Friday, 22 May 2015

Stephen Dawson signs on with the Iron

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Dawson signs on
United made their first summer signing on Wednesday, when it was announced that Stephen Dawson had joined the club on a two-year deal, after turning down a new contract at Rochdale.
The Irish-born midfielder spent last season at Rochdale, and impressed in both games where he faced us - especially during the 3-1 win for Dale in March, a game in which he ran the midfield for the home side.

Dawson was wrongfully arrested in April 2014 for allegedly being involved in a 'major spot-fixing scam, whereby players supposedly took bribes in return for deliberately getting booked.'. 

Since then, the case against Dawson has been dropped, and the midfielder's form with Rochdale began to rise. No doubt that this rise in form, including his wonderful individual displays against the Iron, led to the deal being offered by Mark Robins.

Dawson signs for two years, with the option of a further year lying in the clubs hands. He was offered a new deal at Rochdale, but decided a move to North Lincolnshire was the more attractive option.

Happy with the move, Dawson had this to say when interviewed by the club: 

“Obviously, I’m over the moon, and as soon as I knew the intent of the manager and who he is bringing in and everything that is taking place in the next couple of years in terms of the new stadium and new facilities, it was something I couldn’t turn down."

The only other player news this pre-season so far was goalkeeper Joe Anyon signing a new two-year deal with the club.

Anyon is yet to make a first team appearance, but clearly has impressed Mark Robins in the reserves, and it's a deal that pleased the majority of Iron fans.

If you are planning on placing a bet on the Iron to win the League One title next year, it would be worth taking a look at to find the best possible odds.

Once there any more contract extensions, or new player signings - I will report them on the blogs Facebook account.

Until then, Up the Iron!

Thursday, 30 April 2015

Ending the season on a high

You could be the 12th man on Sunday

A season of many ups, and even more downs, is finally drawing to a close. Thankfully, survival was secured last weekend when we took Gillingham down to a 2-1 defeat at Glanford Park, so Sunday's game can be played without the added pressure of playing for League One football next term.

Of course it's not just any normal end of season game. Doncaster Rovers are our rivals, and a rival who have gotten the better of us far too often in recent times. I'm pinning my hopes on Neal Bishop firing the lads up ready to do battle. Something we've severely lacked in recent derbies is guts and determination.

An extra incentive going into the game is a win would actually see us leap frog Donny in the table, leaving us finishing the season in at least 14th position - a pipe dream back in October, when relegation looked a formality. The Iron could mathematically finish as high as 11th, but some serious goal scoring would need to come into play, along with the teams above us losing heavily too. I'll take 14th please Sir.

Donny will probably class their season as a bit of a flop after coming down from the Championship last year, with ambitions of an immediate return amongst the fans and staff alike. They were most recently sat in the play offs at the beginning of March, but an inconsistent run has seen them drop to mid-table with nothing riding on the last game of the season, other than bragging rights over their rivals.

This is the most positive I've felt heading into a derby about my team doing what's needed to get the three points in quite a long time. The pressure that was lifted after securing safety last weekend, added to the fact we've been on a pretty decent run of form, should be enough for me.

The Gillingham game was the last of Theo Robinson's loan spell, as there was a clause in his contract to stop him from facing his parent club on Sunday when he joined us. Whether he's played his final game for the Iron remains to be seen, but after an impressive loan spell, and hardly being first choice at Rovers, you wouldn't bet against us signing him permanently in the summer.

Yesterday it was announced that we have been giving planning permission to begin work on our new 12,000 seater home. Work is expected to begin in July, with the stadium being ready just 12 months later. The only remaining obstacle for the Iron and North Lincolnshire council will be their need to appease the Highway Agency's concerns over access to the ground, and flooding. This will almost certainly be resolved within the next month or so, with the club not looking like they are worrying too much about this - as they've already offered fans who purchase season tickets the chance to have first dibs on their seat when we move in ready for the 2015/16 season.

On that note, the club have released the standard, and early bird prices, for season tickets next season - The Iron's last full season at Glanford Park. The rates are as follows, and go on sale tomorrow:


EARLY BIRD (PRIOR TO 31/05/2015)

ADULT - £360                              
PER GAME: £15.65 | SAVING PER GAME: £6.34 
SENIORS/18-21/STUDENT - £228      
PER GAME: £9.78 | SAVING PER GAME: £5.08 
UNDER 18 - £150                      
PER GAME: £6.52 | SAVING PER GAME: £4.47 
UNDER 16- £60            
PER GAME: £2.60 | SAVING PER GAME: £3.39 

