mark Robins stepped in to the hot seat just five days later. Robins told the media: "The opportunity was too good to turn down because there are exciting times coming here. I want everyone to enjoy what we are doing and excite the supporters.”
13. November 1st, Peterborough United 1-2 Scunthorpe United
With the Iron sitting in the relegation zone, a win at London Road could prove to be the catalyst to a mid-season turnaround, and it was. Marcus Williams and Isaiah Osbourne’s deflected shot cancelled out Conor Washington’s goal to earn Mark Robins his first win in charge, and start the run of nine games unbeaten in all tournaments for the rest of the calendar year.
14. December 18th, Worcester City 1-1 Scunthorpe United (14-13 on pens)
Live on BT Sport, the Iron broke another record by taking part in the longest penalty shoot-out in FA Cup history. A staggering 32 penalties took place after a 1-1 draw at Glanford Park, followed by a 1-1 draw in the 120 minutes at the Conference North side Worcester’s home ground of Aggborough. The non-league side fought valiantly, but Sam Slocombe produced the necessary heroics, and Miguel Llera scoring the decisive penalty to earn Scunthorpe a place in the 3rd round, taking place in January 2015.