29 June 2016
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Scunthorpe United

Iron show their metal in area finals

The rocky road to Wembley has become ever so slightly clearer for the four sides left in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy, after a couple of intriguing area final first legs were played out.

21 Jan 2009

With Brighton drawing 0-0 against Luton in the south and Scunthorpe beating Rotherham 2-0 in the northern section, it is clear that Nigel Adkins’ men will be the happiest team of the quartet.

But it is equally clear that there is still everything left to play for in the second legs, with Wembley remaining a realistic possibility for all concerned.

Scunthorpe were well worth their two goal win over Rotherham at Glanford Park, where Martyn Woolford and Krystian Pearce found the scoresheet to make their home advantage count.

Manager Adkins was naturally delighted with the result and performance.

He said: "The standard of football was top drawer. I thought we played some really good, entertaining soccer.

"We passed the ball round sharply and quickly, the two wingers were superb and Wright and Sparrow did a great job for us in the middle of the park."

"Defensively we were very solid, we knew of the aerial threat of Rotherham who are a big side with their long throws and their corners coming in.”

Millers manager Mark Robins was magnanimous in defeat, and said his side had it all to do in the second leg at the Don Valley Stadium.

“I’m disappointed but Scunthorpe played really well. Their movement was excellent and they passed the ball well.

“There was a real edge to their game and they deserved to win, without a shadow of a doubt.”

In the southern section, Brighton had to settle for a share of the spoils, in a result that will probably suit Luton Town boss Mick Harford more than his counterpart Micky Adams.

The shut-out was particularly impressive for the Hatters, as they bounced back from a 5-0 defeat to Darlington in their previous outing.

Harford said: “Overall it was a pleasing performance. After Saturday we asked for a response and we got it.

“It’s a difficult place to come. When we had to go long we went long, and when we had to play it in behind, we did that too.”

But Harford is refusing to get carried away about his side’s chances of making Wembley just yet.

He added: “I will never think we are at Wembley yet and I will make the players aware we have a tough game at Kenilworth Road.”

Brighton had to make do with a patched up side for the first round clash, so the Seagulls were content to keep honours even ahead of the all important second leg.

Albion’s assistant manager Dean White said everything was still to play for.

“It would have been nice to get a lead but it wasn’t to be. We will be going to Luton looking for a win there. It’s half time and it’s 0-0.”

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