FROM 01/06/2015
ADULT - £372    
PER GAME: £16.17 | SAVING PER GAME: £5.82 
SENIORS/18-21/STUDENT- £234        
PER GAME: £10.17 | SAVING PER GAME: £4.82 
UNDER 18 - £156                        
PER GAME: £6.78 | SAVING PER GAME: £4.21 
UNDER 16 - £66                       
PER GAME: £2.86 | SAVING PER GAME: £3.13 

EARLY BIRD (PRIOR TO 31/05/2015)
ADULT - £288
PER GAME: £12.52 | SAVING PER GAME: £5.47 
SENIORS/18-21/STUDENT - £192         
PER GAME: £8.34 | SAVING PER GAME: £4.65 
UNDER 18- £114                        
PER GAME: £4.95 | SAVING PER GAME: £4.04 
UNDER 16 - £60                        
PER GAME: £2.60 | SAVING PER GAME: £3.39 
UNDER 12* - FREE                   

FROM 01/06/2015
ADULT - £294   
PER GAME: £12.78 | SAVING PER GAME: £5.21 
SENIORS/18-21/STUDENT - £198         
PER GAME: £8.60 | SAVING PER GAME: £4.39 
UNDER 18 - £120                        
PER GAME: £5.21 | SAVING PER GAME: £3.78 
UNDER 16 - £60                        
PER GAME: £2.86 | SAVING PER GAME: £3.13 
UNDER 12* - FREE                      

*All Under 14’s must be accompanied by an adult to any fixture at Glanford Park.


EARLY BIRD (PRIOR TO 31/05/2015)

ADULT - £510                             
PER GAME: £22.17 | SAVING PER GAME: £7.82 
SENIORS - £378                         
PER GAME: £16.43 | SAVING PER GAME: £6.56 
UNDER 21- £288                        
PER GAME: £12.52 | SAVING PER GAME: £5.47 
UNDER 16 - £192                        
PER GAME: £8.34 | SAVING PER GAME: £4.65 

FROM 01/06/2015
ADULT - £528
PER GAME: £22.95 | SAVING PER GAME: £7.04 
SENIORS - £390                         
PER GAME: £16.95 | SAVING PER GAME: £6.04 
UNDER 21 - £294                        
PER GAME: £12.78 | SAVING PER GAME: £5.21 
UNDER 16 - £198                        
PER GAME: £8.60 | SAVING PER GAME: £4.39 

EARLY BIRD (PRIOR TO 31/05/2015)
ONE ADULT & UP TO TWO UNDER 16'S - £360      
PER GAME: £15.65 | SAVING PER GAME: £4.34 
ONE SENIOR & UP TO TWO UNDER 16'S - £228       
PER GAME: £9.91 | SAVING PER GAME: £4.08 
ADDITIONAL CHILDREN- £60                   
SECOND ADULT - £360                                
PER GAME: £15.65 | SAVING PER GAME: £4.34 

FROM 01/06/2015
ONE ADULT & UP TO TWO UNDER 16'S - £372      
PER GAME: £16.17 | SAVING PER GAME: £3.82 
ONE SENIOR & UP TO TWO UNDER 16'S - £234        
PER GAME: £10.17 | SAVING PER GAME: £3.82 
ADDITIONAL CHILDREN - £66                 
PER GAME: £2.86 | SAVING PER GAME: £1.13 
SECOND ADULT - £372                                
PER GAME: £16.17 | SAVING PER GAME: £3.82 

To qualify for a junior under 12's season ticket, your date of birth must be after 31st August 2003. To purchase a under 16 season ticket you must be born after 31st August 1998. To purchase an under 18 season ticket you must be born between 31st August 1996 and 1st September 1998. To qualify for an 18-21 season ticket you must be born between 1st September 1993 and 31st May 1996. To qualify for an over 65 season ticket you must be born before 31st August 1949, because the senior concession age is changing from 60 to 65. However, if you are already in receipt of a senior season ticket you will be able to continue at the concessionary rate. 

This is in six equal payments, starting with your first payment when you make the purchase and then five further payments, starting in June until October. 


All that's left to say is safe travels to all Scunny fans heading up the M180 on Sunday to Donny, and let's hope the boys do us proud.

Up the Iron!

Monday, 27 April 2015

Paddy Madden - "When a player feels wanted at a team it brings the best out of them"

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Paddy hands me my free ticket for the Orient game
From grassroots football in his native Ireland, to scoring the opening goal at Wembley in a League One play off final just five years later – Paddy Madden has endured a swift rise to English lower league goal scoring fame, and continues to impress at his latest club Scunthorpe United. But it’s not always his on the field exploits that have captured the hearts of fans of the clubs he’s represented.

