Brian Laws says failure to take chances was reason behind Scunthorpe United's defeat to Coventry City
BRIAN Laws admitted Scunthorpe United had been punished for their profligacy as they slipped to a fourth defeat in five games.
The Iron had taken the lead against Coventry City courtesy of Akpo Sodje’s eighth-minute header, but having spurned a couple of good openings before the goal, they then did so again in the immediate aftermath.
Each turned out to be costly too as Carl Baker drove in an equaliser as the first-half entered stoppage time and Leon Clarke bagged the Sky Blues a winner with just 13 minutes to play.
“From what we created, how we didn’t come in two or three goals up at half-time beggars belief,” said Laws, the United manager.
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“That shows you’ve got to take your chances.
“When we look back at the misses we’ve had, they’re costly.
“Coventry were always to have their period – as we were ours – you’re not going to dominate for 90 minutes.
“You’ve got to defend well when the opposition are on top and attack well when you’re on top.
“We’re very disappointed with the outcome of the game because we deserved a lot more than we got, as I think I’ve said on a few occasions.
“We probably played the best football we have done for quite a while. Under the circumstances of the conditions we’ve seen today (the match passed a 1pm pitch inspection on the back of heavy rain) that’s great credit to the players.
“They were brave and generally bravery gives you a reward. Today we were brave but didn’t get the rewards.”
Laws felt the Sky Blues should have been reduced to 10 men just after the half hour mark, when defender William Edjenguele caught Andy Barcham with an elbow as he raced towards the box.
The Iron boss said he was ‘disappointed’ with referee Tony Bates’ decision not to even award a free-kick.
Las was also frustrated with the space afforded to Clarke – the in-form front man whose 11 goals in 15 games when on loan to Scunthorpe prior to Christmas still make him their top scorer - for Coventry’s winning goal.
Particularly as he thought the striker had been well-marshalled by David Mirfin and Paul Reid during the rest of the afternoon.
“If he had have scored, we were always going to say the same things – ‘it was bound to happen’,” said Laws, when asked if a goal from Clarke against his former club had been written in the script.
“But he’s one of 11 players and we’d kept him pretty much quiet all afternoon.
“He’s in excellent form and it shows – he’s probably one of the best strikers in this division.
“He only needed one chance and he got it.
“In the build-up to the goal, Mirfin headed the ball wide and his retreat back into the box was at the wrong side of Clarkey.
“The ball into the box could have gone anywhere, unfortunately for us it went on to his head.
“That’s the difference when you’re at the bottom and the top – when you’re at the top it goes for you.
“I was disappointed with it, but I can’t be disappointed with the effort we put in and I think the supporters appreciate that.”