SYERS’ TREBLE HEATS IRON
THERE WERE goals galore at Glanford Park as Scunthorpe United extended their unbeaten league run to 16 games at the expense of Portsmouth - and Iron boss Russ Wilcox is confident his side are back on track.
The Iron’s promotion-bound steam train continued at full force as Wilcox’s side thumped struggling Pompey 5-1 to go level with Chesterfield at the top of League Two.
Midfielder David Syers was in fine form as he netted a hat-trick, and that was supplemented by goals either side of half-time from strike duo Sam Winnall and Paddy Madden.
Michael Drennan netted a goal on his debut for the visitors to give the travelling supporters something to cheer late on.
Wilcox said on his team’s run: “Massive credit to the players, to go 16 games undefeated, undefeated since November is amazing and all credit goes to the lads.”
The first goal came in the sixth minute when Syers wriggled free in the area to fire a left-footed effort which deflected on route to goal.
The Iron were two goals up in the 36th minute when League Two’s top marksman Winnall latched on to Gary McSheffrey’s back-heel to fire in his 17th goal of the campaign.
The home side went 3-0 up with just minutes of the half remaining when Madden capitalised on a defensive error to tee up Syers who drilled home his second of the afternoon.
The second half began with a goal when Madden reacted quickest to bundle the ball over the line after a David Mirfin header forced Pompey goalkeeper Trevor Carson in to a fine save.
Scunthorpe weren’t finished there and scored their fifth after 55 minutes when Syers tapped in to complete his hat-trick following good build-up play from both Winnall and Hakeeb Adelakun. Wilcox said about the hat-trick hero: “Syers is claiming the first goal, he’s going home with the match ball and he has got all the lads in the changing room to sign it.”
In one of the rare occasions Portsmouth mounted an attack forward Drennan managed to latch on to a Wes Fogden cross to head home a consolation after 86 minutes.
“We are concentrating on finishing in the top three, all the players are committed and driven to get this club back in to League One” Added Wilcox.
“It sends a message out that we are back on track, recent draws have been disappointing but hopefully we are heading the right way.”
Portsmouth manager Richie Barker was less than happy after their defeat, admitting afterwards that personnel changers were needed.
“It’s concerning in terms of moving forward because it shows we haven’t got the right kind of people,” he said.
“We are putting band-aids on things to get us through until the end of the season.
“I know what I saw but we will go through it again, one or two people need to have a long hard look at themselves.”
SCUNTHORPE: (4-4-2): Slocombe 5, Nolan 6, Mirfin 6, Canavan 6, Williams 6, Adelakun 7 (Hawkridge 79 5), McAllister 8, Syers 10 (Sparrow 71 5), McSheffrey 8, Winnall 8 (Hayes 71 6), Madden 9 Subs not used: Severn, Ribeiro, Dawson, Waterfall
PORTSMOUTH: (4-4-1-1): Carson 3, Alfei 3, Bradley 4, Chorley 3, Painter 3, Fogden 4, Racon 4 (Holmes 45 4), Diagouraga 4 , Barcham 6 (Drennan 45 6), Wallace 4, Jervis 5 (Agyemang 83 3) Subs not used: Smith, N'Gala, Padovani, Shorey
ON THE BALL: Paddy Madden makes it 4-0 to Scunthorpe