The Iron struck either half of the break to seal a 2-0 away victory over Oldham Athletic on New Year’s Day. Goals from Abo Eisa and Matthew Lund got United back to winning ways.
It was a slow start to the game, but when Latics goalkeeper Zeus De Le Paz mishandled a cross, it looked like Lee Novak might capitalise on the error but the shot-stopper recovered.
With 16 minutes played, the Iron were awarded a free-kick out on the left after Abo Eisa took on two blue shirts and was brought down by Zak Mills. However, the set piece came to nothing.
Shortly after, there was a chance for Novak, looking to get on the end of Eisa’s cross after some good work from the winger but the former couldn’t quite make the connection. Novak saw another effort deflected wide as the Iron came forward again.
In the 27th minute, John McAtee took aim from just outside the area, latching on to Matthew Lund’s ball, but the striker’s effort was blocked by David Wheater.
The hosts had a half chance with Desire Segbe Azankpo whose half-volley flashed across goal, on the half hour mark.
At the other end of the pitch, the ball fell to Alex Gilliead in the box but the hosts dealt with the danger.
After threatening for large parts of the first half, Eisa broke the deadlock, with 35 minutes on the clock. The winger picked up the ball and fired in the opener from 25 yards out to make it 1-0 to United.
With two minutes remaining of the first period, Novak met McAtee’s cross but the number 17 couldn’t direct his header on target.
Early in the second half, the Iron won a corner. It came out to Eisa who laid the ball off to Lund, but the latter’s effort took a deflection and away from the goal.
Three minutes later, McAtee was on target after Novak showed good control to bring the ball under his spell, feeing his strike partner in. De la Paz dived to his right to make the stop.
Eisa lead the attack for the Iron, driving into the box before seeing his effort blocked. McAtee was on hand for the rebound but fired wide.
On the hour mark, Kgosi Ntlhe found himself on the end of McAtee’s corner kick but his header took a nick off a blue shirt and went behind.
The resulting corner was a dangerous one, as the ball bobbled around in the box and eventually fell to McArdle whose looping header was claimed by de la Paz.
Twenty minutes into the second period, the hosts had a chance to level proceedings. Eastwood was forced into a save to keep out David Wheater’s header.
The Iron could have doubled the advantage from a set piece. McAtee’s free-kick landed for Lund whose goal-bound effort was cleared by the head of Wheater.
With 15 minutes of the contest remaining, Jonny Smith tried his luck from range but his strike from distance was comfortable for Eastwood between the sticks.
The Iron did make it 2-0 in the 83rd minute. Ryan Colclough’s corner came out to Matthew Lund at the far post who took a touch before firing home, burying the ball under de la Paz.
The hosts had the ball in the back of the net but referee Graham Salisbury ruled the goal out, spotting an infringement on McArdle inside the area and preserve a clean sheet.
OLDHAM: De la Paz, Mills, Iacovitti, Morais (Maouche 45’), Segbe Azankpo, D. Jones (Missilou 65’), Sylla, Smith, Akpa Akpro (Wilson 45’), Wheater, Hamer.
OLDHAM UNUSED SUBS: Woods, Fage, Eagles, T. Jones.
IRON: Eastwood, Ntlhe, Lund, Perch, Novak (Proctor 86’), Gilliead, McArdle, McGahey, Brown, Eisa (Colclough 78’), McAtee (Sutton 73’).
IRON UNUSED SUBS: Watson, Dales, Ward, Bedeau.
ATTENDANCE: 2,972 (378 away).