After an impressive November, Scunthorpe’s players and fans alike were hoping to continue their form into the busy Christmas period in December.Following the victory in Gloucestershire in November over Forest Green, the Iron were handed a home tie against Worcester City in the second round of the FA Cup.
Worcester had already enjoyed an impressive run in the competition before even reaching the first round, and at that stage they were drawn against Coventry City, taking over 3,200 fans to the Ricoh Arena.
Those 3,200 fans saw history being made, as they beat Coventry 2-1, causing the biggest shock of the first round.
So having already taken down one League One outfit in the competition, the Iron had to be wary of the threat Worcester posed.
Paddy Madden’s 35th minute strike took United into a half time lead, but against all odds Worcester equalised right after the half time interval, and deservedly held on to claim a replay, and the chance to get at the Iron in their own backyard.
Next up for the Iron was a home League One fixture against fellow strugglers Crewe Alexandra.
An early goal from Luke Williams got the Glanford Park crowd roaring, but they were to be silenced briefly by former Scunthorpe loanee Nicky Ajose.
Thankfully, Miguel Llera chose a fantastic time to score his first league goal for the club when he got his toe on the end of a cross, in the process securing three vital points, which moved United out of the relegation zone, and up to 19th in the league.
The BT Sport cameras were in Kidderminster hoping for an upset in our FA Cup replay with Worcester City. The cup shock looked unlikely when Paddy Madden’s flick found its way into the bottom corner of the net just before half time.
But during the second half Worcester grew in confidence, and once again found an equaliser through Sean Geddes – and the game ended locked at 1-1 once again, meaning extra time was to come.
Once both teams failed to find another breakthrough in extra time, penalties beckoned. Scunthorpe broke an FA Cup record as Llera’s penalty sealed a 14-13 penalty shoot-out victory – this was the longest penalty shoot-out in FA Cup history, and the Iron were into the third round draw.
Scunthorpe were now seven games unbeaten when they made the short journey to Bradford City. The game was one which saw Scunthorpe play superbly, but they were behind to a Rory McArdle goal on 32 minutes.
After chances came and went, and with the time remaining in the game beginning to disappear – it looked like it just wasn’t going to be United’s day. That would still stand, had it not been for a superb Hakeeb Adelakun equaliser in stoppage time, which rescued an unlikely point.
The final game of 2014 was a home fixture with Rochdale. The draw at Bradford extended the unbeaten run to eight games, and confidence was high among the supporters and players.
That confidence once again emulated onto the pitch, as United took the lead in the 58th minute with Liam O’Neil scoring his first for the club since joining on loan from West Brom.
United conceded ten minutes later as Matty Done scored for Dale, and it was all to do again with just over twenty minutes remaining.
Thankfully, the confidence throughout the squad would pay dividends once again, as Paddy Madden scored another crucial goal, with the score finishing 2-1 – and a reason for the Iron fans to celebrate the turn of the New Year.
The revival was in full swing, and going into 2015 the club was nine games unbeaten and sitting in a much better league position of 17th.