Madden began his football career playing for schoolboy team WFTA FC in Ireland. It was his impressive goal scoring stats that gained him a move to Bohemian’s of the League of Ireland Premier division. “I was scoring maybe 40-50 goals a season” he said. 
Pat Fenlon the Bohs manager at that time watched Madden frequently, and gave the young player his first professional contract at 18. “It was a good experience, training full time every morning. I went in there and learnt off the likes of Glenn Cronin, Jason Byrne and Neale Fenn – three of the best strikers in the league at that time.”

Madden’s career at Bohs was going well, and after scoring 16 times in 44 appearances in his third year there – Scouts from England were lurking over him. It was Carlisle United who flexed their muscle first, persuading him to join the club in January 2011 on a two-and-a-half-year contract.

Although the expectations were there, injuries were to plight his Carlisle career. A broken metatarsal in the foot was to end his first pre-season with the club, leaving Madden out until late November. By then the team were on a good run, and he found it hard to break into the squad, making substitute appearances here and there. 
With lady luck certainly not blessing him, he ruptured ligaments in his ankle the following pre-season, with the first league game only a week or so away.

After the latest injury setback, he found it even harder to make his mark on the Carlisle first team. A chat with his manager Gregg Abbott led to the two agreeing that he needed to get out and get some valuable game time. After failing to get his break in League One, scoring just two goals in thirty odd appearances, Paddy knows he was lucky to stay at that level. But luck was finally willing to give the man a break, and Yeovil came knocking.
“I knew I could score goals in England, it was just getting my chance. Gary Johnson brought me to Yeovil and I hit the ground running.” Madden said. And that isn’t an understatement in the slightest. 
A run of five goals in his first five games for the Glovers left his parent club wondering where they’d gone wrong.

After nine goals in sixteen appearances, Madden became a permanent Yeovil signing in January 2013. A further thirteen league goals would fire them all the way to the League One play off finals, with a chance for the young man to make his impression in front of the nation at Wembley.
“You know everybody wants to go up automatically, but for me the best way to get promoted is through the play offs.” he said. 

Madden’s opening goal after six minutes of the final helped Yeovil to a 2-1 victory, earning the club the chance to play in England’s second tier for the first time in their history. “It was the best goal of my career so far, and a day I’ll never forget.” he recalls.

Despite missing the first eleven games of that season, Paddy finished with the league’s golden boot, on 22 goals. If anyone had not heard of his name before this season - they knew now.

That impressive goal tally led to an international call up, which Madden claims to be his ‘best feeling to date in football’. “I’m a proud Irish man, so to represent my country was an unbelievable feeling. I came on and did well against Wales so I was called up for the World Cup qualifiers with Sweden and Austria.” he said.
In another cruel twist of fate, an injury sustained in training for Yeovil would rule him out of both games.

A fallout with Gary Johnson meant Madden never got a real chance in the Championship, and was left on the transfer market with January nearing. 

League Two promotion hopefuls Scunthorpe United gave him the opportunity to prove his worth once again when they signed him for an undisclosed fee in the January transfer window of 2014. “My confidence took a bit of knock when they wanted to sell me. I only made four appearances due to a falling out with the manager there. The chairman at Scunthorpe made me feel wanted again.” he said.

Five goals from him helped Scunthorpe as they finished league runners up, with Madden then destined to have another pop at League One football – a league he’d dominated less than 12 months earlier.

A new playing role was devised for Madden when the Iron appointed Mark Robins as manager in October, with him mainly featuring on the wing for the Iron this season. The forward had been backed in at 28/1 to be top scorer in the football betting before the season had begun. This hasn’t stopped the goals from flooding in, with him looking likely to finish as the clubs top scorer this year. “I’ve started 64 or 65 consecutive games for Scunthorpe and it’s been brilliant. When a player feels wanted at a team it brings the best out of them, and even playing out in a wide position I’ve managed to get 16 goals.” he said.

When the writer of this piece found funds a little low around the time of an important League One match, he posted a tweet stating that he was to sell his iPod to be able to watch his beloved Iron. 
Out of nowhere, a tweet back from Paddy himself was received. “I’ll leave you two tickets pal.” I was taken aback by such generosity. I didn’t know Paddy personally, yet he’d chosen to help a stranger out. “My Mum and Dad brought me up well and taught me that kindness costs nothing. When I saw your tweet I knew I could help, so I reached out to give you the ticket.” he told me.

With a mini goal drought over following the 2-0 win over Peterborough, and another added just days later when the Iron crucially beat Crawley 2-1, Paddy will look to finish the season on a high. It’s so unusual to find a footballer as humble and grounded as the Irishman. From helping clubs to promotion – to helping fans make games – Paddy is a model footballer, both on and off the pitch.

