United ended their promotion winning season with a 2-2 draw at Glanford Park against York City.Goals from Paddy Madden and Terry Hawkridge had put the Iron two up inside the first 40 minutes but York responded with goals from Ryan Brobbel and Will Hayhurst.
Glanford Park was rocking before kick off as 7,482 supporters filled the ground as they came to celebrate Scunthorpe’s promotion to League One, which was secured last weekend.
Their hope of finishing the season as champions wasn’t to be however as Chesterfield finished at the top of the division following their win over Fleetwood Town.
The first half started with the Iron on the front foot as the League Two golden boot winner Sam Winnall had the first opportunity of the game but couldn’t get his shot past York City defender John McCimbe.
The Iron continued to dominate possession with central midfielders Michael Collins and Dave Syers controlling the pace and tempo of the play. Chances continued to fall for Scunthorpe as Matt Sparrow and Paddy Madden both had chances inside the area but couldn’t get their shots on goal had no real conviction and proved comfortable for Nick Pope in the York City net.
York City, despite being on the back foot for the majority of the half, created a decent chance when Calvin Andrew found space to get a shot away but the powerful striker couldn’t get past Sam Slocombe, the Scunthorpe captain and goalkeeper.
With the Iron continuing to maintain plenty of possession it was only a matter of time before another good chance fell the way of the Scunthorpe attackers. This chance came in the 20th minute when another spell of passing led to Eddie Nolan finding space on the left wing and his cross was placed perfectly for Paddy Madden who headed home his 5th league goal of the campaign to raise the roof at Glanford Park.
The goal brought with it an increase to the already high volume level inside the stadium as the party atmosphere built up even more momentum with the possibility of becoming champions growing as each minute passed.
However, the away side were looking to build on their own impressive season and nearly forced an equaliser when Adam Reed found himself with only Slocombe to beat from point blank range. Usually this would be seen as a near unmissable chance for a striker but with Slocombe standing in the way the chance wasn’t quite as straight forward as it would have been with a different goalkeeper in the way. Slocombe stood tall and raise a right hand to deny Reed a certain equalising goal and increase the optimism of the Scunthorpe supporters.
The players were also boosted by the stunning Slocombe save and carried on their impressive passing in the middle of the pitch as Collins continued to run the show from his central midfield base. In the 37th minute Collins started another Scunthorpe attack and the ball found its way to Terry Hawkridge on the right wing.
Hawkridge squared up to the defender and left him on the floor as he drifted by with incredible pace and flair. His shot was too hot to handle for the York keeper as he doubled Scunthorpe’s lead.
At the time of the goal Scunthorpe were going up as champions because both Rochdale and Chesterfield’s respective matches were going in the Iron’s favour.
The first half’s closing moments were dramatic as York City grabbed a goal back thanks to a stunning goal from Ryan Brobbel. The fouth official had just put his board up for one minute of added time when Brobbel pounced on the Scunthorpe defence’s inability to deal with a high ball and cut inside from outside of the area and rocketed a spectacular effort into the top corner of the net, leaving even goakeeper Slocombe with no chance.
The second half began with York City, clearly encouraged by their last minute goal at the end of the first period, causing problems for Slocombe and his back four. City’s right back Lanre Oyebanjo created a decent opening for himself within the first few minutes of the half but failed to hit the target.
After soaking up some pressure from the away side, Scunthorpe started to exert some pressure themselves and Paddy Madden, the goalscorer from the first half, almost doubled his goals for the day when he tested Pope in the York net, but the goalkeeper managed to keep Madden’s effort out this time.
If Scunthorpe dominated the majority of the first half, it was a role reversal in the second as York maintained heavy amounts of pressure as the away side went in search of an equaliser.
The Iron defence, who have been such a vital reason as to why they are being promoted to League One, were under increasing pressure as Michael Coulson and Adam Reed both had chances they failed to make the most of.
With the away side maintaining possession and pressure inside the home side’s penalty area, it was only a matter of time before the Scunthorpe back line would crack. In the 71st minute, after a succession of corners for York, the pressure finally told and Will Hayhurst made the game 2-2 when he converted from a corner to send the travelling 1,389 fans into delirium, with some breaking onto pitch celebrating with their players.
Scunthorpe United’s world record breaking manager Russ Wilcox responded by making a double substitution, bringing off PFA team of the year member Winnall and influential Collins and replacing them with the reliable pair of Sean McCallister and Deon Burton.
The Iron response to the goal was to play further forward and keep possession, which led to more chances for the Glanford Park crowd to get excited about.
Left back Eddie Nolan nearly grabbed his second assist of the game as his header across the six yard box narrowly missed the onrushing Syers and moments later a Deon Burton strike nearly brought the Iron back on top but Pope managed to keep the effort out in front of the home supporters.
Goalscorer Hawkridge was replaced late on by Gary McSheffrey, who nearly picked out Syers in added on time but his cross wasn’t quite accurate enough.
The game ended all square at 2-2, with Paddy Madden winning the man of the match award and Scunthorpe United finishing on 81 points in a successful season which has seen the Iron promoted back into League One.