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Match Reports

Match Report : 08/03/2016

8 March 2016

The Iron got back to winning ways with a comprehensive 2-0 victory over Doncaster Rovers at Glanford Park.

An early Tom Hopper finish set the home side on their way, before David Mirfin's header settled the game, ten minutes into the second half.

United went into the game unchanged from the draw with Gillingham. Luke Daniels started in goal, with a back four in front of the 'keeper which was made up of Jordan Clarke, Murray Wallace, Mirfin and Conor Townsend. Captain Stephen Dawson played in a midfield three alongside Jamie Ness and Neal Bishop, with Jim O'Brien, Paddy Madden and Hopper in attack.

Despite their low league position, the visitors were fast out of the traps and they went very close to breaking the deadlock inside the third minute when Lynden Gooch curled an effort towards the far right corner. An effort which had Daniels at full stretch.

Rovers' early promise soon evaporated though, as the Iron edged ahead with just five minutes on the clock. Townsend, who was in space on the right, was fed by Ness and the full-back then whipped in a peach of a cross for Hopper, who made a darting run towards the near post before steering the ball home.

Hopper's strike gave the home side an evident lift and they threatened again shortly after through Madden. United cut open Darren Ferguson's side with some quick, incisive play and then squeezed the ball through to the Irishman, who fired wide of the goal on the angle of the 18 yard box.

Inches separated Nick Daws and his side from doubling their advantage on 27 minutes. Townsend again caused the initial danger and when his cross was cleared, the ball fell to Dawson on the edge of the box.
The captain then struck a swerving half volley, which flashed agonisingly past the post.

As the game reached it's half hour point, there was no let up in United's pressure. Clarke was the next to have sight of goal, breaking into the penalty area before forcing Doncaster 'keeper Thorsten Stuckmann into a save, low down with a fierce shot.

It looked as though the Iron would consolidate their one goal advantage before the interval, but they did just the opposite and went for a second in the additional time prior to the break. Two opportunities fell to the hosts, firstly Madden tested Stuckmann with a rasping near post effort after Dawson had drove through the Rovers backline. Then from the resulting corner, the German stopper had to be alive again, tipping over a Hopper shot from just inside the area.

A one goal lead is what it would be as both sides went into the break however, with referee Kevin Wright blowing for half time moments later.

United picked up the tempo again after the restart, as Madden played the ball into Hopper, who then turned and shot - forcing Stuckmann into another fine reaction stop.

In spite of Stuckmann's heroics, Doncaster couldn't hold on for much longer and their defences were breached for a second time, just over ten minutes into the second half. O'Brien delivered a pinpoint corner in from the right, which Mirfin powered home with a header from six yards out.

The visitors' best chance of the second half fell to Paul Keegan, seven minutes from time. The midfielder found himself free at the far post, and after a free-kick was flicked on, Keegan was unmarked. His effort was wayward though, as he volleyed the ball harmlessly wide of Daniels' goal.

Substitute Kyle Wootton almost added to his tally in the current campaign when he burst into the penalty area. However, his left footed strike was blocked by former Iron man Andy Butler.

Daws' men would have be content with just the two though, with full-time being called shortly after Wootton's effort. A valuable three points nonetheless however, ahead of Saturday's trip to Shrewsbury.

Scunthorpe United:
Daniels, Clarke, Wallace, Mirfin, Townsend, Ness, Bishop, Dawson (King 81), O'Brien (McSheffrey 89), Madden, Hopper (Wootton 84).
Substitutes not used: Anyon, Laird, Vose, Adelakun.

Doncaster Rovers: Stuckmann, Lund (Williams 46), Evina, McCollough, Butler, Chaplow, Gooch, Tyson, Keegan, Taylor-Sinclair, Calder (Grant 58).
Substitutes not used: Jones, MacKenzie, Mandeville, Stewart, Middleton.

Attendance: 4,887.

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