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Hurst on ten-man Iron’s loss at Cambridge

20 August 2019

Iron boss Paul Hurst praised his players’ display as they battled for over 70 minutes with ten men, but was ultimately disappointed to leave Cambridge United with no points to show for the effort.

James Perch was dismissed after 21 minutes of the clash at the Abbey Stadium, but Rory McArdle headed Scunthorpe ahead before the break.

The hosts hit back with two goals early in the second-half before McArdle notched again with his third goal in two games to restore parity.

However, the in-form U’s got a winner later in the second-half and held out for a 3-2 win, despite substitute Jordan Clarke coming close to equalising again right at the death.

Hurst told iFollow Iron: “The players have put in an excellent performance with ten men for 75 minutes. To have got in front and then levelled the game, I’m bitterly disappointed for them. We were a whisker away from claiming a point. I’m not quite sure what happened but Jordan said the lad almost overhead kicked it off the line.

“I can’t fault the players’ efforts whatsoever. We just need to defend those crosses better and that’s something I’ll have to look at.

“We got into some good positions but the final ball into the box wasn’t giving a chance for anyone to attack it. The first time we got a good ball in the box, Rory scored. They seemed to struggle with him tonight and he scored two good goals.

“It’s a difficult one because as much as I feel for the players tonight, we still didn’t get anything. I look at each game in isolation and in the last three now the performances have been better but we still haven’t managed a victory, and that’s what football is about.

“There was a big contrast in the two (between this performance and the last away game at Cheltenham) and the fans could see what the players were trying to do. I’m confident we’ll get there. It’s just been a frustrating start. I do believe you have to make your own luck.”

Speaking about Perch’s dismissal, Hurst continued: “My initial reaction was one of surprise. Speaking to people who had a better view than me, I haven’t met anyone yet that thought it was a red. I saw footage at half-time and he clearly won the ball, so I don’t understand the decision, and then I’m not sure what he was supposed to do with his foot. That’s the issue I have with it.

“My first thought is we will appeal it, though we will have a closer look at it. It’s a hard one to take because he’d just come back from suspension.”

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