Red-hot Madden makes the Iron steam
SCUNTHORPE ended a turbulent week with a crushing victory over Colchester, scoring three goals in nine second-half minutes.
Paddy Madden netted twice shortly after Tom Hopper had put the Iron in front in what was Scunthorpe’s first outing since sacking boss Mark Robins at the start of the week.
In the end they were good value for the victory, but had initially found it tough during a first half in which the struggling U’s, whose search for a league win is now three months old, had applied a lot of pressure without really looking like scoring.
Coach Andy Dawson, sharing caretakermanager duties with Nick Daws, admitted the Iron had made a nervy start.
“We had the bad news (Robins’ exit) on Monday but everything we’ve done since has been about planning for this,” he said. “We discussed what we wanted the players to do to give them the confidence to go out and show their ability.
“First half it maybe wasn’t as neat and tidy as we’d have liked.We looked a little bit anxious and it was a bit 100 miles per hour, but we stayed in the game and second half we executed exactly what we’d been trying to set up all week.
“The first goal made a big difference. It gave us a bit more freedom and the players relaxed and did what we expected and have asked of them all week. They fully deserved what they got in the end.”
Scunthorpe were sloppy and offered little threat when they did reach the final third in that opening 45 minutes.
But they were much better after the break and never looked back after Hopper marked his return from a dislocated shoulder by stabbing in a lovely low cross from full-back Conor Townsend on the hour.
Colchester buckled. Soon after Hopper’s effort, Madden had hooked the ball in via the underside of the bar and in the 69th minute he found the bottom corner with a stylish turn and finish.
Colchester boss Kevin Keen accused his side of being “fragile” and was particularly unhappy with the speed at which they were dismantled.
“We didn’t get going in the second half, which is a very familiar story,” he said.
“We played quite well in the first half, but didn’t take our chances and paid for it. They were better than us in the second half and that’s disappointing. They stepped it up and defensively we made mistakes, which cost us.
“I was disappointed with the way we went one, two, three down very, very quickly. I thought I’d eradicated that but obviously not.”
STAR MAN JASON DEMET
l MATCH OF THE JAY: Jason Demetriou celebrates his goal after putting Walsall 1-0 and, inset, Blackpool players wheel away after their late equaliser from Danny Philliskirk
STAR MAN CONOR TOWNS