The Football League Paper - - LEAGUE ONE - By Les Scott

GOALS from Ste­fan Payne and sub­sti­tute Carl­ton Mor­ris con­sol­i­dated Shrews­bury’s place at the top of League One against a Scun­thorpe side that lacked a killer touch.

The Shrews re­main the only un­beaten side in the EFL cour­tesy of this close but de­served vic­tory over bo­gey side Scun­thorpe, who the Shrews had beaten only once in their pre­vi­ous 18 meet­ings.

“This was a great re­sult for us,” said a beam­ing Paul Hurst. “Come the end of the sea­son, Scun­thorpe will be there or there­abouts. They are a good side and we knew they would of­fer a se­vere test but we came through okay.

“To be two months into the sea­son and un­beaten is a great credit to the play­ers and all the back­room staff.

“The play­ers have achieved this through hard work and a will­ing­ness to learn, mixed with de­sire and not a lit­tle qual­ity.

“We look a well-bal­anced side and one dif­fer­ence from last term is we can call upon play­ers off the bench who can make an im­pact on a game, as Carl­ton Mor­ris did to­day.”

Scun­thorpe started the brighter, the home side in­debted to on-loan Manch­ester United keeper Dean Hen­der­son, who de­nied Josh Mor­ris and Rory McAr­dle in the open­ing six min­utes.

The Iron con­tin­ued to press but it was the home side who, against the run of play, took the lead on 25 min­utes. From a corner on the right, James Bolton’s header was blocked by Matt Gilks but Ste­fan Payne bun­dled the ball over.

In the sec­ond half, Shrews­bury closed down quicker and played a more com­pact game in mid­field, which served to blunt Scun­thorpe’s at­tack­ing verve.

The home side were dan­ger­ous on the break, Matt Gilks keep­ing the Iron in the hunt with fine saves from Ju­nior Brown and Abu Ogogo.

Scun­thorpe never ceased in their ef­forts for an equaliser and went close when sub­sti­tute Paddy Mad­den’s ris­ing drive skimmed the cross­bar.

The Iron ran out of steam and sub­sti­tute Carl­ton Mor­ris put the is­sue beyond doubt. The Nor­wich City loa­nee latched on to a ball from Ogogo and sidestepped Murray Wal­lace be­fore slid­ing the ball low past Gilks.

“There was noth­ing be­tween the sides,” said Scun­thorpe boss Gra­ham Alexan­der. “If any­thing, I thought we were the bet­ter side.

“De­fen­sively, we have been fan­tas­tic this sea­son but were not to our usual stan­dard and were pun­ished.

“I was dis­ap­pointed with their first goal. It came out of noth­ing and was Shrews­bury’s first ef­fort of note on tar­get after all our pres­sure.

“We’re lack­ing a lit­tle goalscor­ing spark but the an­swer lies within and we will be work­ing on this on the train­ing field.”

Scun­thorpe dropped down to sev­enth in the table with de­feat in Shrop­shire.

PIC­TURES: PSI/Mick Haynes

STAR MAN MAT SADLER Shrews­bury GET UP: Shrews­bury’s Ju­nior Brown, right, chal­lenges for an aerial ball while, inset, Dean Hen­der­son makes a save

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