The Iron maintained their recent run of good results, with a 2-1 victory over Bury at Glanford Park.A first half strike from Luke Williams, and then a close range finish from Kyle Wootton in the second, was enough to edge out the Shakers, who replied through a Tom Pope header mid-way through the second period.
There were two changes to the United side going into the game, as Luke Daniels replaced Joe Anyon in between the sticks, and Wootton took the place of Tom Hopper in attack.
The remaining nine retained their places, with Jordan Clarke, David Mirfin, Murray Wallace and Conor Townsend forming the back four in front of the returning Daniels. Hakeeb Adelakun, Stephen Dawson, Neal Bishop and Williams once again made up the midfield, and Wootton partnered Paddy Madden up front.
It took ten minutes for either side to force an opening, and it was the Shakers who did so. Defender Peter Clarke peeled off to the back post, and found some space to connect with Chris Hussey’s corner. His header was straight at Daniels though, who grasped the ball with relative ease.
David Flitcroft’s men threatened again soon after, when former Iron man Leon Clarke curled an effort just wide of Daniels’ goal from distance.
The Shakers’ early pressure would count for nothing however as, 20 minutes into proceedings, Williams gave United the lead, and in fine fashion too. Much like his opener against Crewe previously, the midfielder linked with Madden on the edge of the penalty area, and then wrapped his right foot around the ball, beating Bury ‘keeper Chris Neal, who stretched but to no avail.
The visitors seemed undeterred by going a goal behind, and pressed for a route back into the match straight away. Clarke had sight of goal for a second time, as he outmuscled his marker at the far post, before glancing the ball wide off his forehead.
United defended resiliently throughout the half, and looked to have been rewarded on the stroke of the interval, when the ball fell to Wootton inside the the six yard box. The striker controlled well, but was denied by the feet of Neal in the Bury goal.
The hosts carried their late first half momentum into the start of the second, with Bishop trying a speculative attempt on the left side of the pitch. The ball sat up nicely for the United midfielder, who forced Chris Neal into a smart save.
Bury continued to mount attacks, and created their best opportunity of the match up until that point through Hussey, who’d managed to get to the byline. The defender’s cross-come-shot was then parried away by Daniels but, with the goal at his mercy, John O’Sullivan could only send the ball into the travelling away fans behind the goal.
As is so often the case, the away side were undoubtably made to pay moments later, Wootton the scorer on this occasion. Madden was the provider once again, squaring for his strike partner at the far post, to leave the 19-year-old with an easy tap in.
An inspired substitution got Flitcroft’s men back into the match however, as Tom Pope, not long on the field, headed high into the roof of the net following a well taken corner kick.
Pope’s goal certainly changed the complexion of the evening, and the game then had a more open feel to it. The Iron could have easily restored their two goal advantage, twice in quick succession. Adelakun was the first to test Neal, striking from around 25 yards, to send the Bury stopper diving to his right.
Madden then audaciously went for goal, from near enough the same spot as his United teammate. The Irishman’s effort was of vast contrast to Adelakun’s though, as he attempted to chip the ball over the visiting ‘keeper. He would have to settle for a corner however, with Neal reaching up to push his strike over the crossbar.
United had to deal with some late Bury pressure, who also had Kelvin Etuhu sent off moments before the final whistle, but Sebastian Stockbridge’s whistle meant the Iron could celebrate three successive League One victories.
Scunthorpe United: Daniels, Clarke, Mirfin, Wallace, Townsend, Adelakun, Bishop, Dawson, Williams, Madden, Wootton (King 75).
Substitutes not used: Anyon, Laird, Sutton, Vose, Burdett, Hopper.
Bury: Neal, Hussey, P. Clarke, Etuhu, L. Clarke, Mayor, Jones, O’Sullivan (Clare 56), Soares (Brown 73), Bolger, Gardener (Pope 46).
Substitutes not used: Ruddy, Sedgwick, Lowe, Rose, Clare.
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