The Iron turned in an impressive display to beat promotion chasing Burton Albion 1-0 at Glanford Park.Neal Bishop scored the only goal of the game, midway through the second half, to give manager Graham Alexander his second home victory in as many games.
United made one change from the defeat at Bradford City, as Joe Anyon came into the side to replace Luke Daniels in between the sticks.
The rest of the eleven was unchanged, with Jordan Clarke, David Mirfin, Murray Wallace and Conor Townsend making up the back four. Jamie Ness, Bishop, Luke Williams and Hakeeb Adelakun formed a midfield diamond, with Williams playing just in behind frontmen Tom Hopper and Paddy Madden.
The first real opening of the match fell to the hosts, inside the tenth minute. Williams picked the ball up on the left and then curled an effort towards the far corner of the goal, which Brewers ‘keeper Jon McLaughlin spilled into the path of the lurking Adelakun, whose close range strike was blocked.
Alexander’s side were looking bright, with Williams heavily involved once more, moments later. The midfielder fed Madden, but the Irishman saw his long range effort flash wide of McLaughlin’s left post.
Albion soon grew back into the game and created chances of their own. Callum Butcher had the best of them, with a right footed strike from just inside the penalty area. Butcher’s shot wasn’t any problem for Anyon in the goal however, as he watched it drift harmlessly past his far post.
The more clear cut openings continued to fall the Iron’s way and in particular to Madden. Ness picked him out expertly at the back post, but his downward header didn’t manage to trouble McLaughlin, who saw the ball go wide.
On the stroke of half time, United stopper Anyon was called into action, saving low down to his right, after Butcher had struck for goal for the second time in the half, this time from a central position just on the edge of the penalty area.
After the restart, United got back onto the front foot and threatened continuously. Madden went close again, as he lifted a volley over the crossbar from 18 yards out. Closely followed by a strike from Clarke, who’d got forward from full back to test McLaughlin with a ferocious drive, which needed saving.
The Iron number nine had sight of goal minutes later, when he was put clean through by Adelakun. Madden couldn’t keep his shot down though, as the ball looped just over the top of the crossbar.
United’s constant pressure did pay off however, and they took the lead thanks to an unlikely source. As Mirfin flicked on a header from a corner, Bishop was the first to react, poking home at the back post to get his first goal of the season.
The hosts had Anyon to thank shortly after though. He firstly denied substitute Mason Bennett, and then himself had others to thank, with Hopper tracking back to clear the danger.
The Brewers were soon stretched again though, as Hopper sent a volley towards the far corner of the goal. Many of the Glanford Park faithful were up off their seats, but the shot drifted wide.
Madden went agonisingly close to securing the three points with a superb 40 yard volley. The Irishman saw Burton ‘keeper McLaughlin off his line, and had him beaten, only for the effort to drop inches wide of the far post. The striker then had to be alive defensively, as he hacked away John Mousinho’s goal bound header off the line, following a corner.
It was the first time Nigel Clough’s side had asserted any sustained pressure in the match, and they continued to threaten. Anyon pulled off another superb stop to foil Butcher, who went for goal from distance.
Captain Stephen Dawson looked as though he’d wrap things up as time ticked past 90 minutes but, despite being well placed in the area, he was frustrated by some good goalkeeping from McLaughlin.
It would prove to not matter though, and referee Andy Haines brought proceedings to an end a minute later, on a great day for Alexander and his side.
Scunthorpe United: Anyon, Clarke (Laird 88), Mirfin, Wallace, Townsend, Ness (King 83), Bishop, Adelakun, Williams, Madden, Hopper (Dawson 83).
Substitutes not used: Ledger, Vose, Wootton, Sutton.
Burton Albion: McLaughlin, Edwards, Mousinho, Reilly, Weir (Bennett 62), Akins, Butcher, Naylor, Walker (Harness 69), Duffy, Flanagan.
Substitutes not used: Bywater, Cansdell-Sherriff, Beavon, O’Connor.
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