Saunders fumes as Gary runs rampant
BOSS Dean Saunders accused referee Darren England of ‘deciding the game’ as Chesterfield crashed to their heaviest defeat of the season.
While the scoreline made the match look onesided, there was nothing between the teams until home defender Dan Jones was sent off in the 55th minute for taking out Gary McSheffrey just inside the penalty area.
Paddy Madden scored the resulting spot kick and later added his second goal after McSheffrey had doubled his side’s lead with a stunning strike from range.
Saunders’ gripe rested on a challenge from Iron full-back Scott Wiseman, who somehow escaped a second booking when he flew into a challenge seconds after being yellow-carded.
“I’m flabbergasted how he hasn’t sent Scott Wiseman off – Scunthorpe actually brought him off after it, which says it all,” fumed Saunders.
“Twenty seconds after he booked him he’s got another big decision to make. He obviously felt the two were too close together, which is wrong.
“I thought we played okay.Ten minutes into the second half I thought we were on top and going to win, but they broke and we gave away the foul.
“It was debateable whether it was in the box but McSheffrey used all his experience, whereas Dan is a bit naive. He said he couldn’t get out the way.
“The second was a goal of the season and the third got a deflection. So while it looks like we’ve just got beaten 3-0, we actually played well.The referee decided the game.”
Only the heroics of Spireites keeper Tommy Lee, who pulled off a brilliant double save to keep out McSheffrey’s free-kick and the follow-up from Murray Wallace, kept the game goalless at halftime.
Madden’s penalty, hit low and to the right of centre, came slightly against the run of play, but Scunthorpe’s second goal, volleyed into the top corner by McSheffrey was breath-taking.
The hosts hit the bar via a free-kick from Jay O’Shea, before Madden fired in his ninth of the campaign in the 78th minute.
It was the Iron’s biggest win of the season and also came accompanied by a first clean sheet on their travels in more than a year.
“I thought it was a really good away performance, but the clean sheet I’m delighted with,” beamed their boss Mark Robins. “We were better in both penalty areas over the 90 minutes and I thought we had some really good opportunities to score.
“In the first half they had the goalkeeper to thank and we were slightly disappointed it was 0-0 at half-time.
“Chesterfield started the second half better, but we got the penalty and the sending off opened the game up.”
STAR MAN GARY McSHEFFREY