The Iron produced a superb second-half fightback to defeat Port Vale 3-2 in a breathtaking encounter at Glanford Park.
Goals from Tyler Walker and JJ Hooper gave the visitors the lead on two occasions, but Scunthorpe’s fighting spirit was superb, as Josh Morris, Ivan Toney and Tom Hopper secured the victory.
United made three changes heading into the game, as Scott Wiseman, Toney and Craig Davies replaced Jordan Clarke, Kevin van Veen and Hopper respectively.
The visitors attempted to force the issue early on, but the Iron rebuffed their efforts, leading to Toney having the first chance, on nine minutes.
The striker showed good awareness initially to spread the play to an overlapping Wiseman, who in turn delivered the ball back in for the forward. Toney was off balance though, and could only manage to hook his shot wide of the goal.
By the 20th minute mark, the home side had really asserted their authority, with both Duane Holmes and Davies seeing goalbound strikes blocked in quick succession.
Previously, the combination of Wiseman and Toney almost brought about the opener, and there was a case of deja vu on 24 minutes as the two linked up once more. This time, a Wiseman cross from the right was met by the head of Toney, who glanced the ball over the crossbar.
A piece of magic from Scunthorpe’s top scorer almost broke the deadlock not long before the break. However, unlike in the two home fixtures prior to this one, Morris was denied from a dead ball, with Jak Alnwick pushing his free kick away from danger.
The Iron’s pressure didn’t lead to a breakthrough though, and the Valiants got themselves ahead seven minutes ahead of the interval. Tyler Walker was the man who got it, as he tucked home following a stop from Daniels beforehand, to send Michael Brown’s side in leading at half time.
Graham Alexander’s men got straight on the front foot in the second period, and deservedly got themselves back on terms, as Morris converted from the penalty spot. Davies won the spot kick, driving into the area after going through on goal, before being tripped by Remie Streete. Morris then did the rest, with a clinically taken penalty.
Parity didn’t last long for the hosts however as, on 60 minutes, JJ Hooper restored the Valiants’ lead with an instinctive finish from inside the area, giving Daniels no chance in the Scunthorpe goal.
United’s response was terrific again and, pretty much directly from the kick off, Toney drew a fine save out of Alnwick, who palmed the striker’s low shot away.
Toney broke that preverbal door down though as, two minutes after being denied, the Newcastle United loanee exquisitely chipped Alnwick from just outside the penalty area to tie the game up for a second time, and net his first for the club.
What was about to follow would be simply magnificent. Sam Mantom’s initial pass to Harry Toffolo was inch perfect and, the full back then put the ball on a plate for substitute Hopper, who arrived right on cue, to power Alexander’s men into the lead for the first time.
Morris could have doubled his tally with minutes left on the clock, but some heroic last ditch defending from several Port Vale defenders foiled him, as the winger took aim from inside the box.
Man of the match Mantom then had an additional opportunity to clinch it in added time, but three goals would be enough to secure the vital three points for United, in a fabulous afternoon of football.
Scunthorpe United: Daniels, Wiseman, Wallace, Dawson, Morris, Toffolo, Mantom, Holmes (Bishop, 79), Goode, Toney (Crooks, 85), Davies (Hopper, 69).
Substitutes not used: Anyon, Adelakun, Margetts, Townsend.
Port Vale: Alnwick, Purkiss, Streete, Smith (Knops, 52), Walker, Hooper (Eagles, 73), Thomas, Guy, Tanser, Grant, De Freitas.
Substitutes not used: Boot, Eagles, Forrester, Cicilia, Gibbons, Amoros.
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