The Football League Paper - - LEAGUE ONE - By Chris Sumpter

GRA­HAM ALEXAN­DER ded­i­cated the win that took Scun­thorpe United back to the top of the League One ta­ble to the mem­ory of Gra­ham Tay­lor.

Iron fans were still cheer­ing their win­ning goal, scored by Tom Hopper in the 71st minute, when the cel­e­bra­tions seam­lessly slipped into a minute’s ap­plause in mem­ory of their for­mer vice-pres­i­dent Tay­lor, who passed away two weeks ago aged 72.

Tay­lor grew up in the town and classed the Iron as ‘his club’. His fam­ily, who watched from the di­rec­tors’ box as guests of United, would no doubt have been im­pressed with the spirit Scun­thorpe showed to twice come from be­hind and win.

“I met Gra­ham’s fam­ily be­fore the game and I said, ‘I hoped we give you some­thing to smile about’,” said Alexan­der. “I’d like to ded­i­cate that vic­tory to the mem­ory of Gra­ham Tay­lor.

“When I spoke to his wife you could tell Scun­thorpe was very much his club – you never lose that love for your first love. Hope­fully this was a fit­ting trib­ute to the man.”

With clos­est pro­mo­tion ri­vals Sh­effield United not in ac­tion, Scun­thorpe strug­gled to find their feet in a lethar­gic first-half dis­play. And strug­gling Vale were good value for the lead given to them through Tyler Walker’s near-post strike in the 38th minute.

Four min­utes af­ter half-time the Iron drew level from the penalty spot af­ter Craig Davies had been felled by Remi Streete af­ter lob­bing the ball over keeper Jak Al­nwick. Josh Mor­ris con­verted for his 19th goal of the cam­paign.

Hav­ing scored for the first time away from home in more than two months, Vale re­sponded well to the set­back and swept back in front when JJ Hooper fin­ished clin­i­cally from Ben Purkiss’ invit­ing cross.

Cru­cially, though, they were in front for only a mat­ter of min­utes, with on-loan New­cas­tle striker Ivan Toney lift­ing a mea­sured fin­ish over Al­nwick from the edge of the penalty area to re­store par­ity again. Just as fans were get­ting ready to ap­plaud Tay­lor’s mem­ory, they were en­gulfed by eu­pho­ria as Harry Tof­folo’s first-time cross was fired home by Hopper two min­utes af­ter he had come on as a sub­sti­tute.

Vale care­taker-man­ager Michael Brown cursed the de­ci­sion of ref­eree Dar­ren Eng­land to award the Iron their sec­ond-half penalty. “It was a much-im­proved away per­for­mance and to come away to the team that’s gone top of the ta­ble and play like that is great credit to the boys,” he said Brown.

“But I’ve seen the penalty back and what chance have you got? The lad hit the knee of Remi . It was never a penalty in a mil­lion years. The de­fend­ing wasn’t the great­est but it wasn’t a penalty.”

PIC­TURES: ProS­ports/Ian Lyall

SPOT ON: Josh Mor­ris equalises for United with a penalty HOP TO IT: Tom Hopper is chased by his team-mates af­ter scor­ing the Iron’s win­ner

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