On-loan Iron goalkeeper Jak Alnwick was delighted to make a vital penalty save that contributed to Scunthorpe’s 2-1 victory against Bristol Rovers at the Memorial Stadium on Saturday, but he was even more pleased with the team performance and togetherness of the squad to earn the win.
Lee Novak put the Iron ahead early on, but they were pegged back late in the first half when the Pirates' Liam Sercombe struck just before the half-time whistle.
Matthew Lund then sealed the victory in the final stages of the game after he ran through on goal and chipped goalkeeper Jack Bonham to make it 2-1.
After the match, Alnwick spoke to iFollow Iron and said: “It was a bit of a crazy game with chances at both ends. However, we said that we needed to dig deep and that’s what we did.
“I think there were definitely lads out there that didn’t have anything left in the tank at the end of the game. Dalesy (Andy Dales) put in a great shift and it was just one of those games where we knew that we had to keep going and going.
“It was always going to be a tight game. They haven’t conceded many this season, but on the flip side they haven’t scored too many either. It was nice to get the win after a long away trip and now that’ll help us build momentum so we can kick on this season.”
Speaking about the importance of the victory, he went on to say: “It’s massive. We’ve been playing alright in recent weeks, but we haven’t managed to pick up the results because we’ve been conceding a lot of goals, so it was definitely a good feeling to get the three points.
“It also feels great to win when you know that everyone has given their all out on the pitch. Then to get it after scoring in the last few minutes sends the fans home happy, especially when they have travelled such a long way, so it’s nice to be able to get the victory for them too.”
However, with the scoreline poised at 1-1 and 15 minutes left to play, the match could have had quite a different finale if it wasn’t for Alnwick producing a magnificent stop from the penalty spot to deny Chris Lines.
Talking about the save, he stated: “It was never a penalty. They’ve (Bristol Rovers) looked back on it and said themselves that it wasn’t a penalty. Their man went down easily, so I thought that my save was a bit of justice at the end of the day.
“Then as it turns out, I save the spot-kick and we go up the other end straight away to score and make it 2-1 which I think is what we deserved.”
Up next for the Iron is Portsmouth, who travel to Glanford Park on Saturday and the goalkeeper has praised the rest of his teammates ahead of the encounter: “You look inside our changing room and you know that all the lads are going to give everything. Some of them even had to play out of position for long periods of time, but they all went out there and did their job."
“Now, it’s about the recovery so that we can get back on the pitch ready for another tough game when we play Portsmouth on Saturday and I hope that we can get all three points once again,” he added.
The fixture against Pompey is sure to be an interesting match-up, but Alnwick is confident that Scunthorpe can repeat the success following on from the win at Bristol Rovers.
He went on to say: “They are up there fighting at the top of the league for a reason. There’s no doubt about it that they are a top side, so it’s down to us to play our game.
“We’ll have a look at them throughout the week and see where they are going to pose a threat and where their weaknesses are, so we can go and exploit that to get the win and start pushing up the table.”
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