LUCKY 13 FOR PLUCKY IRON
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.”
STAR MAN BRAD WALKE
ool TUSSLE: Scunthorpe United’s Terry Hawkridge, left, in action with Hartlepool’s Andy Monkhouse