Friday, 17 April 2015

League One status could be secured this weekend

Kyle Wootton celebrates his first senior goal on Tuesday
But for me it may be one, even two, games too soon until we can really relax and celebrate. But it is coming, for sure.

My last post saw the Iron winless in eight and on the back of a 4-0 thumping away at Sheffield United. Thankfully, since that day we have managed to pick up a couple of all important wins and move to within a few points of confirmed safety.

Currently on 51 points, the Iron are in a position that would have already kept them in this league for the majority of the last ten years or so. But not this year, with the team in the final relegation spot on 47 points at the moment, it will almost certainly need 53, possibly more, to keep yourselves in League One this time round.

Going on that logic, I'm almost 100% certain that one more win will be enough to keep us up. And even if we win tomorrow and are not automatically safe - It is simply a case of sooner or later.

The past three games at Glanford Park have seen us yield seven points, and it was seven points that were so desperately needed.

Firstly we faced Peterborough United, who have had quite an up and down season like ourselves. Nonetheless you could say before kick off we weren't the favourites for this one.
We got ourselves a priceless 2-0 victory, and finally we had broken that barren winless streak. Onwards and upwards.

Next up we went to MK Dons in what would almost certainly be our hardest remaining fixture. And so it proved to be, with the Iron 2-0 down before five minutes had even been played. Ouch. Thankfully for our dignity's sake we kept the score down to 2-0, when at one point it looked like it was going to be a cricket score.

No need to worry about the loss at the Dons, cause Iron fans knew that would be almost certainly be game we'd get nothing out of. Sadly, I think a few were blinded by the bad start and started to moan - because let's not forget we did only concede two away from home against a team still in with a shout of the automatics.

Crawley Town came to GP last Saturday in an all out relegation six-pointer. Thankfully, we came out 2-1 winners, and despite giving ourselves a nervy finish we held on to earn a well deserved three points.

With the relegation worries not over, but beginning to be lifted away ever so slightly, we hosted Port Vale on Tuesday night in yet another relegation six pointer. Despite conceding in the first half and missing glorious opportunities to level earlier, it took a last gasp equaliser from youngster Kyle Wootton to rescue the point and edge us even closer to the safety mark. It was Wootton's first senior goal, in what will almost certainly be a case of 'First of many'. A big shout out must also be given to Hakeeb, who's inch perfect cross led to the headed goal.

Results largely went in our favour on Tuesday too, which leads us to this weekend...

Chesterfield 6-0 Colchester. We travel 'darn sarf' tomorrow for our third relegation six-pointer (getting sick of saying that now) in a row, and it could be the day we can all relax fully. Colchester were hit for six on Tuesday at play off hopefuls Chesterfield, meaning the U's are now three points adrift of Leyton Orient in 20th, with a significantly lower goal difference too.

Realistically, if the Iron can get this win, not only would it secure our place in League One for the next season - It could also be the final nail in the coffin for Colchester, with some tricky looking ties to follow their game with us. We are their last chance, but we cannot play help and become their answer to safety - we must plunge that nail so deep that they cannot escape it, and move ourselves into a very healthy position.

Colchester United survived on the final day of the 2012/13 season sending us down. I doubt they thought twice about us. Time for payback, and hopefully it will be so sweet.

Up the Iron!

Wednesday, 25 March 2015

It's time for the players to stand up and be counted

And they have the perfect opportunity this coming Saturday when we head to Notts County, a team below the Iron in the table, and on an equally poor run of form.

It's crazy that around about a month ago the Play-offs were a realistic dream for us, and now everything seems doom and gloom, with safety the only priority.

First off let me say this - I have EVERY faith that our management team and players have what it takes to get us to safety. Yes, this past month has been filled with poor performances to match the poor results, but luck has also deserted us at times too.

Let's take it back a notch then. Sheffield United at home, our last home game in fact. We played well at times in this game, and took the lead, before being pegged back just before half time. Would the majority of Scunny fans be as disheartened as they are feeling right now, had the referee in that game not made the worst decision I've ever seen? If one failed in any other job so terribly, one would be sacked. I hope he still has nightmares every night. That game should have finished 2-1, and we should be three points off the bottom four, not one.

Next up we headed to Rochdale who still have a chance of reaching the play offs. Having been there to see the match, there's not much positive I can say. We failed to deal with the physicality of Dale, and couldn't string more than two passes together. Thankfully I left the game concentrating on the impressive performance of goalscorer Kevin Van Veen, rather than sulking over the 3-1 thumping we'd endured. It could have been more.

