Iron beat the Beast to climb to safety
MANAGER Mark Robins believes two more wins will secure Scunthorpe United’s League One survival after watching them take a big step towards safety at the expense of relegation rivals Crawley.
A deflected strike from full-back Jordan Clarke gave the Iron the lead against Crawley Town and striker Paddy Madden bagged his 17th of the season in the 62nd minute to give the home side a commanding lead.
Crawley, who had won four of their previous six matches to climb out of the bottom four, were fortunate to pull a goal back in the final quarter, but did not put their hosts under enough pressure to deserve a share of the spoils.
“It was a massive win, in a 100 per cent must-win game,” said Robins, whose side face more strugglers, in Port Vale and Colchester United on Tuesday and Saturday.
“We bossed it without there being too much quality, though Crawley have had some good results, so you know they are no mugs.
“We were disappointed with the goal we conceded, but at this moment we have to be happy we have got three points in the bag.
“Two wins can do it and we’ve got a right chance this week. At this stage of season we have five cup finals and if we can get wins on Tuesday and Saturday, that should see us okay.”
Clarke had already gone close to firing his side in front, having an effort blocked on the line, before his 19th minute strike spun off Ryan Dickson and bobbled in.
Scunthorpe were certainly in the ascendancy for the most part, but they really ramped up the pressure after the break, when visiting keeper Brian Jensen – nicknamed ‘The Beast’ – produced a string of fine stops to keep the scoreline down.
The second goal the Iron had threatened finally came in the 62nd minute, Madden getting in front of his marker to fire home after a corner had not been cleared.
That should have been that for Scunthorpe, but top scorer Izale McLeod finished clinically to set up a nervy finale.
Reds boss Dean Saunders had no complaints about the result and bemoaned the absence of defender Richard Wood, who was recalled from a loan spell by parent club Rotherham United in midweek.
“We didn’t do enough and we didn’t defend well at all,” he said.
“There were too many things going on defensively that don’t normally go on. At 1-0 I thought there was more chance of going 2-0 down rather than getting back in it.
“Brian Jensen made too many saves – we don’t normally concede that many chances.We hardly had any chances, which is disappointing in what was a big game.”
STAR MAN DOMIN
N Oldham BIG HUG: Dominic Poleon is embraced after scoring. Inset: Jason Holt was on target for Sheffield United
STAR MAN BRIAN JENSEN Crawle