The Iron got their first league win of the season, beating Oxford United 1-0 on Saturday.
Josh Morris scored the decisive goal, in the home side’s fourth game unbeaten so far in all competitions.
The 83rd minute was the moment where the Iron’s attacking paid off. Morris ran onto the ball on the right wing, cut inside just outside the box and then shot with his left foot. The ‘keeper had no chance as he buried it into the bottom left corner.
Hakeeb Adelakun provided an instant warning to Oxford ‘keeper Simon Eastwood. He received the ball from Kevin van Veen on the right-hand side of the box and curled a strike to the ‘keeper’s right. Eastwood made the save but the Iron showed that they meant business from early on.
However, eight minutes into the game, Jack Payne reminded the home side of Oxford’s intentions. A cross curling away from goal was put into the box and the U’s midfielder leapt at full stretch to get a shot on target. Gilks was forced into a fingertip save to send it over the crossbar but looked confident all of the way.
Rob Hall proved to be a threat on goal in the first half, particularly during the 14th minute. He ran at the defence and at the edge of the box got a shot off at goal. The U’s man could only send it wide though.
In the 20th minute, van Veen was forced off the pitch after he pulled up following an Iron attack. Tom Hopper replaced the Dutchman.
There was a threatening chance from Josh Morris on the 25th minute as Madden continued to link up with his fellow forwards on the edge of the box. The Irish striker put a cross into the back-post and Morris very nearly buried it in the back of the net with a driven header.
The opening half saw a confident display from the defence. The two centre-halves weren’t letting many chances through their backline and the two full-backs were causing the U’s problems at the back and top of the pitch.
Scunthorpe came closed again on 35 minutes, providing great play in and around the box to confuse the Oxford defence. Adelakun turned on the edge of the box and sneaked a shot around the defender. However, the ‘keeper managed to parry it away.
There was a late scare in the 44th minute as the ball leaked through the back four. However, Matt Gilks, came forward and collected it.
In the last kick of the opening half, Neal Bishop almost scored what would have been a contender for goal of the season. The midfielder overhead kicked a ball falling into the box and attempted to chip Eastwood. However, the ‘keeper just reached it.
Morris opened up the chances in the second half much like Adelakun did in the first. His shot wasn’t the most powerful but the ‘keeper struggled to keep hold of it.
Wes Thomas had a headed effort at the back post cleared off the line by Wallace. However, Thomas handballed the ball in the area and so the ball went back to the Iron’s defence for a free kick.
Adelakun put a dangerous ball into the centre of the box from a corner. The ball ended up falling to Madden who did well to make a connection with it but ended up sending it just over the goal.
The Iron created a fantastic chance on the break with just over half an hour to go. Conor Townsend played Madden onto the left wing. The striker put a ball straight across goal that met with Hopper’s head. The substitute made a clean connection and was unlucky to send it whiskers wide of the post.
Until the 61st minute, the U’s hadn’t looked much of a threat. However, after picking the ball up in the centre of midfield Ricardinho was given it on the right wing. The full-back passed it onto Ledson who sent a shot close to the crossbar.
After that, the Iron defence shut up shop. Oxford were coming forward with a real threat with Jack Payne looking particularly tricky. However, the home side were putting their bodies in front of any potential danger.
Oxford were forced to rely on the break as Scunthorpe dominated play in the second half. Van Kessel found himself on his own on the left-wing in the 69th minute. However, his shot was saved by Gilks.
Bishop then produced another beautiful chance. The midfielder was on his own on the back-post when the ball fell to him. He kicked it in mid-air and the ball looked destined for the top right corner. However, it collided with the crossbar instead.
In the 75th minute, Hopper managed to flick the ball onto Madden. The striker showed great control to get into the box. He drove the ball at goal but it only just went wide of the post.
On 77th minutes, the U’s broke away and outnumbered the retreating Iron defence. Van Kessel got a shot one-on-one against Gilks but the new signing covered the goal and parried it away from danger.
The 83rd minute was the moment where the Iron’s constant attack paid off and Morris took advantage of their possession and opened his account for the 2017/18 season.
The winger almost added another to his account as Duane Holmes found him in the centre of the box. Holmes sent a low pass at Morris and he got his shot on target and forced an instinctive save from Eastwood. Not long after that he narrowly missed with a free-kick.
The chances were starting to come thick and fast for the Iron.
Oxford pressed Scunthorpe towards the final minutes of extra time but it was too little too late as the defence stood tall and saw out the threat until full-time.
Even a last minute headed chance that came from an Eastwood bicycle kick couldn’t grab them a point at Glanford Park.
Scunthorpe United: Gilks, Townsend, Wallace, Ojo, Madden (Burgess, 90+1), Van Veen (Hopper, 20), Morris, Bishop, Adelakun (Holmes, 67), Sutton, McArdle.
Substitutes not used: Watson, Mantom, Redmond, Goode.
Oxford United: Eastwood, Ribeiro, Williamson, Nelson, Hall, Ledson, Thomas (Obika, 53), Payne (van Kessel, 66), Ruffels, Henry (Rothwell, 81), Ricardinho.
Substitutes not used: Martin, Shearer, Hemmings, Carroll.