Laws calls for an Iron will and targets Bury
SCUNTHORPE ....1 WALSALL ............1
NIALL Canavan’s late leveller handed Scunthorpe a lifeline in their battle against the drop – but boss Brian Laws says they must win at relegated Bury on Tuesday night to make it count.
Canavan’s 88th minute header kept United in touch with relegation rivals Oldham, who condemned Bury to League Two with a win at Gigg Lane – a feat Laws says his men must match in midweek.
Laws said:“Is this point going to be good enough? I don’t know. The only thing that we can say is that we’ve got to get three points at Bury, which will then put pressure on Oldham.
“It’s only two points so it’s catchable but the pressure is on us on Tuesday to get the result. Things can change overnight so we’re not out of it. The fans might think we are, but we can’t believe that because if we do, we might as well not turn up on Tuesday.
“It was a great reaction from the players, particularly after last week’s performance at Leyton Orient. The commitment of the players was evident, they gave their all, and that’s all we can ask.”
The late goal was a sickener for Walsall who were set to move into the play-off places thanks to Will Grigg’s 20th goal of the season, the striker turning home Craig Westcarr’s cross from six yards on 54 minutes.
Scunthorpe did not deserve to be behind having bossed the first half, and they almost went ahead inside 15 seconds as Jimmy Ryan’s 20 yarder was foiled by alert Saddlers keeper Sam Johnstone.
The stopper – on loan from Manchester United – then evoked memories of the Devils legend Peter Schmeichel with a superb star jump save to foil Iron skipper Paul Reid’s close range header.
Grigg’s goal deflated United, though, and they looked a spent force until Canavan headed home Mike Grella’s cross with two minutes to go.
Walsall could still have won it in stoppage time but Fabian Brandy was denied by a smart stop from Eirik Johansen, leaving Saddlers boss Dean Smith frustrated but still positive.
Smith said:“We weren’t at the races in the first half but the second half was a lot better and after we scored the goal, we had good chances to go on and win the game.
“We didn’t take them and got punished at the end. It’s disappointing because we looked well in control of the game at that stage.
“But there’s two games to go and we are in there, in the mix. We’ve certainly got momentum as we are 14 games unbeaten and I don’t think we’re going to get beaten.
“The lads have done ever so well to put us into this position.”
ERROR: Shrewsbury’s Jermaine Grandison, left, scores an own goal