So without a win in seven we headed to a team sitting comfortably in the play offs - Sheffield United. Having seen us robbed of a win at Glanford Park only a week or so earlier I was optimistic that they were a team that could be beaten, despite their league position. There's no point me saying too much about the match because it wasn't exactly an enjoyable experience for any Iron fan. I don't enjoy seeing my team so incredibly outclassed all over the park. 4-0 was a fair result, and in fairness to the Blades they looked a completely different team to the one that turned up at our place.

Now winless in eight, Iron fans have gone into meltdown. I'm not sure why I haven't, at least yet any way. I understand why people are worrying, but I feel we have enough in us to get out of this mess we've been dragged in to.
A win on Saturday is the only acceptable outcome for either team. The loser on the day is really left in the sh*t and could be thrown into the bottom four should Crewe win, whilst the winner gets the chance to breathe easily for a few days. I would seriously like to breathe easier please Iron.

A day after the night of terrors at Bramall Lane, we was rewarded with some good news; Dave Syers was playing for the reserves. Not only did he play the first 45 minutes, he scored twice! Subbed at half time - he'd done his work for the day. A man that was pivotal to promotion last year will be a most welcome boost to the first team squad. Dave will be back in the first team squad before the end of April, and we will be better off for it.

Notts County, you may look at our form and see us as an easy three points. But we are the boys in claret and blue, and we won't give it to you on a plate. See you on Saturday. 3pm.

Up the Iron.

Wednesday, 4 March 2015

Iron show fighting spirit twice in four days

On Saturday we hosted bottom of the league Yeovil, and despite being favourites we stuttered to a disappointing draw. Then last night we travelled to Fleetwood and one again managed to get a draw, a much less disheartening result than the Yeovil one.

We simply weren't good enough on Saturday. Yeovil with respect are a team you should be brushing aside, especially facing them at home. We didn't play particularly poor at any point, we just didn't create enough real opportunities.

Yeovil took the lead in the 28th minute when Joel Grant latched onto an effort which was parried into his path by the helpless Luke Daniels. Wait, the game we should be winning and we are.. Losing?!

Half time approached and a smart move from Pads saw him felled in the penalty area and we had a penalty awarded. Paddy stepped up confidently to take it, and substitute keeper Gareth Stewart saved it comfortably. Damn. Oh and Stewart came on to replace what looked like a nasty head injury to Krysiak - Stewart is Yeovil's goalkeeper coach.

Thankfully, an inspired substitution from Mark Robins saw Hakeeb come on early in the Second half and by the 61st minute his magic feet had Yeovil's defence all over the place before he smashed home bringing us level with plenty of time to find a winner.

Sadly, that winner never came - And we could have lost it, as although it was Yeovil's only real chance of the second half, it should have been buried.

Scunny fans now knew the Play Offs were gone, and a few were looking over our shoulders again.

Tuesday night came around quickly, and a tricky tie with Fleetwood was going to make for an interesting tie considering our decent form away from home.

Fleetwood got one in the first few minutes, and I feared the worst. Thankfully, we were level just before half time when Gary McSheffrey finished from just outside the box.

We got ourselves on top in the Second half and against the run of play the home side took the lead once more, and this time I really didn't see us getting back into it.

Incredibly, within a couple of minutes of that goal we were level! Brilliant fighting spirit from our lads saw us deservedly back in the game thanks to Man City loanee George Evans.

So two fight backs from losing positions isn't so upsetting. Now we need to head to Crewe on Saturday and find our winning form again, it's been a while now. The William Hill football betting odds shows we are the very slightest underdogs as we sit at 6/4, compared to 7/5 for Crewe to win. Personally, I believe that's a great price considering our away form.

See you all in Crewe on Saturday ready to cheer the Iron to their first win since the Chesterfield one.

Up the Iron!

Thursday, 26 February 2015

Play Off dream has sidetracked us all from the real goal

And that goal, based on our shocking start to this season, is to stay in League One. 

It was by far the most disappointing loss under Mark Robins tenure on Tuesday night, there's no hiding from that. But we must take the positives out of the game, and move on.

We gifted Barnsley their first away victory in eight attempts. Eight! They were absolutely atrocious away from home and we had improved significantly in recent weeks at Glanford Park. So where did it go wrong?

We didn't take our chances when we were on top, and it was always going to come back and bite us on the bum.

But despite the loss, we are still only five points outside of the Play Offs. 

For me, we need to get to safety now as a priority over the dreams of the Play Offs. Realistically, the current squad is not good enough to go up this season. We aren't a million miles away from having a team that could compete at the top end of the table, and I honestly believe next season could be a year to make some lifelong memories. It could be OUR year. But this year is about safety. And that was what Robins was brought in to do in his first year - let's not forget that.

