Chris Sumpter blog: Hat-trick of home victories would be as laudable as it was important to Scunthorpe United's progress
MARCH 28, 2009. Gary Hooper scores his third and fourth goals in three matches and Arsenal loanee Henri Lansbury drills in a third as Scunthorpe United wrap-up a 3-0 victory over Colchester United.
It is not quite a ‘where were you’ moment in Iron history – one of those came months later that season, under the grandeur of Wembley’s iconic arch – but such have been United’s struggles in front of their own fans over the past couple of seasons, it is a match laced with more significance than anyone at the time could have foreseen.
The notoriety surrounding that Saturday afternoon showdown with the U’s rests with the fact that it marked the last time the Iron won three successive games at Glanford Park.
Before it, Hereford United (3-0) and Brighton & Hove Albion (2-0) had been slayed with equal ease.
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A week later, Scunthorpe went on to Wembley, to face Luton Town in an entertaining Johnstone’s Paint Trophy final, before of course returning to the national stadium to clinch promotion via the League One play-offs.
Tonight, as United host Carlisle United, that clash with Colchester will hopefully be consigned to the past.
Home wins have been like those proverbial buses during the past week – you wait four months for one and then two come along at once (or at least, inside five days!).
Another one tonight, though far from a certainty, would complete a remarkable and unpredictable turnaround, as well as giving Scunthorpe the chance to edge away from the clutches of League One’s bottom fourm.
Two promotions in 10 years is not a particularly sparkling record, but Brian Laws’ previous stints in charge of the Iron never endured the miserable points return at Glanford Park of the previous two-and-a-half campaigns.
After last Saturday’s hard-fought 2-1 success over Crawley Town, the United boss was clearly surprised at the fact it had been two years since the club had recorded back-to-back victories on home territory.
So while he was equally damning about the fact it has been almost four years since two successive wins became three (a period he labelled an ‘incredible amount of time’, he was a little less taken aback by such a statistic as he spoke to the media ahead of tonight’s tussle with the Blues.
“This football club, particularly at this ground, has been built up on tradition and making sure it’s a hard place to come,” he said on the subject.
“Slowly, but surely we’re getting there. Certainly since the turn of the year, we haven’t lost a home game. That’s an important factor.”
Such is the tendency to be negative in football and the ease (for your sanity as much as anything else) for the glass to remain half empty, it’s important to remember the steps Scunthorpe have made since a turgid 2012 finally turned its back.
Scunthorpe have lost only one of their last seven games – and that courtesy of a dubious penalty decision at Crewe Alexandra – and have picked up 10 points from a possible 15.
Going back to the original subject matter, that Hereford-Brighton-Colchester combo was the third time in one of the most exciting seasons in United’s history that the club had achieved a hat-trick of successive wins.
No-one expects a repeat of such achievements in 2012-13. But on the back of the past 30 months, a trio of victories would be as laudable as it was welcome.