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31 October 2015

The Iron made it five wins from six in League One, as they recorded a comfortable 2-0 victory over Barnsley at Glanford Park.

First-half goals from firstly Tom Hopper and then Gary McSheffrey secured the points for United, who were comfortable throughout.

Mark Robins went with the same eleven which was victorious at Chesterfield. Luke Daniels started in goal, while in front of him were a back four of Scott Wiseman, David Mirfin, Murray Wallace and Scott Laird. The midfield partnership of Jack King and Neal Bishop remained intact, as did the attacking trio of Paddy Madden, Tommy Rowe and McSheffrey - which played in behind Hopper.

The visitors started brightly and almost took the lead inside of five minutes. Michael Smith found room at the far post and fired a shot across goal, which Daniels got down quickly, to tip around the post.

Despite their positive start, the Tykes found themselves behind in the sixth minute. It was a goal which manager Lee Johnson will feel could have easily been avoided, as a mix up between goalkeeper Nick Townsend and defender Marc Roberts allowed Hopper to nip in and tap the ball into an empty net.

The goal was the attacker's first of the campaign and he was clearly delighted to have got off the mark, as he celebrated with the Iron supporters.

Hopper's strike didn't seem to have much of an impact on the approach from Johnson's side and they spurned a great opportunity to get back into the game, moments after going behind. Lewin Nyatanga looked to have hooked the ball into the net, but his effort was fractionally too high.

The Welshman again was inches away from equalising, ten minutes later. This time he rose highest at a corner and glanced his header wide.

United were keen to double their advantage after seeing the visitors grow into the game, and McSheffrey almost did, seven minutes before the interval. The winger was fed by a pinpoint through ball from Rowe, and his shot looked destined for the top corner. However, Townsend in the Tykes goal superbly tipped the effort over his crossbar.

Persistence was the key for McSheffrey though, as three minutes later he did get on the scoresheet. After good play by Wiseman on the right, the United number 28 found space in the penalty area to dispatch the full-back's cross.

Barnsley could have had a goal moments before the break. Wallace was penalised for a challenge in the penalty area, which gave former United man Sam Winnall a chance to halve the deficit from the spot. Daniels had other ideas though, as he brilliantly tipped the kick round the post.

This proved to be the last act of a first half which the Iron had been impressive in throughout.

Robins' men started the second period firmly on the front foot. Hopper, who was buoyed by his earlier strike, looked to be in prime position to double his tally. But after getting on the end of a Madden through ball, he could only steer his volley wide of the goal.

Madden himself then threatened. McSheffrey sent over a dangerous free-kick, which the Irishman flicked goalwards. His header looked as though it would creep into the far corner, but Townsend scampered across his goal to palm the effort away.

The same combination which put the Iron two up, almost made it three, halfway through the second period. Wiseman once more got down the right hand side and picked out McSheffrey with a cross. The winger couldn't repeat his first half feat, as he headed wide.

The Tykes had been on the periphery of the game in the second half, but they did give United something to think about when Winnall curled an effort goalwards, 15 minutes from time. But as he did earlier on the match, Daniels denied the Barnsley striker.

They continued to probe, and Daniels was made to work again shortly after, this time denying Josh Scowen. The midfielder picked the ball up around 25 yards from goal and hit a low shot towards the right corner of the goal. However, Daniels got across quickly to save.

Despite the visitors' late pressure, they couldn't find a breakthrough and United saw the game out with relative ease. It's five wins out of six now for the Iron, who are continuing to climb up the League One table.

Scunthorpe United:
Daniels, Wiseman, Mirfin, Wallace, Laird, Bishop, King, McSheffrey (Williams 81), Rowe, Madden, Hopper (Henderson 58).
Substitutes not used: Anyon, McAllister, van Veen, Lolley, Clarke.

Barnsley: Townsend, Smith (Templeton 90+1), Roberts, Nyatanga, Scowen , Winnall, Smith (Wilkinson 74), Pearson, Mawson, Wabara, Isgrove (Maris 85).
Substitutes not used: Davies, Bree, Jackson, Abbott.

Attendance: 4,147 (690 away).

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