Saturday sees us welcome bottom of the table Yeovil Town to GP. They are a team we should be putting to bed easily, all things considered. But it's never that simple with Scunny.

Yeovil's Championship career ended after just the one year last season, and they have found life back in League One extremely difficult. It mirrors the last Iron team that came down from the Championship, as we too suffered a torrid time.

I'm bringing the girlfriend to what will be her fourth Scunthorpe game. So far, it's been three out of three. Forest Green away first, then Crewe at home before we travelled to Walsall to watch the emphatic 4-1 win last month. 

Going on that, enjoy a massive Scunthorpe win on Saturday folks - Lady luck is on our side.

Up The Iron!!

Monday, 23 February 2015

Barnsley game the perfect chance to bounce back quickly after Saturday's set back

Saturday saw us lose 2-0 at promotion hopefuls Preston North End, a game which the Iron can have few quarrels about losing.

Two second half goals from Johnson and Gallagher were enough to send us to our first away defeat since September the 27th (vs Oldham), as an incredible run of eight games undefeated away from home in the league came to an end.

I don't think I saw too many Iron fans deflated and moaning after this loss because, admittedly, it was a game few could see us getting anything out of prior to the match.

We've been treated as of late with great performances against the teams seriously pushing for promotion, but like they did when they came to Glanford Park earlier on in the season, Preston had too much for us to deal with.

The two goals we did concede were disappointing from a defensive perspective, but hey let's get serious here, we were 'relegation certainties' earlier on in the season, and now we are comfortably out of the drop zone with games in hand - we can hardly bemoan our fortunes.

So as always we look forward to the next game, and luckily we can bounce back quickly with a game against Barnsley at home tomorrow night to look forward to.

Barnsley, who are still on the lookout for a new manager since sacking Danny Wilson, come into the game 18th in League One, and recorded an important victory over Crewe Alexandra at the weekend.

The game against Barnsley will come too soon for our top scorer last term, Sam Winnall, so there will be no Glanford Park return this season for Winnall.

Kevin Van Veen was brought off at half time on Saturday which led to a few jumping to the conclusion that our Dutch forward had picked up an injury. Thankfully, Mark Robins has put those rumours to bed stating that the substitution was purely tactical, as Van Veen struggled to get a foothold in the game.

Hopefully we can get a good crowd to the game tomorrow and the three points to follow.

Up the Iron!!

Wednesday, 18 February 2015

Keep the 24th of May 2015 free in your diaries

Because the Iron are going to Wembley, and you heard it here first!

Okay, I'll admit I'm really not THAT confident of us getting into the Play-offs, never mind winning the bleeding thing, but what's wrong with a bit of optimism?

Last week I posted about how are home form needed to improve. Two games, Two home fixtures and Two victories later - I think Mark Robins and the team got the picture.

Defeating Swindon 3-1 was unexpected, but last nights result was a little more predictable.

Of course, had the Chesterfield team that knocked us out of the FA Cup shown up I probably wouldn't be writing such a positive article right now, but it seems that without Eoin Doyle and Gary Roberts in the team they're a fairly average side. Thankfully, the Iron took advantage of that.

Another goal for Canavan saw us take the lead early in the second half following a headed flick on by Kev Van Veen from O'Neill's corner, and Canavan was there at the back post to nod home. 1-0, and as we always say in Scunthorpe - One just ain't enough.

Thankfully Chesterfield's equaliser never came, but Paddy Madden made sure the points would stay deservedly in Scunthorpe when he smashed the ball past Tommy Lee whilst one-on-one with only three minutes to go.

The fantastic 2-0 win which lifts us to 14th with games in hand still on the majority of League one.

This Saturday we travel to PNE in what will be one of the hardest remaining fixtures. Preston are particularly hard to beat at home, but then again we are particularly hard to beat away from home, so good luck calling that one!

If you want to hear my radio chat with James Hoggarth prior to the game yesterday on BBC Radio Humberside, click here, and once on the page skip to 25 minutes in.

And yes, I did call a Scunthorpe win!


Sunday, 15 February 2015

Maintaining yesterday's second half performance momentum is imperative

First of many for Van Veen?

1-0 down at half time against one of the best teams in the division, you'd be forgiven for thinking Scunny would be lucky to get a draw at that stage - especially considering our relatively dire performances at home this season.

Somehow I sit here writing this piece on Sunday afternoon after a massive 3-1 victory for the Iron.

