The draw magnets

Scunthorpe draw

A bit like a fridge magnet, only less exciting – and incredibly more frustrating!

Fifteen games into the season and Scunthorpe United have only won twice: an appalling record by anybody’s standards, (let alone post-relegation) and one that you would fully expect to find a side heavily ensconced in the relegation zone right? Wrong.

Only bottom of the table Yeovil Town having failed to win more games than us so far, (indeed, they’re the subject of our only home win so far. See this blog for more details!) but a gob-smacking nine draws have already come our way with less than a third of the season gone so far, therefore we find ourselves comfortably in mid-table. Sixteenth is not brilliant by any stretch of the imagination, but it’s not suicidal. And this is only thanks to our draws. Quite poetically stretching our overall record to exactly a point a game.

Not only have we drawn more games thus far than anyone else in League One, but of the entire Football League and beyond. Some bloody record!

But still – post relegation, sitting in sixteenth after a third of the season, (it will be post-Saturday), is a record that would have many fans screaming for the manager’s neck, but not us.

Knilly retains the support, respect and admiration of 99% of all fans of Scunny – especially those of us who go away from home when we can. What I said in the Allan Johnston Paint Trophy Quiz here very much still applies.

This is despite the record showing very little sign of improving and collapsing either way. Indeed, rather like Huddersfield’s unbeaten run – you can only imagine it stretching on for a good while longer yet!

A fantastically gritty win over Stevenage and coming back from 2 goals down in the last 7 minutes against Charlton have been our benchmarks this season – and it’s what we’ve needed to follow thus far. But an extraordinarily lack of a clinical nature, or a desire to press the self-destruct button at times does make you wonder.

And stealing a point in the 94th minute against Walsall would normally send fans home delirious. But without some woeful defending and gob-smacking greed and wastefulness, we’d have won the game comfortably.

This is our ultimate crux – how do you solve a problem like drawing, Maria? And believe me, if she’s a bit dapper at the football, no doubt we’d draw with her as well!

Our draw against the extremely impressive Huddersfield is another case in point. A 2-2 draw is not to be sniffed at, especially with our 88th minute equaliser – but shocking defending for their 2nd, and two appalling penalty misses took us away still shaking our heads.

Ought we be greedy and demand more – or just be pleased for consolidation? As any honest football fan will tell you; the clash between heart and head is always tough, but the heart invariably wins the battle!

And all right, we might have been robbed against Wycombe, had 10 men against Sheffield United and so on, but I just can’t take 9 draws already. For Christ’s sake – we only drew one game away from home all last season!

But what do Wycombe, Preston, Charlton, Colchester, Sheffield United, Walsall, Brentford, MK Dons and Huddersfield have in common? Yep, you guessed it; attracted to the irremovable force of the Scunthorpe United draw magnet.

And even when we managed to keep a first clean sheet in 25 league games away to Brentford, a rare blank was managed to be found. Just a week later the same affliction occurred at MK Dons. Combining defensive steel and the ability to find even a single goal has as yet been impossible for us sadly. That simply has to change if we’re to shed our magnetic nature.

And on Saturday we’ll take on Les Parry’s Tranmere Rovers at home. They’ll be understandably desperate to seek revenge on us; for the last time we met them was back in May 2009. A last-minute Cliff Byrne equaliser at Glanford Park threw us into the play-offs instead of them and we spent two glorious seasons in the Championship thanks to it.

But quite frankly – we’re desperate to play down the magnitude of the game, and just take 3 points by hook, crook or just kidnapping Les Parry’s grandma. Let’s make sure that we leave that poxy draw magnet well away from the pitch as well.

Who knows, it might even be a cue for the one game thumping, or the little run of victories that all Iron fans have been praying for, and waiting for – for the last 3 months. Or is that too much to ask?


Written by Max Bell, We Are Going Up’s Scunthorpe United blogger

Max tweets at @ironsocialist

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