Scunthorpe United 3-1 Swindon Town: Any Old Iron…

Swindon Town will meet Brentford in the play-offs after a final regular league fixture ended in a 3-1 defeat at Glanford Park, Scunthorpe. Report by Ciaran Hart, perhaps a relation to Paul Hart – although I didn’t ask…

Scunthorpe started the better team, they looked like a team fighting for their lives near the bottom of the league, which they were… Both teams struggled to make any chances in the opening stages of the match, as some fans may have been be able to tell by the chanting 1-0 to the Colchester (for Scunthorpe to stay up they needed to win by 3 clear goals and Colchester had to lose) which did confuse a few of the home fans near us.

The game was end-to-end stuff but Town did have the ball in the net on the half-hour mark, however the offside flag was raised as Gary Roberts nodded it home. This got the fans wanting Town to score even more after that and Swindon’s attack improved but they just could not find the net. In the end it was only a series of solid saved from the Scunthorpe ‘keeper which kept Town at bay.

The second half started much the same as the first but it was Town who were on top. Although most fans had got a bit bored in this lacklustre game and had taken a liking to a Scunthorpe fan with a flag, nicknamed for the day as “Billy Elliot” who had tried to tie his flag up for all the first half, everyone in the away end took great amusement in this. Although Town were in control of the game we just couldn’t find that first blow. Swindon created plenty of chances and Roberts seemed to be having a good game.

Swindon finally made an impact with the first goal. Andy Williams’ pass from the right-hand side into the six-yard box was met by James Collins who backheeled to net the goal. Collins was very fortunate to find the space, but the Iron defence was statuesque… This was the first incident in a what was described as a ‘mad 10 minutes.’

I could write a whole piece on what happened between the fans but I shall keep it as short as I can. The home ‘fans’ nearest to us realised they were going down and got very bitter. Before the goal there was the normal sort of banter between supporters, but as Town scored, the celebrations started with fans running to the front. As I saw it, a section of the home support tried to run on the pitch, as were a small group of idiots from the terrace behind the goal. Fortunately, the small number of stewards and police tried their best to calm it down but it took several minutes for the game to restart.

After the short disturbance the game got back underway. Only 4 minutes after the restart, on 87 minutes Town’s lead was gone as Scunthorpe equalised. After a corner wasn’t cleared, the ball fell to Michael Collins who lashed the ball home from within the 6-yard box.

Minutes later in injury time, the out-rushing Wes Fodringham conceded a second penalty in as many weeks as he took down James Alabi and received a caution – also Aden Flint was booked for dissent. This gave the hosts a moment of hope, which Mark Duffy capitalised on, taking the penalty and firing the Iron into the lead low down to Foderingham’s left.

The hosts really put the gloss on their victory with a third goal in injury time. A low cross in from the right was placed right between the hesitant Foderingham and Aden Flint, but Karl Hawley got there first to make the final score 3-1 to Scunny. Hawley’s goal was his second against Swindon this season, after scoring in the 1-1 draw at the County Ground back in October.

Full time followed shortly and despite a great comeback from the Iron, they were relegated courtesy of a 0-2 win for Colchester at Carlisle United. At least there were some positives for Town as nobody got sent off, or was injured….

The result left Town falling to 6th and the news soon filtered through that Swindon will be playing Brentford in the play offs. Town didn’t hold on to the lead and they missed the perfect opportunity to finish 4th because Yeovil’s defeat at Bury and Sheffield United’s goalless draw, which means we’ll be playing the first leg as hosts.

We look forward to a play off double with Brentford now. After a rollercoaster season it’s a real positive we still managed to stay in the play offs and our promotion dream remains for another week, at least…

Town: Wes Foderingham; Joe Devera, Aden Flint, Darren Ward, Nathan Byrne; Raffaele De Vita (Miller), Alan McCormack (capt), Massimo Luongo, Gary Roberts (Williams); Adam Rooney, James Collins

Substitutes not used: Leigh Bedwell (GK), Luke Rooney, Connor Waldon, Mark Francis, Matty Jones

Referee: Mr A Woolme

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