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Jimmy Dean: It's a big three points

3 February 2024


Jimmy Dean: It's a big three points

3 February 2024

First team manager Jimmy Dean reflected on a vital late win over Rushall Olympic, where the Iron left it late to score two goals and take the three points.

Danny Elliott and Dion Sembie-Ferris netted in the final minutes of the game to close the gap to the top to 10 points with two games in hand, and respond in a positive manner following the midweek defeat against the side that lead the race.

“It’s a big three points,” he said.

“There’s no getting away from it, the first half was unacceptable. We were off it with the ball, looked a bit nervy and edgy in our performance. Without the ball, we were three or four yards off, particularly in midfield. At half-time, I’ve had my say and pointed out three or four fundamental areas where we had to be better.

“In the second half, we did it and got up the pitch a bit better, and in the end I think that three points are deserved, and a clean sheet. We take it, and we needed it. Mentally, we needed to win. We’ve got that, so hopefully we kick on.”

Elliott’s late left-footed strike hit the net with seconds remaining of the regulation 45 minutes of the second half, with Sembie-Ferris striking home a second in the eighth of additional time. With the game edgy throughout, it was relief all round to record the win.

“It was relief, and there’s no point suggesting otherwise,” he stated. 

“We were pushing and probing, we had a few cleared off the line and a few chances we didn’t take, and they had a couple too. We had a good shout for a penalty in the first half that wasn’t given when Dion was in, but ultimately what mattered today was three points. We got a clean sheet too, and we defended set pieces better today in the main, particularly the second phase. We have to take the positives from it.

“We went 4-2-4 in the end to really chase the game hard, with Dion and Cam wide and Danny and Danny down the middle.” 

Sembie-Ferris was handed a start following his return from a Peterborough Sports loan spell where he had been lighting up the league with his performances. With his recall late on Tuesday leading to a substitute appearance, the 27-year-old was eager to make an impression this afternoon.

“I thought Dion Sembie-Ferris was outstanding today - a little bit nervous first half, but as soon as things started going a little bit better for him, he showed what a good player he is. I’ve seen him score so many of those goals over the years, so I’m delighted for him,” the United gaffer added.

“I’m delighted for us because now Dion has done that, I think he is, and will, show what a good player he is. He’s looked lively, he’s looked sharp, and I was delighted with his impact today. He definitely needed it. He hasn’t had that moment, and I don’t think at any point we’ve had Dion at 100 per cent. He’s a confidence player, and a performance like that can only give him confidence.”

United lost Tyler Denton to injury in the second half following a cut on his face. The left-back will serve a one-match suspension on Tuesday following his red card in midweek, which might come at the right time to recover from today’s injury.

“I haven’t seen him yet, but I’ve been told it’s a nasty bang,” he added. 

“It boded well in the end, because we’ve got the points and Kells (Michael Kelly) has some more minutes into his legs and we need a big performance from him on Tuesday. He should take confidence today, and there’s an opportunity there for him. I thought all three subs impacted really well today.”

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