The Iron endured a frustrating afternoon at Roots Hall, as they were beaten 3-1 by Southend United.Things started in positive fashion, with Murray Wallace giving the visitors an early advantage, but goals from Marc-Antoine Fortune, Simon Cox and a third from Ryan Leonard secured the points for the Shrimpers.
One change was made to the side which emerged victorious against Port Vale, with Neal Bishop replacing Sam Mantom in midfield.
David Mirfin returned to the matchday squad following his lengthy injury lay-off, as the defender took a spot amongst the substitutes.
Graham Alexander’s men got off to the perfect start and, with their first meaningful attack, they got themselves ahead.
Duane Holmes’ free kick from the left was not grasped by Southend ‘keeper Ted Smith, leading to Bishop crashing an initial header off the crossbar. However, Wallace was on hand to head home into an empty net.
The home side then went in search of an instant reaction, but Luke Daniels prevented them from doing so, as he got down brilliantly to deny Jason Demetriou from close range.
A clever piece of play from Craig Davies on 19 minutes nearly led to a second for the visitors. However, his reverse pass couldn’t quite be collected by Holmes, who had broken the offside trap and was clean through on goal.
Phil Brown’s side were enjoying a fair amount of possession but, in spite of this, the Iron continued to create openings. Ivan Toney had the next, controlling the ball in the box before acrobatically firing into the arms of Smith.
The Shrimpers kept pushing, with Cox trying his luck minutes later. The striker looked to have a good sight of goal. However, some good defensive work from Harry Toffolo stopped him from testing Daniels, and he subsequently fired wide.
Six minutes prior to the interval though, Southend did eventually manage to find their breakthrough. Ben Coker’s purposeful run down the left flank ended with an accurate cross onto the head of Fortune, who planted the ball into the ground before it bounced into the back of the net - to send the hosts in level at the break.
The opening 20 minutes after the restart passed by with little incident, as both sides battled for the early initiative. Anthony Wordsworth had the first chance. However, the midfielder could only slice over after pinball in the Scunthorpe area.
Some slick play down the right then saw the away side manufacture a decent opportunity of their own. Scott Wiseman’s cut back was accurate, and substitute Matt Crooks agonisingly curled the ball round the post.
15 minutes from time, Brown’s team completed the turnaround. Coker was once again the man who delivered, crossing from the left for Cox to score via a deflection into the opposing corner.
A third for the hosts arrived on 81 minutes. Leonard was the man who got it, as he angled a low effort into the left corner of Daniels’ goal.
The Iron’s frustrations were compounded shortly before the full time whistle, with Bishop given his marching orders following a coming together with a Southend player.
Alexander’s men carried on rallying until the final whistle, with Toney stabbing over in injury time. It would end 3-1 though, on what could only be described as a disappointing afternoon for the Iron.
Southend United: Smith, Demetriou, Thompson, Ferdinand, Coker, Atkinson, Leonard, Timlin (McGlashan, 75), Wordsworth, Cox, Fortune (Robinson, 67).
Substitutes not used: Oxley, White, O'Neill, Amos, Nouble.
Scunthorpe United: Daniels, Wiseman, Wallace, Dawson (Adelakun, 80), Morris, Bishop, Toffolo, Holmes (Crooks, 46), Goode, Toney, Davies (Hopper, 63).
Substitutes not used: Anyon, Mirfin, Townsend, Ness.
Attendance: 7,016 (330 away).
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