COOPER AF­TER GOALS GALORE

The Football League Paper - - LEAGUE ONE - By Andy Cooke

MANAGER Mark Cooper be­lieves a lack of goals is be­hind Swin­don Town’s stut­ter­ing pro­mo­tion push as they were pulled to pieces by a stir­ring sec­ond-half fight back by Scun­thorpe United.

The Robins went in front a minute be­fore half-time cour­tesy of Michael Smith’s curl­ing 20-yard fin­ish, but failed to kick on af­ter the break and the Iron ran out de­served win­ners, scor­ing three times in 17 min­utes.

No-one has picked up more points on their trav­els in League One than Swin­don, but this was their third suc­ces­sive away loss and the first time they have been beaten in back-to-back matches this term, on the back of a 2-1 de­feat at Old­ham four days pre­vi­ously.

“While it’s only 1-0 and you’re dom­i­nat­ing and cre­at­ing chances, you know there is go­ing to be a sting in the tail,” groaned Cooper.

“If you don’t fin­ish the game off when you’re on top, you of­ten leave the back door open. The amount of op­por­tu­ni­ties and pres­sure we had around the box, we shouldn’t have been scor­ing only one goal.

“I don’t know if the play­ers are get­ting edgy but we’ve scored two goals in our last three away games when we’ve dom­i­nated for large pe­ri­ods.We have to score more.

“What­ever team we pick for the next game, we’ve got to have scor­ing goals in mind.”

Swin­don shaded an en­ter­tain­ing first half, with Smith fir­ing in from out­side the penalty area barely a minute be­fore the break. They al­most snatched a sec­ond straight af­ter, but goal­keeper Luke Daniels bril­liantly tipped over Andy Wil­liams’ header.

Scun­thorpe had much more of a pur­pose to their play af­ter the break and forced the vis­i­tors into some sloppy de­fen­sive play – which they then pun­ished.

Neal Bishop headed against the bar dur­ing a spell of pres­sure which ended with Paddy Mad­den find­ing the bot­tom cor­ner in the 62nd minute.

The Iron sur­vived a scare when Wil­liams smacked the face of the bar with an ef­fort from range and then com­pleted what had looked an un­likely turn­around when Niall Cana­van headed in from a cor­ner.

Striker Kevin van Veen, signed from Dutch sec­ond di­vi­sion out­fit FC Oss in Jan­uary, bagged his first goal for the club with a cheeky chip – af­ter cap­i­tal­is­ing on a mis­take by Swin­don skip­per Nathan Thomp­son – to round off the victory.

Not sur­pris­ingly, Iron boss Mark Robins was beam­ing at the fi­nal whis­tle.

“I thought we were bril­liant in the sec­ond half.The dif­fer­ence to the first half was we re­ally meant what we were do­ing,” Robins said. “The play­ers have been mag­nif­i­cent. From what I’ve seen this sea­son, Swin­don are the best in the di­vi­sion. They are up there on merit. I like the way they play, but we nul­li­fied it.

“They were al­ways go­ing to get chances, but we limited them to few and took ours when they came along. Some of the goals were fan­tas­tic and I’m de­lighted we got one from a set play.”

PIC­TURES: Ac­tion Images

HIT­TING HARD: Michael Smith scores the first goal for Swin­don HEADS UP: Niall Cana­van scores the sec­ond goal for Scun­thorpe

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