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16 April 2016

United made it back-to-back victories in League One, with an entertaining 3-2 win over Crewe Alexandra at the Alexandra Stadium.

Luke Williams scored a brace for the visitors, and Hakeeb Adelakun chipped in too, after the Iron fell behind early on in the opening period.

Graham Alexander made one change to the Scunthorpe starting eleven, as captain Stephen Dawson came back into the side in place of Jamie Ness.

The rest of the visitors’ lineup was unchanged, with Joe Anyon in goal, and in front of him was a back four made up of Jordan Clarke, Murray Wallace, David Mirfin and Conor Townsend. The only alteration was in midfield, as Dawson partnered Neal Bishop in the centre of the park. Williams, along with Adelakun, provided support on the flanks. In attack, Tom Hopper and Paddy Madden continued to lead the line.

Both sides struggled to get a foothold in the match early on, and it wasn’t until the 14th minute that an effort was registered on goal. Adelakun it was who had the strike, twisting and turning on the edge of the area, before curling a right footed shot just over the crossbar.

Despite their quiet start to the game though, the hosts edged in front just after the 15 minute mark. They took the lead in some style too. Full back Oliver Turton picked the ball up on the right flank, and beat Anyon with a dipping drive from around 30 yards.

United pushed for an immediate response, one which they went close to getting when Williams picked up the ball and drove at the Crewe backline. The midfielder then took aim, and had Alexandra ‘keeper Ben Garratt scrambling, only for the ball to flash wide of the right post.

Five minutes before the interval, the Railwaymen spurned a fantastic opportunity to increase their one goal advantage to two, as striker Marcus Haber mis-cued from just inside the penalty area, following some neat build up play from the home side.

Haber would soon rue his wayward attempt as, on the stroke of half time, Williams combined with Madden to get the visitors level. The former Middlesbrough man received the ball from the Irishman, and then fired the ball under Garratt, and into the back of the net.

After getting themselves level however, Alexander’s side must have thought they’d completed a superb comeback when Townsend crossed for Hopper. The United striker stretched out his right boot, but could only watch the ball agonisingly drift past the right post.

The visitors would have to be content with what they had at the break though, as Hopper’s chance would be the last of the half.

As play resumed in the second period, United got straight onto the front foot, and started to create openings at will. The first of which fell to Madden, who was quickest to react when Townsend’s shot was parried away. The Iron’s number nine would be frustrated though, as the home side threw bodies on the line to block his effort.

Townsend went for goal once more, shortly after. He did so from near enough the same position too, but this time his shot angled wide of the far post.

If not for Anyon however, the visitors could have fallen behind just after the hour mark. The Iron ‘keeper had to react well to deny Callum Ainley, who bundled his way into the area before shooting.

United’s constant pressure did pay off, and it did so mid-way through the half. Madden was involved again, and grabbed his second assist of the afternoon, lofting the ball up to Adelakun at the back post, who slotted home with ease.

Not long after Adelakun had put the Iron ahead, Williams got in on the act once more and gave the visitors a two goal advantage. The midfielder finished from virtually on the goal line, as a result of Madden’s initial effort being blocked.

It looked as though United would then have a comfortable end to proceedings, but back came Crewe with a goal from Haber. The striker stole a yard on his marker, to then finish neatly into the bottom corner of Anyon’s goal.

United dealt with some Alex pressure late on, and in doing so, made it successive league victories in the process.

Crewe Alexandra:
Garratt, Turton, Guthrie, Ray, Nugent, Haber (Udoh 85) , Cooper (Bakayogo 69), Fox, Jones, Ainley, Kirk (Saunders 73).
Substitutes not used: Richards, Bingham, Howell.

Scunthorpe United: Anyon, Clarke, Mirfin, Wallace, Townsend, Adelakun (Laird 85), Dawson (King 72), Bishop, Williams, Madden, Hopper (Wootton 46).
Substitutes not used: Daniels, Sutton, Vose, Burdett.

Attendance: 3,852 (289 away).

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