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The Iron Vault: Record Sequence of League Wins

16 April 2020


The Iron Vault: Record Sequence of League Wins

16 April 2020

At the time of writing, the Iron's record sequence of league wins stands of seven, set in 2006-07 when the side were promoted as Champions of League One.

During that new spell, United kept a remarkable five clean sheets, conceding just two goals along the way. It was the key to success in what was a hugely positive campaign, with a number of single-goal victories along the way.


The record surpassed one that was only equalled a couple of years earlier in 2004-05 and in all competitions the side actually won eight in a row, beating both Chesterfield and Wrexham in the FA Cup along the way too. 

The six wins at that time also saw United go onto win promotion, with the run started on November 6, 2004 at home to Grimsby Town. Bristol Rovers and Shrewsbury Town would both be next in the firing line and the run could've come to an end at three at Cambridge United.

The U's were winning 1-0 with just two minutes to go, with Scunthorpe turning the result on its head to stretch the win run to four. Swansea City and Rushden and Diamonds would be added to the list before the Iron could only draw 1-1 at Chester City.

Those six league wins in a row would be the first time that Scunthorpe managed it since 1969-70 when a spell in October and November 1969 yielded maximum points in the same number of matches.

The run back then would begin with a 2-1 away win at Lincoln City on October 18th before wins against Hartlepool United, Crewe Alexandra and Darlington before four victories became six against Port Vale and Workington.

Attempts to make that seven at Notts County, though, were in vein as the Iron lost 3-1 at Meadow Lane.

The second time the record of six league wins in a row was set was in 1965-66 with a late Christmas present.

After a 2-1 home defeat to Oxford United, Scunthorpe travelled to Swansea City and got their first win of the run under their belts on November 6, 1965. It would be a seven-goal thriller which the Iron would come out the other end as 4-3 winners against their Welsh counterparts.

Wins against Workington, Bournemouth and York City would follow before a slender 2-1 win at home to Swindon on December 11th put them in touching distance of the new entry into the club's growing history books.

The game to seal it wouldn't come until December 27th, when a visit to Shrewsbury would be most fruitful - United winning 4-1.

Quite bizarrely, but not too uncommon in those days, the Shrews would repay the favour 24 hours later at the Old Show Ground, ending the winning streak with some style. They themselves overhauled Scunthorpe 4-1.

The record of six league wins in a row was actually set in 1954-55 and brought an immense amount of early-season optimism in the club's fifth campaign in the Football League.

After drawing 2-2 at home to Halifax Town on the opening day of the season, the first away mission was the short trip to face Grimsby Town. It would be the start of the first-ever six league wins in a row with an emphatic 4-1 win on their travels.

That result would come on August 24, 1954 and would be backed up by two points against York City, the Mariners in the reverse fixture, Southport and Barnsley before a trip to Barrow on September 11th completed the run of 12 points from 12 and 13 from a possible 14.

The chain would end four days later against Barnsley, whom the Iron had beaten amongst the run 1-0, with the same scoreline this time going to the Tykes.


SEVEN from 27/01/07 to 03/03/07

1 2006-07 Jan 27, 2007 Millwall H W3-0 Goodwin, Crosby, Beckford
2   Feb 5, 2007 Bristol City H W1-0 Sharp
3   Feb 17, 2007 Rotherham United H W1-0 Beckford
4   Feb 20, 2007 Swansea City A W2-0 Sharp, Beckford
5   Feb 24, 2007 Gillingham H W3-1 Hinds, Mulligan, Morris
6   Feb 27, 2007 Crewe Alexandra A W3-1 Sharp (2), Beckford
7   Mar 3, 2007 Brentford A W2-0 Beckford, Taylor

The record shown here was in the midst of another being created. United were already seven games unbeaten, but after four successive draws, including the surrendering of a 2-0 lead in their first trip to the Keepmoat Stadium, it was high time to get back on the winning trail.

Indeed, the unbeaten run had commenced with three successive wins, but those four draws had stalled any early attempt for a new record. What came next was something quite special.

January 27, 2007 saw Millwall travel to North Lincolnshire. The Lions had been the start of the unbeaten run just weeks prior and it was Steve Torpey who rolled home his final goal for the club in that 1-0 victory. The three points at Glanford Park would be much more warranted with a sterling second half performance. Jim Goodwin, an Andy Crosby penalty and Jermaine Beckford compounded the opposition to a long journey home. Scunthorpe were back on the winning trail.

The next mission was a Sky Sports live broadcast - again at home - on what was Billy Sharp's 21st birthday. The game falling on a Monday, Sharp could have been forgiven to initially thinking his milestone celebration would come on an evening when he could go out to celebrate, but when Sky comes calling, so did the leading marksman. A quickly taken free-kick to him in the first half was despatched and Bristol City were the second team to fall victim in this winning run.

Three home games in a row, with an international break seeing off the game on February 12th, meant that Rotherham United were the next visitors. The first game of the run had been emphatic, the second a celebration and the third would dish up goal of the season, goal of the decade and quite possibly the best goal at Glanford Park all in one. With the Millers bossing proceedings, Jermaine Beckford would come up with a wonder strike to win the game - another 1-0 to add to the growing collection.

Swansea City away was no match either, with both Sharp and Beckford netting in the 2-0 win, while Gillingham were defeated with three less familiar goalscorers. Richard Hinds got the first, while David Mulligan angled in a free-kick following a red card challenge on the edge of the box. Ian Morris added the gloss to the proceedings.

The record-equalling match would come at Crewe, but the Iron were made to come from behind in this match, with Sharp quickly cancelling out Luke Varney's goal just over two minutes after the Railwaymen had gone ahead. The forward would make it a brace in the second half, but not before Beckford emulated his strike against Rotherham with the same devastating effect.

So the record was equalled for a fourth time, meaning five times in the Iron's history they'd won six league games in a row. Now it was time to go one better.

Brentford's Griffin Park was to be the venue of the historic outing, against a team who had brought United down to ground zero following their promotion a year prior on the opening day of the 2005-06 season with a 2-0 home win. The day was made for Scunthorpe though and they'd reverse that scoreline, with Cleveland Taylor adding the late gloss to the game following Beckford's earlier goal, yet not quite as spectacular as he previous two.

So the record was broken, but could they smash it and make it eight league wins in a row? It was to be a tall ask, with Nottingham Forest the visitors to United's home - although the reverse fixture had stunned the former European Champions live on Sky Sports with a resounding 4-0 win at the City Ground. Kris Commons opened the scoreline as Forest searched for revenge, but Sharp equalised just moments after half-time. Neither side could conjure a winner, so that's where the run would stop.

Despite this, as we know, the unbeaten run continued. The Forest game extended it to 15 games and that magnificent accolade would continue for four more matches before late defeat at Northampton on the 20th match for a new club record. But that's for another day - and it has already been broken.

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