The Iron entered February off the back of three consecutive draws, and that run continued with successive stalemates against Hartlepool United and Chesterfield.Their next match took them to Accrington Stanley on Valentine’s Day, where a 2-0 deficit at half-time made it seem likely that ‘unbeaten in 14’ was about to become ‘no wins in seven’ in the eyes of the press.
However, by the hour-mark United were level courtesy of strikes from Sam Winnall and substitute Hakeeb Adelakun as they produced a stirring recovery.
The turnaround was completed deep into injury-time, when defender David Mirfin rose highest to meet a Gary McSheffrey free-kick and steal all three points with a dramatic header.
Buoyed by that comeback, United ran riot in their next outing as they cruised past Portsmouth with a 5-1 victory before finishing the month with a 1-1 home draw against Bristol Rovers which left them second in the table behind Chesterfield.
Game of the Month: Scunthorpe United 5-1 Portsmouth
The Iron underlined their promotion credentials in scintillating fashion as a Dave Syers’ hat-trick guided them to a comprehensive victory over Portsmouth at Glanford Park.
A deflected effort from the midfielder broke the deadlock with just six minutes gone, before Sam Winnall doubled the advantage half-an-hour later having been put through on goal by an exquisite Gary McSheffrey back-heel.
Syers grabbed his second of the game just before the interval after being teed up by Paddy Madden, before the Irishman made it 4-0 early in the second half from close-range with his first goal for the club.
The headlines belonged to Syers however, with the 26-year-old completing his hat-trick – and registering his fifth goal against Pompey that season in the process – when he stroked home Hakeeb Adelakun’s pass with 35 minutes still remaining.
Portsmouth grabbed a late consolation through debutant Michael Drennan, but all the post-match talk was of a United attacking performance described as ‘complete’ by manager Russ Wilcox.
Goal of the Month: Sam Winnall (vs Portsmouth)
Coming in arguably the Iron’s most impressive attacking display of the season, it was no surprise that February’s goal of the month formed part of the 5-1 demolition of Portsmouth at Glanford Park.
Equally of little surprise was the accolade heading Sam Winnall’s way, after the striker rounded off a sublime team move with a fine finish to put his side 2-0 up and firmly in control of the contest against the 2008 FA Cup winners.
Tidy interplay between Paddy Madden and Gary McSheffrey dragged the Pompey defence out of position, before the latter produced a superb back-flick on the run to release the advancing Winnall into area.
United’s leading marksman met the ball without breaking stride; opening up his body and curling confidently into the corner past a well-beaten Trevor Carson in the visiting goal.