Scunthorpe defeated Southend 4-1 at Glanford Park on Tuesday night as they returned to winning ways in style with their most emphatic win of the season so far.
Tom Pearce, Tony McMahon, George Thomas and James Perch netted the goals as the Iron recorded a first victory since February 9th and climbed up to 15th place in the process.
Manager Stuart McCall made two changes from the side that lost to Bristol Rovers at the weekend, with Thomas and Lee Novak replacing Adam Hammill and Kyle Wootton.
The first chance of the night came Southend’s way in the second minute as Sam Mantom went close from a free-kick. The former Iron midfielder looked to curl the ball into the top right corner, but it went wide.
The visitors took the lead just a minute later when Sam Hart got down the left side and crossed into the area. It was controlled by Simon Cox, who put the ball into the bottom right corner from close range.
In the ninth minute, a throughball was played forward by McMahon, looking for Kevin van Veen, but Jason Demetriou covered in behind for Southend to head the ball back to his goalkeeper.
Southend went close to doubling their lead with 15 minutes on the clock. Cox played a disguised pass through to Mantom and his shot from a tight angle hit the side-netting.
The 19th minute saw a great chance for the Iron. McMahon took a free-kick quickly to Levi Sutton, who got to the byline and pulled the ball back to Novak. Nathan Bishop made a reaction save before Perch’s rebound was blocked.
Two minutes later, Mantom slipped the ball through to Harry Bunn, but Alnwick got out well to get there before the Southend attacker, diving on the ball.
At the other end, van Veen had a close-range effort blocked after Rory McArdle kept the ball in play. Nevertheless, moments later, the Iron got their goal.
Pearce equalised in spectacular fashion in the 23rd minute, as his cross from the left side went all the way into the back of the net and he celebrated his first goal for the club.
In the 26th minute, Novak connected with a right-wing cross but his header was saved by Bishop.
The away side broke though and the 28th minute saw Cox take the ball past Jak Alnwick and he looked to finish it home, but McArdle did really well to slide in to divert it out for a corner. From the resulting set-piece, Harry Lennon headed over the bar.
Southend’s Bishop was drawn into an impressive save after some brilliant football from the Iron on 32 minutes. Novak shifted the ball forward to van Veen, who back-heeled it into the path of Thomas, but Bishop saved the shot with his legs.
On 37 minutes, McMahon swung a cross in from the right side, which was controlled by Novak. The striker looked to play van Veen through, but the away side cleared it away.
Two minutes later, McArdle blocked a Cox shot. Bunn picked out his strike partner, who checked back and struck from distance, but the Iron captain made a solid stop.
With a minute of the half left, Lennon hooked the ball away at the far post as Novak looked to get on the end of a cross. It proved the last moment of note in the opening half.
There was one half-time change for United as Sutton was replaced by Clayton Lewis.
It was a quiet start to the second period as both sides tried to feel their way back into the game.
Southend had a chance on 54 minutes as Demetriou advanced down the right side and played a low ball across the pitch. Mantom dummied it and it rolled through to Timothee Dieng, who skied a shot.
Soon after, Funso Ojo headed the ball in Novak’s direction, who turned and attempted a volley from long range, but it bounced wide.
The hosts went ahead on 68 minutes when Lewis delivered a corner from the right, it was allowed to bounce and McMahon flicked it home for his first goal in claret and blue.
There was quickly a third on 73 minutes when McMahon floated a ball into the area, Novak headed it down and after a slip from Southend goalkeeper Bishop, Thomas touched it home for his third goal of the season.
Scunthorpe had a spring in their step and almost added another in the 75th minute when Bishop made a good save. The ball set up nicely for van Veen outside of the box and he swivelled to drive a volley towards the goal, which was pushed away by the goalkeeper.
McCall’s side did add a fourth on 78 minutes when a cross was perfectly curled in and Perch connected with it to head past Bishop for his third goal of the season.
After that period of emphatic finishing from United, the visitors did try and force their way back into the game but the hosts stood firm to all the threats, defended resolutely and saw the game out to hold on for three valuable points.
Scunthorpe United: Alnwick, McMahon, Ojo, van Veen, Perch, Pearce, Novak, Thomas, Burgess, Sutton (Lewis, 45), Burgess.
Substitutes not used: Flatt, Webster, Olomola, McGahey, Wootton, Hammill.
Southend United: Bishop, Hyam (Wabo, 77), Turner, Dieng, Cox, Mantom, Moore, Demetriou (McLaughlin, 77), Lennon, Bunn (Kightly, 83), Hart.
Substitutes not used: Smith, Kieran, Yearwood, Kelman.
Referee: Ben Toner.
Iron Bar and sponsors man of the match: Tony McMahon.
United's next home game sees them host AFC Wimbledon on Saturday, March 30th and tickets can be bought now from www.sufctickets.com.