FLINT IS ROCK SOLID FOR CITY

The Football League Paper - - LEAGUE ONE - By Richard Latham

ADEN FLINT’S headed goal put the skids un­der en­ter­pris­ing Scun­thorpe – and brought an im­me­di­ate chal­lenge from Bris­tol City boss Steve Cot­ter­ill.

Flint rose pow­er­fully at the far post on 52 min­utes to meet Luke Free­man’s right-wing cor­ner and di­rect the ball over the line, de­spite a des­per­ate at­tempt to clear.

It was the key mo­ment in what had been a closely fought game while Greg Cun­ning­ham wrapped up the points with a per­fectly placed shot seven min­utes from time.

And Cot­ter­ill said: “I think Aden should score more of­ten. He is bril­liant at head­ing almost ev­ery­thing that comes his way in our penalty area but could use his aerial abil­ity bet­ter in the op­po­si­tion box.

“We have to give him the right ser­vice but if we do I’d like to see him get on the score­sheet more reg­u­larly.

“We knew Scun­thorpe would be hard to break down and play with a lot of spirit.

“In the first half we tried to go around the out­side of them too of­ten, even though they some­times had as many as six spread across the back.

“It was im­por­tant to test them down the mid­dle more and we did that in the sec­ond half when the per­for­mance was much bet­ter.

“The play­ers re­sponded to what was asked of them. No-one is get­ting car­ried away with the start we have made.

“But I have a great set of lads, who want to work hard for each other and that is al­ways a great po­si­tion to be in.”

City could have had more goals in the clos­ing stages, Scun­thorpe goal­keeper Bobby Ole­jnik mak­ing fine saves to deny Kieran Agard and sub­sti­tute Scott Wagstaff.

The first half had Scun­thorpe counter-at­tack ef­fec­tively and cre­ate the bet­ter open­ings. Gary McSheffrey was un­lucky to see a 20th-minute shot from just inside the box re­bound back into play off a post.

McSheffrey and Paddy Mad­den caused prob­lems for the home de­fence with­out forc­ing enough saves from Frank Field­ing.

And Scun­thorpe man­ager Russ Wil­cox said:“We need to be more ruth­less in both boxes.

“You are not go­ing to visit a club like Bris­tol City and cre­ate a dozen chances but we had four or five re­ally good ones that we should have put away.

“Gary McSheffrey was very un­lucky with the shot that came back off the inside of a post and had we scored then it might have been a dif­fer­ent out­come.

“We should have de­fended bet­ter for the open­ing goal and after they got the sec­ond they got on top of us in the clos­ing stages of the game.

“But we played some re­ally good foot­ball against a very good side.

“Bris­tol City and Preston have been the best two teams we have come across so far.

“We were like rab­bits in the head­lights for the first 15 min­utes but saw it through and then played re­ally well for an hour.”

Joe Bryan was al­ways a threat on City’s left and pro­duced some threat­en­ing crosses while Ko­rey Smith ex­celled in prompt­ing the at­tack from mid­field.

But the hosts looked vul­nera- ble in the first half and the game was too end-to-end for Cot­ter­ill’s lik­ing.

In­jury-hit Scun­thorpe emerged with plenty of credit for con­tribut­ing much to an en­ter­tain­ing en­counter, watched by a crowd of more than 12,000.

City have made their best start in years un­der Cot­ter­ill and look to have the squad, support and re­sources to sus­tain a pro­mo­tion chal­lenge.

They look dan­ger­ous go­ing for­ward and a sec­ond clean sheet of the sea­son bodes well for the win­ter ahead.

PIC­TURES: Ac­tion Images

IN FULL SWING: Greg Cun­ning­ham rounds off the win for Bris­tol City in the last ten min­utes

HEADS UP: Ed­die Nolan and Aaron Wil­bra­ham bat­tle in air

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