Scunthorpe 1-2 Millwall ~ Match Report

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Easter bank holiday weekends can be wonderful times for followers of football, maybe not so good for followers of Jesus (well that is strictly not true as it all ended happily for them, didn’t it?) but this time of year can sort out the wheat from the chaff regarding relegation, promotion and mid table safety.

The win against PNE on Saturday, a stirring romp in front of the cameras, laid a good foundation for our visit to Sunny Scunny to see if we could not only maintain our play off push but also to see if we could send the buggers back down to Div 1, condemning them as they did to us in the play off final, for at least a season of torture in the third tier of English football…

Me and MrsB had Grandson Jack for company as we climbed aboard the Bonemobile for a trip up the A1 (M) and such like, in glorious sunshine and traffic free travel.

The roads were clear but I think I must have decimated half the insect population on this trip. I have never seen so much blood and guts spattered across my windscreen in all my years of driving. These things had kamikaze tendencies, I swear, as they joined, en masse, to dive head first into my path. Squirting and wiping as per normal would not clear the sticky, gooey remains. These oozing masses were there for the long haul.

Despite these repellent creatures’ attempts at stopping our progress, we made it to Scunny in good time and parked in our usual spot in the car park adjacent to the ground.

It is a ground, not a stadium, by the way. It is an old fashioned, foursquare little place that has been replicated across the land on subbuteo tables everywhere. It is adequate for their needs and suits them fine.

The locals themselves are peculiar though. They turn up in a plethora of different Scunthorpe kits and some even wear Liverpool, Man Utd and Chelsea kits as well.

All very strange indeed.

The place itself is, of course, steeped in industry. It is a predominantly industrial place and trying to make it seem otherwise is really just turd polishing at its most basic concept.

The largest earthquake ever recorded in England occurred here. It was only about three years ago, I kid you not, and it must’ve been God’s way of saying, for fuck’s sake give it up, you are a shit hole and a shit hole you must remain...

I like the name Scunthorpe for the entirely obvious reason that the word “cunt” is clearly visible. ( I care not a jot that you may think this childish, it is just the way I am). Actually, I am reliably informed by my old mate, Internet, that there is an actual computer issue known simply as “The Scunthorpe problem”.

I suspect many of you may have already noticed that a lot of web sites automatically filter words that are deemed offensive? You will find such words as F**K, C**t, S**t & W**T H*M are shown as such because some people just find the mere typing of these foul words brings them out in hives and causes much frothing at the gills etc.

So, people in Scunthorpe found that whenever they tried to enter their address on line for anything at all, the web sites would not accept their name in its entirety, substituting the c.u.n.t. for asterisks. This not only upset the locals but it also highlighted the pronounced lack of humour. (Please refer back to match report Millwall V Scunthorpe for Spike Milligan reference)...oh all right, I know you can’t be bothered to back track so here it is in full for those of you that care...

In 1981 Spike published a book Spike Milligan, Indefinite Articles and Scunthorpe. The inclusion of the town's name in a comedy book caused much anger in the area to which Milligan replied, "We should like the people of Scunthorpe to know that the references to Scunthorpe are nothing personal. It is a joke, as is Scunthorpe"

I am digressing again...

Mr. Jackett, bathed in the sunlit splendor of a bank Holiday Monday afternoon, had picked a side he felt was capable of continuing the good work achieved against PNE but he had to dispense with Alan Dunne’s services as poor old Dunney clearly lost an argument with a big black elbow (am I allowed to say that?) and would play no part in this game. Trotter was also on the crocked list but Robbo was back in the mix.

So the team lined up as follows: Forde in goal, Smith, Ward, Robbo and Craig across the back, Henry, Abdou, Mkandawire and Townsend in the middle with McQuoid and Marquis forming a striking partnership with the rare fact that they both have a Q in their surnames...

Referee Moss got the game going as the 300 odd Lions fans behind the goal made it sound like 3,000 were in attendance. The home fans were, quite rightly, subdued.

The horrible, lumpy, pock ridden pitch was clearly not conducive to free flowing football and the home side was quicker to adapt to it than we were, forcing an early chance with a snap shot after Tam Mkandawire lost his man just outside the box but normal service soon resumed with a fine save by Forde.

After this early scare as we got the measure of the opponents and the pitch and started to look dangerous with Marquis and McQuoid linking up promisingly, the latter just failing to control the ball after a final pass from the former and the ball went straight to the grateful arms of Scunny ‘keeper, Murphy

Andros Townsend (two Andy Townsend’s, there’s only two Andy Townsends?) was playing his usual all out game and was terrifying the locals every time he got the ball. He really is a gem of a player and we would do well to keep him for next season (if only on a season long loan?).

We had the obligatory duff refereeing decisions (with one tackle felling poor old Jimmy Abdou) that beggared belief but it was pretty clear that referee Moss was quite prepared to let some hefty tackles go by with no stopping and to be fair he kept parity so no real complaints.

We kept up the pressure on the home side and when Smith set up Henry for a clear shot it took a fine save from Murphy to keep the game at 0-0.

With the half ticking away you felt there might be a little bit of frustration creep into our game but with just over five minutes of the half remaining we made the all important breakthrough.

Good attacking, battling play from a determined Mkandawire saw the home side panicking in there box. The ball was bouncing off legs everywhere but when it fell to marquis in the centre of the 6 yard box he tapped it home with some aplomb. 0-1! The travelling 300 went potty, as you would expect and what little fight there was in the home side duly packed its proverbial bag and left.

The half time whistle saw the lions trotting off to many cheers and applause from the away end and fully justified it was too.

We came out of the traps at full tilt from the word go and it was clear that Mr. Jackett had demanded that second goal cushion as soon as possible and we didn’t have to wait too long to get it.

Pressure, pressure and more pressure saw the home side all over the lollipop and when Henry floated over a fairly innocuous cross their defender seemed to perform a perfect example of a cushioned header right into the path of the lurking Marquis who rifled home his shot without a moment’s hesitation. 0-2!! Excellent stuff, our dominance had got its just rewards.

The young striker almost bagged his first senior hat trick soon after when another mazy run from Henry saw the in-form winger deliver a lovely ball into the area which Marquis met full on with his head but he got his angles slightly wrong and the ball sped by the far post.

We never looked in any sort of trouble from this moment on and the message was not to do anything daft and see the game out.

Our defense was spot on and the midfield had the meat of the game on slow cook as Scunny tried in vain to find a way through but it was all far too easy for the Lions.

Marquis and McQuoid were replaced with 15 minutes remaining by Bouazza and Schofield respectively and the smooth transition was almost seamless in its application.

With a couple of minutes remaining Scunthorpe managed to get the ball into our area and amid a lot of scuffling and confusion referee Moss saw Ward tugging on a Scunny shirt and gave the home side a penalty.

Forde went apoplectic with rage at Schofield over something and while these two were rowing there was a three man tussle going on within the Scunthorpe ranks as they tried to decide who was taking the spot kick.

O’Connor won the argument and duly smashed his spot kick home to make it 1-2 but it really was just a consolation.
Purse made his cameo appearance for Townsend in injury time and before he had a chance to do anything the final whistle blew.

We were, at one stage, actually sitting in 6th place until Forest wormed their way back in front of us with a late winner but we are in seventh now and the momentum is gathering a cracking pace.

Swansea visit the den on Saturday and I bet they are not relishing that at all.

The dream is still on, people, so see you all there!
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    Excellent report.