Scunthorpe United 1 Doncaster Rovers 1: ‘I did not recognise the team in the second half,’ says Grant McCann

Scunthorpe v Doncaster
Scunthorpe v Doncaster
Have your say

DONCASTER Rovers failed to complete a season's treble over The Iron, dropping two valuable points in their promotion quest.

Backed by a 1,800-strong following in the 6,255 crowd, they followed up their Carabao Cup 2-1 win at Glanford Park and 3-0 home league victory with Mallik Wilks making a goal-scoring return.

However, Scunthorpe struck back in the second half through Kyle Wootton to earn a point in the M180 derby.

Rovers manager Grant McCann was left frustrated at the end.

“It is definitely two points dropped but we were poor in the second half and fell into their game-plan, the way they wanted us to play.

“We knew what was coming, they would hit massive diagonals to Wootton to try and compete against Matty Blair. We spoke about this before the game and at half-time but did not defend the back post. It is as simple as that. First half we were excellent but in the second we were bang average.



“I did not recognise the team in the second half. We invited pressure onto ourselves.

“Scunthorpe deserved their goal and were better than us in the second half when we lacked a bit of energy, which was surprising.

“We were nowhere near our normal standards. It’s frustrating but we have not too long to be down about it. They are all big games now and it will be a decent point if we can go and take three points off Shrewsbury on Tuesday”.

The former Iron midfielder continued: “I sensed a bit of tiredness in the week and had to cut a training session short with a bit of fatigue but we got the energies back and there was no problem or excuse on that

“You can not take your eye off the ball. If you are going for promotion you have to concentrate every second of every minute of every game.”

Wilks, who missed the FA Cup defeat against Crystal Palace on Sunday through suspension, was McCann’s only change and he came into the starting-line-up as Alfie May dropped to the bench.

Scunthorpe chief Stuart McCall made two changes with fit-again striker Lee Novak and former Barnsley winger Adam Hammill in for Kevin van Veen and Tom Pearce following their 1-0 defeat at Gillingham.

It was a cut and thrust opening with Ali Crawford delivering some dangerous whipped in free-kicks for Rovers.

They struck in the 25th minute, working the ball down the left before Herbie Kane delivered a low cross which Crawford missed before it ran to Wilks, who did not make the cleanest of connections but had the accuracy to beat Jak Alnwick inside his left-hand post from the edge of the area.

Scunthorpe tried to respond via a diving header from Wootton but it was straight at Marko Marosi.

Rovers got a grip on the game before the break, playing some controlled attacking football without troubling Alnwick.

The Iron almost equalised before the break, however, as Wootton met a deep cross with a looping header, which Marosi did well to tip away from under his bar.

Neither side made a change at the break.

John Marquis should have made it 2-0 in the 56th minute but spooned the ball over from inside the six-yard area from Kane's low cross after having had two efforts blocked and seen Wilks strike the post from the follow-up.

It was to prove. Kane could only head a free-kick high across his area where Rory McArdle met it with a downward header which Marosi did well to push aside for a corner from which Rovers were relieved to see the ball go dead after an almighty scramble.

The Iron, however, got their deserved equaliser in the 69th minute when a free-kick from midfield was played out to Tony McMahon, who crossed deep and Wootton raced in to leap and head powerfully home.

Tyler Smith and Kieran Sadlier replaced Coppinger and Wilks, who had a dead leg, in the 75th minute as Rovers sought to regain the initiative - Tommy Rowe replacing Crawford six minutes later.

It had little effect, Wootton flashing a spectacular volley wide as Scunthorpe scented victory as the game headed towards four minutes of goalless stoppage time.