United made it back to back League One victories with an impressive 2-1 win over Coventry City at the Ricoh Arena.Tom Hopper and Murray Wallace got the goals for the visitors, either side of half-time, to give joint caretaker bosses Nick Daws and Andy Dawson their second win in as many games in charge.
The Iron went into the game unchanged from the 3-0 victory over Colchester the week previous. Luke Daniels started in goal, with a back four in front of him of Scott Wiseman, David Mirfin, Wallace and Conor Townsend.
The midfield trio of Stephen Dawson, Jamie Ness and Neal Bishop remained, as did the front three of Luke Williams, Paddy Madden and Hopper.
United started on the front foot, and were the first to create a chance of any real note, in the seventh minute. But, after stealing a yard at the near post, Hopper could only power his header wide of Reice Charles-Cook’s goal.
But the striker’s frustrations would be short lived, as two minutes later he poked home from a corner to put the visitors ahead. It was a case of deja vu for Hopper, as like on his previous attempt, he wasn’t picked up, but this time he made no mistake with his finish, leaving Charles-Cook in the Sky Blues’ goal with no chance.
Hopper’s strike seemed to wake the home side up, and Adam Armstrong almost got them back into the game with a rasping drive, 16 minutes in. However, despite striking the ball sweetly, Daniels got down well to foil the forward.
The Iron were looking dangerous every time they pushed forward though, and Charles-Cook had to be at full stretch to push Williams’ close range effort away, before Madden hooked over twenty minutes into proceedings.
In spite of their control, United were nearly punished for not doubling their advantage, when mid-way through the half, James Maddison wriggled away from two challenges, and then hit a shot which left Daniels rooted to the spot.
With more attacking endeavour from Tony Mowbray’s side, came more space for the Iron to break into. It was space which Madden went close to taking advantage of just after the half an hour mark. The Irishman showed good intelligence to evade his man, before driving into the penalty area and firing inches wide.
On the stroke of half-time, a piece of genius from Williams so nearly put the Iron two ahead. The attacker was the first to react after a loose throw from the hosts, and once he’d picked up the ball, he opened up his body and curled an effort towards the top right corner of the goal. The strike had Charles-Cook beaten all ends up, but Williams had to painfully watch the ball strike the underside of the crossbar.
Mowbray’s side came out with a renewed energy and purpose after the break, and Armstrong must have thought he’d levelled things up, three minutes into the second period. But he couldn’t get the better of Daniels, who produced a wonderful reaction save to tip the Newcastle loanee’s fizzing shot over the crossbar.
But just as the hosts were starting to cause the Iron one or two problems,with thirty minutes remaining, the visitors struck again. Williams, who’d gone close before the break, delivered an inch perfect corner from the right, which Wallace got on the end of at the near post, and headed home into the bottom corner of the goal.
With fifteen minutes to play, Daniels produced another top draw save to deny Josh Murphy, who’s left footed strike zipped up dangerously in front of the United ‘keeper.
The home side gave themselves hope though, with less than five minutes left on the clock. After some neat football round the edge of the box, Maddison drove into the area and was taken down by Ness. From the resulting spot kick, Armstrong sent Daniels the wrong way to give Mowbray’s side hope.
That hope would take a hit not long after however as Romain Vincelot, who’d already been booked earlier on in the game, brought down Ness with a forceful challenge. Leaving referee James Linington with no choice but to give the Frenchman his marching orders.
Vincelot’s sending off took the wind out of the Sky Blues’ attacking sails and, from then on, the Iron were able to see the game out comfortably, to secure a crucial three points.
Coventry City: Charles-Cook, Stokes, Vincelot, Armstrong, Maddison, Lorentzson (Phillips 78), Ricketts, Bigirimana (O’Brien 46), Ramage, Murphy, Hunt (Rose 46).
Substitutes not used: Burge, Lameiras, Haynes, Antoine-Fortune.
Scunthorpe United: Daniels, Wiseman, Mirfin, Wallace, Townsend, Dawson (King 82), Ness, Bishop, Williams (Clarke 90), Madden, Hopper (McSheffrey 72).
Substitutes not used: Anyon, Laird, Henderson, Wootton.
Attendance: 11,138 (430 away).
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