Despite starting the Second half a little like we ended the first, we finally got ourselves into gear, and following a sustained period of Iron pressure which saw Bishop hit the crossbar, we finally got ourselves back into the game. 1-1, and who other than Paddy Madden to be the man to get the goal. Funnily enough the corner we gained from Bishops effort which cannoned off the crossbar was the one that got us the goal.

So at half time you'd of been happy enough to get a point from the game but now you are at 1-1 with 30 minutes left to play. Do you go for all three points or try and hold what you've got, remembering that Swindon are a very decent side and a point wouldn't be the end of the world.

What happened next not many Scunny fans will have envisioned happening, especially considering our GP form.

Another corner brilliantly whipped in by Liam O'Neill was headed into the bottom right hand corner by Niall Canavan. Niall gets a fair whack of stick from our fans and sometimes it's warranted, but credit where credit is due, he's scored a huge goal for us here. Hopefully he can go on a bit of a run of form!

2-1. Let's be honest we all know one goal is not nearly enough to secure three points when the Iron are involved in a match. We saw the boys throw away two points in the 93rd minute on Tuesday and nothing other than another goal for us would settle the home crowds nerves.

Thankfully that clinching goal came in the 79th minute, and just thinking about it excites me. When your club spends big money on a player, you live in hope that the fee is worth it and the player proves it early on in his career at your club. When the player is a striker, you pray they bag their first goal quickly and kick on from there.

Kevin Van Veen. You can already sense he is going to become a legend at our club, and when he capitalised on a defensive slip he ran through on goal and chipped the Swindon keeper. You'd never have guessed it was only his first in claret and blue.

Despite late Swindon pressure we held on for three well deserved, valuable points. It gives us a chance once again to dream of a late play off surge, but if that is to happen then we need to continue the form of the second half yesterday into Tuesday (vs Chesterfield) and beyond.

Let's hope we reap revenge on Chezzy for the FA Cup exit and early season league battering at their place, whilst climbing the League One table.

Up the Iron - Viva Van Veen.

Saturday, 14 February 2015

Swindon at home is the perfect chance to dust off the Glanford Park cobwebs

Glanford Park. Once known as the fortress of Scunthorpe. I remember those years in the Championship when teams feared the place. Maybe it was the look? Maybe it was the smell? Or Maybe it was the fact the pitch was smaller than any other in the league, so tippy tappy football was pretty redundant. All I know, is we were a force to be reckoned with at home, and now... Now we are scared.

We don't set up like a team playing at home, if you ask me. Robins has to start with a 4-4-2 formation and take it to teams right from the off - let them know they are in for a proper game, don't give them a minute to get a foothold in the match.

Against the 'better teams' in the division we've not performed too badly at home. Against Bristol City, the best team in the league apparently, we were incredible. I hadn't seen a performance like that at GP for years. Yes we lost, but under freak circumstances (Losing Sam and James to broken arms, didn't help the cause), and don't get me going on that dive for the penalty. Moving swiftly away from thinking about that game, as my blood pressure has only just got back to normal...

So why after that decent performance only a few weeks ago, are we now back to under-performing in front of our own fans again? The loss at home to Oldham all but ended any hopes we had of a late play off surge. That's the kind of team you should be beating at home.

Tomorrow, we welcome the divisions other 'best team' in the form of Swindon Town who will be looking to bounce back from their own loss to Oldham, last Tuesday.

But what Scunthorpe team will show up tomorrow?

The fearless one that outplayed Bristol City?


The frightful one who threw away a great chance to climb the table (twice this week) who lost to Oldham?

Let's hope for a cracking game, a big crowd - and most of all (even more important than Kevin Van Veen's first goal for the Iron) three massive, MASSIVE points.

Don't forget the offer for the game as shown in the image below:

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Up the Iron (Que Sera Sera)!

Wednesday, 20 August 2014

Can we start the season again?

Photo credit: Steve Hope
Last night the Iron slipped to their third successive league defeat at the hands of fellow promotees Fleetwood Town. First of all, despite the performance not being anything close to acceptable - it was an improvement on Saturday. 4-0 against Preston was a fair result, they battered us. But did we deserve to lose 2-0 last night? Not for me. Their first was a nice breakaway goal against the run of play whilst the second was a sublime flick of the head from an even better free kick. I'm not sure many teams in this league could have defended the second goal any better than we did, due to the quality of the cross. So if we didn't deserve to lose, did we deserve to win? Nope. We quite simply did not create enough 'good chances'. And the two we did create Canavan decided to squander, when both looked easier to put away. Don't get me started on Canavan.

