TA­BLE-TOP­PING IRON WIN UGLY

The Football League Paper - - LEAGUE ONE - By Robert Do­man

GRA­HAM Alexan­der said it felt great to win ugly as his Scun­thorpe side snatched top spot af­ter David Mirfin’s goal con­demned sorry Shrews­bury to another home de­feat.

Alexan­der’s Iron scored on the stroke of half-time when Mirfin nod­ded in a Jor­dan Clarke set-piece to see them over­take Bolton in the League One peck­ing or­der with some Shrews fans vent­ing their frus­tra­tion at the fi­nal whis­tle.

And Town man­ager Micky Mel­lon con­ceded his team weren’t good enough to un­pick the United de­fence, lament­ing a ‘painful, sucker punch’ as the vis­i­tors es­caped with all three points.

“It wasn’t pretty but some­times that’s how you win foot­ball matches,” Alexan­der said.

“It was great to get the win and it feels fan­tas­tic. The goal came at a re­ally good time for us but we changed things at the break be­cause the first half had been frus­trat­ing and I felt we needed to be more com­pet­i­tive.

“It is great to be on top of the ta­ble and it gives the fans more to shout about so I am very pleased for them.”

Shrews­bury were de­nied an early opener when Scun­thorpe skip­per Stephen Dawson blocked Oliver Lan­cashire’s header on the line be­fore it was smoth­ered by grate­ful goal­keeper Luke Daniels.

Paddy Mad­den’s 20th-minute vol­ley did lit­tle to trou­ble Jayson Leutwiler at the other end when United at­tempted to threaten the Shrews­bury goal for the first time.

A 25-yard Shaun Whal­ley strike was com­fort­ably saved by Daniels be­fore Kevin Van Veen’s shot trick­led past the Shrews­bury post on 39 min­utes.

But Mirfin broke the dead­lock with a glanc­ing header deep into first-half stop­page time, ris­ing to meet Clarke’s free-kick amid a stat­uesque Shrews­bury de­fence.

Josh Mor­ris failed to add another for the Iron when he found the side net­ting 12 min­utes into the sec­ond half and Ju­nior Brown sent the ball a whisker wide of United’s goal with a 67th-minute free­kick.

Mad­den should have dou­bled Scun­thorpe’s lead when he spurned an open goal af­ter be­ing played in by Richie Small­wood soon af­ter.

And Louis Dodds couldn’t find an equaliser when his late ef­fort was de­flected away as Shrews­bury con­tin­ued to lack a cut­ting edge.

Shrews boss Mel­lon said: “It is frus­trat­ing and painful and I do feel for the crowd.

“We were the bet­ter side in the first half so to con­cede the goal right on half-time felt like a real sucker punch. Some of our pass­ing had been fan­tas­tic and we had opened Scun­thorpe up but af­ter the goal we weren’t good enough to un­lock them.

“We didn’t show enough qual­ity in the fi­nal third when chances came our way. “I do un­der­stand some of the fans who were boo­ing be­cause it is frus­trat­ing.”

PIC­TURES: Me­dia Image

IN HARD: Kevin van Veen chal­lenges Olly Lan­cashire SUCKER PUNCH: David Mirfin rises high to meet the ball and score the win­ner

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