Latics hoping to record first win of the campaign when the Iron visit the DW Stadium on Wednesday evening.
- Latics facing Wednesday night (7.45pm kick-off) clash with Mark Robins’ Scunthorpe United.
- The Lincolnshire outfit got their first three points of the season last weekend against Crewe Alexandra.
- Watch a classic between the two sides as Latics won 3-0 in the JJB Stadium’s first-ever league fixture.
Mark Robins’ side were thankful to a Paddy Madden double on Saturday as the Iron bagged their first points of the season with a 2-0 victory over Crewe Alexandra.
A cash turnstile facility will be available on the night for those supporters still wishing to come to the game and yet to purchase a ticket with adults priced at £20, over 65s £17, under 18s £10, under 11s £5 and under 5s £2.
Scunthorpe United arrive at the DW Stadium for the 25th meeting between Latics and the Iron since the first in September 1978, when Latics were just two months old as a Football League side. United, in contrast, were in their 38th year in the league after pipping us and Workington to election in 1950.
A yo-yo club between the bottom and third tier for the majority of their stay in Football League, it took until 2006, when the Iron finished 12th in League One, for the Lincolnshire outfit to stay out of the bottom tier for consecutive seasons.
It’s been in the last decade that the now Glanford Park side have caught the eye for their achievements under Nigel Adkins, the former Wigan Athletic keeper and now Sheffield United boss, after he was promoted from physiotherapist to manager before taking the Iron into the Championship, in 2007.
Financially prudent in that period, in many ways Scunthorpe sacrificed their second tier status to live within their means and go about things the right way, and credit to them. Strikers Billy Sharp, Martin Paterson and Gary Hooper have all hit form for the Iron and been sold on for valuable profit to help the running of the club and perhaps the inability to resist big offers for their star players over the years has prevented them from securing a solid place in the second tier.
The push to be an established Division Two (now League One) side began under Brian Laws in 1997 after he replaced Mick Buxton as manager. He stayed at the club for nine years and won promotion from the bottom tier in 1999 only to be relegated the following season. The club flirted with dropping out of the Football League before Laws left to join Sheffield Wednesday and be replaced by his physio, Adkins.
One half of Scunthorpe’s deadly strike partnership at the time, Andy Keogh, left, moving to Wolves early in Adkins’ time at the helm, but it mattered little as he steered the Iron to the Championship in his first season in charge.
The other half, Sharp, left to join Sheffield United at the end of the campaign and, despite the best efforts of his replacement, Paterson, the Iron were relegated and Paterson moved on to join Burnley at the end of the season.
The club were rewarded for sticking with Adkins through a difficult period, though, as the former Latics stopper led the club to Wembley twice in the following campaign, suffering defeat in the Football League Trophy final to Luton Town before winning the play-off final against Millwall and thus immediately bouncing back to the second tier.
In the 2009-10 season, Scunthorpe and Adkins managed to preserve their Championship status, a feat no Iron side had achieved since 1963. Again, though, the curse of losing a key striker, struck, as Hooper, who bagged 19 goals, moved on to Celtic for over £2,000,000.
Seven games into the following season, Adkins left his post as Scunthorpe manager to take over at Southampton. Coach and former player Ian Baraclough was appointed as his replacement, but he was sacked half a year later after a slide into the relegation zone before former Iron defender Alan Knill was appointed from Bury with eight games of the season remaining, though, he could do little to help keep his old club in the Championship.
Labouring in League One for the following two years, Knill was sacked and replaced by Laws in October 2012, though, after a six-year absence he left the club again after poor form in November 2013 with the club relegated to the bottom tier in the previous campaign.
His assistant Russ Wilcox took over and led the Iron a 28-game unbeaten run, ending in a 2–0 defeat to Exeter City, which broke the all-time Football League unbeaten run record, and the Lincolnshire outfit achieved instant promotion back to League One.
Last season, though, Wilcox struggled to maintain the momentum he’d created and he was replaced by current boss Mark Robins October last year with the club struggling in the relegation zone. The former Manchester United man lead his new side to a 16th place finish come the end of the season.
11 out and 11 in, it’s been a busy summer this time around for Robins but from the outside he looks to have recruited well. Stephen Dawson signed on a free transfer from Rochdale and will add experience to the Iron midfielder whilst the presence of Darius Henderson in attack is sure to be crucial. Young players such as Jamie Ness, Tom Hopper and Luke Williams will have crucial roles to play whilst Scott Wiseman, Scott Laird and Jack King all helped Preston North End win promotion from this division last season.
In terms of outgoings, Billy Kee, Jennison Myrie-Williams, Sam Slocombe and Miguel Llera have left but there’s no doubt Robins will feel he has a better side than when he took over the club just under a year ago.
Striker Paddy Madden is arguably the Iron’s biggest threat; the Irish striker has scored three of their opening four goals this season: one coming in an opening day defeat at Burton Albion, the other two a double in Saturday’s 2-0 home win over Crewe Alexandra.
Prolific striker Paddy Madden has started the season well for the Iron.
Watch six minutes of highlights from Latics’ 3-0 win over Scunthorpe United in 1999, the league fixture to be played at the DW Stadium.
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