We have McAllister and Bishop both playing in the middle. Individually these two are fantastic, but together - it just doesn't work. Neither are nearly forward thinking enough to give us that fine balance that we had in the side last year when we had Syers playing alongside McAllister. Okay so Wilcox has been a little unlucky that Syers picked up his season ending injury as I am sure he would have chosen him ahead of one of Bishop or McAllister in the past two games. But why as soon as Syers was ruled out wasn't he the first player we replaced? Yes we needed Winnall's replacement but we could have survived much better without Kee coming in (for now) - but we will not survive if we do not bring in a high quality attacking midfielder, and soon. It has to be the highest priority. And I'm afraid Nicky Featherstone is not that man - but admittedly a nice back-up to have. He'll probably start on Saturday if Neal Bishop's injury was worse than it looked!

On a more positive note I am happy with the signings we have made over the past few days. First through the door was Billy Kee from Burton Albion - whom we've paid for so fair play Swann for releasing the funds for that! Kee signed a 2 year contract and boasts an impressive goal scoring record at League 2 level. He made 117 appearances for the Brewers scoring 42 in total.
Swiftly followed on from Kee was the announcement of Luke O'Neill coming to the club from Premier League new boys Burnley on a three month loan deal. He impressed massively on his debut yesterday picking up the Twitter Man of the Match, as well as the sponsors award too.
Finally a few hours before kick off yesterday we brought in Peterborough United's goalkeeper Bobby Olejnik on a one month loan. The Iron were without a senior keeper after Sam Slocombe and James Severn both picked up injuries.

Welcome to the new arrivals and let's hope we can kick on after this dreadful start.

Up the Iron!

Tuesday, 29 July 2014

Iron close to signing experienced central defender Miguel Llera

Miguel Llera, the former Sheffield Wednesday and MK Dons centre-back, impressed during his run-out for Scunthorpe United against Huddersfield Town. Picture: Steve Hope.
Is this man on his way to Glanford Park? - Photo: Steve Hope
According to BBC Humberside reports we are close to agreeing a deal with Spaniard Miguel Llera to bring the experienced man to Glanford Park.

Their official account tweeted:
We understand Scunthorpe United are close to agreeing a deal with former Sheff Wed defender Miguel Llera following his trial with the club.
Whilst their sports reporter Mike White went on to say:
It looks like Scunthorpe United could be close to agreeing a deal for centre-half Miguel Llera after all. No other details yet.
Llera impressed whilst on trial, playing for us in a friendly last Saturday against Huddersfield - a game we would go on to win 1-0, keeping a solid clean sheet against a team from the division above.

Wilcox made no mistake when it came to filling the whole left by Mirfin's injury as we announced the loanee signing of Miles Addison on an initial month from Bournemouth yesterday. So it may come as a surprise that we are going to add more depth in that area, but a pleasant surprise nonetheless. It could be that Mirfin's injury is worse than first feared, and Russ has identified that by choosing to sign the Spaniard quickly - before he is likely snapped up elsewhere.

Llera has made over 70 appearances in the Championship for Sheffield Wednesday in the last 2 seasons proving his experience at a higher level than what we find ourselves at. He may be 34, but this could be a huge signing for the Iron. He could be our modern day Andy Crosby.

Keep your eye out on the Any Old Iron Facebook page for any updates as they happen on the subject.

Up the Iron!

Monday, 30 June 2014

Scunthorpe sign Sheffield United's Lyle Taylor

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Taylor with his new Gaffer - Russ Wilcox

This morning the Iron announced their third summer signing as they convinced Sheffield United forward Lyle Taylor to move to North Lincolnshire as oppose to north of the border, where he had been rumoured to be a target for a few clubs.

Lyle joins the Iron after spending the second half of last season on loan at Partick Thistle in the SPL. He made quite the impact there as his 7 goals helped steer the club clear of relegation at the expense of Hibs (coincidentally both these teams were rumoured to be interested in Taylor).

In 20 appearances for his parent club Sheffield United he managed to hit the back of the net twice, although it is worth noting that the majority of these appearances for the Blades were from the bench. Prior to joining ‘the other SUFC’ last summer he scored a quite amazing 29 goals in 34 league appearances for Falkirk in the Scottish first division. Signed last summer by then Blades manager David Weir he would find first team opportunities hard to come by after Weirs sacking, and Nigel Clough’s eventual appointment – This then leading to his loan spell in Scotland.

At 6ft2 he offers a bit of height to a fairly small Iron attack. One thing it is worth noting is that this signing does NOT mean we are definitely going to sell Winnall. We released 2 strikers this summer and have replaced them with one. If Winnall goes – we will bring in another, probably a Premier League youngster on loan.

Welcome to Scunthorpe Lyle – Play your heart out every game and you’ll be a hit!

Up the Iron!