Sunday, 1 January 2012
Point hauls Iron out of drop zone - but concerns remain
A beauty of a drilled strike from Jimmy Ryan in Walsall might have rescued the Iron a point at home to Chesterfield, but big worries still remain about the Iron's inability to win games, or defend in basic situations.
That said: the Scouse playmaker, arguably the only player who actually played well for the Iron, in a manner eerily reminiscent of Walsall: almost single-handedly ensured that at least one point from the clash would be remaining in North Lincolnshire.
Perhaps also this somewhat drab and talent-lacking 90 minutes showed us: is that the spinelessness from some hasn't disappeared, (and won't be any time soon), and that Scunny badly, badly missed Jimmy Ryan. A man to make captain.
Especially since the Iron's defence without Cliff Byrne is so leaderless it's almost untrue. What's leaderlessness supercharged?You just pray the team can learn these lessons. And fucking quickly.
There also appears to be a daft obsession with playing the lion's share of our football in our own defensive third, and with the players lacking the movement, confidence and plain technical quality - to pull off this tiki-taka inspired play from the very back: it's costing the Iron badly.
It was for all to see just how often we were giving the ball away: throughout almost the entire game, and the needless pressure this complete absence of percentage football put the Iron's very young defensive trio under. Indeed, it cost us the 2nd goal.
Whilst we have sympathy with Sam Johnstone, (Christ the lad has been sound this season: and he's only 18), his was certainly the worst performance we've ever seen from an Iron keeper.
It's not just the one mistake, (which on its own is of course forgivable), but flapping at every cross and save, picking up a back-pass, not communicating, handling your ball outside your area, and miscuing countless clearances: really did make for a woeful afternoon for the young lad.
But he's on loan from Man Utd for a reason, and we're absolutely positive that he'll bounce back. He's too good not too. And the lad was reputably in tears at half-time, so he definitely fucking cares.
Which is more than can be said of a certain few.
And following extremely favourable results elsewhere: this strike and point were able to haul the Iron back out of the dreaded drop zone. Thus - the Iron manage to at least end 2011, and thus begin 2012, sitting just outside League One's bottom 4.
And as all people who've seen the final league table tonight will know: it's definitely only just!
But if this can be a unique watershed moments, (other wins, equalisers, draws etc haven't: so why should this one?), then can Scunny perhaps begin to at last inch their way back up the table and away from danger?
The game began favourably - with a Niall Canavan powered header from an in-swinging corner from the left-hand side giving the Iron the lead mid-way through the first half.
Despite leading at half-time, (taking the lead for the 3rd home game in the row: yet only taking 1 point from that 3 games is a fucking disgraceful record), we all knew what was coming.
Indeed - Chesterfield had regained parity almost straight from kick off. There were plenty of Scunthorpe fans who just plain missed the Spireites' equaliser, (this author included), because the pint or piss, had taken just too long.
We, as per, collapsed inwards from this point.
The fight disintegrated, and there just seemed to be that familiar aura of hopeless that has recently engulfed Glanford Park of late.
Even against an extraordinarily average Chesterfield, (they're bottom for a reason), nothing could go right: and everybody around the ground.
So it wasn't a huge shock that with 20 minutes to go Chesterfield took the lead.
What was a shock was how they did it. With Johnstone once more trying to dribble forever, waiting for movement - and seemingly following ridiculous managerial instructions, he completely miscued his clearance straight to the forward. Who from 30 yards aimed at the open goal, and simply couldn't miss.
An embarrassment, and disaster, of epic proportions. Indeed, for a long time it looked like it might be the straw that broke the camel's back in costing Knill his job.
So by logic: Ryan's thunderbolt equaliser, (which came out of nothing really - apart from his individual brilliance), may well have just saved Knill his job..... Who knows. Can Ryan pull the same at Hartlepool!?
With 5 minutes of stoppage time signaled - it was only when Ryan brilliantly brought the ball down: and lashed through into the bottom corner, that any oomph or desperation from the Iron occurred.
Indeed: in the last 4 or so minutes played, it looked as if the Iron might just snatch a most unlikely win - with shots and crosses aplenty: but it wasn't quite to be.
So let's just hope that the first win for a couple of months can be found: for 1 point in these two home games just isn't on, but try to get 2012 off on the right foot..... It's not as if 2011 has been overly successful now is it?!