LUCKY 13 FOR PLUCKY IRON

The Football League Paper - - LEAGUE TWO - By Thomas Han­nah To com­ment on this match go to http://boards.footy­mad.net/

LUCKY 13? Per­haps that’s the story for Scun­thorpe, but boss Russ Wilcox re­futed sug­ges­tions his side’s good for­tune is run­ning out af­ter a 13th game with­out de­feat.

The Iron lost ground on lead­ers Chester­field af­ter a blank at Hartle­pool – their third 0-0 draw in their last four games.

A Gary McSheffrey shot on 22 min­utes which clipped the cross­bar aside, the Iron barely threat­ened and, de­spite end­ing the game with five at­tack­ers, they didn’t look like break­ing the dead­lock.

“It’s a pos­i­tive re­sult for us,’’ re­flected Wilcox.

“It’s another 0-0, my glass is still half full. It’s four draws in a row, three of them 0-0, but we left the game with three out and out strik­ers on the pitch, plus two more at­tack­ers – so that’s five out there and we couldn’t have done any more as a team to try and win the game.

“We have come to Hartle­pool and it’s been a de­cent game in dif­fi­cult con­di­tions. We take a point and move on.

“It just wasn’t there to­day for us. Con­di­tions played a part.

“It’s three 0-0s in four draws, so of course you are con­cerned, but in 13 games we have scored some­thing like 25/26 goals and we are still sec­ond in the league. Peo­ple like to jump on the neg­a­tiv­ity side of things and I un­der­stand that.

“It’s dis­ap­point­ing to have three 0-0 re­sults in four draws. We will do a lit­tle more work on the train­ing ground to put it right.’’

The Iron did have two goal­bound shots in the sec­ond-half blocked. First Neil Austin de­nied Sam Win­nall, be­fore Sam Collins flung him­self in the way of a Paul Hayes drive.

At the other end, Andy Monkhouse was de­nied by keeper Sam Slo­combe, be­fore the winger had a vol­ley cleared off the line by David Sy­ers.

The home side went close in the fi­nal min­utes when for­mer West Ham striker Mar­lon Hare­wood’s pow­er­ful drive flew wide.

But it’s four blanks in their last six games for Colin Cooper, who ad­mit­ted: “Scun­thorpe de­fender their box well – as they did in the game down their place.

“I think their man­ager will be pleased, but I can’t be too dis­ap­pointed.

“We kept a clean sheet, looked threat­en­ing, but couldn’t quite get over the line.

“We had to marry up the last two per­for­mances. We had to be stub­born like we were against York in win­ning and the good foot­ball we played in los­ing at Wim­ble­don. We nearly did it, not quite.

“The lit­tle bits we need to work on is what we have to try and do bet­ter.

“Pick the right pass at the right time, but it’s a learn­ing curve, which is what we are on with young play­ers.

“And as long as they are want­ing to do that, I can only be a happy man­ager.

“We tried to win it at the end, Mar­lon al­most won it with a long shot. He has ploughed through two games for us, and that’s helped Luke James start scor­ing.”

PIC­TURES: Ac­tion Im­ages

STAR MAN BRAD WALKE

R Hartlep

ool TUS­SLE: Scun­thorpe United’s Terry Hawkridge, left, in ac­tion with Hartle­pool’s Andy Monkhouse

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