Boss Paul Hurst believes Scunthorpe are finally starting to show their quality as they came from behind to beat Port Vale 2-1.
Goals from Kevin van Veen and Kgosi Ntlhe cancelled out Jake Taylor’s opener for the visitors and sealed back-to-back wins for the first time this season for the Iron – who have now lost just one of their last nine games.
“It was a very good performance against an in-form team who are doing very well. I thought we more than matched them,” Hurst said.
“We didn’t do a lot wrong in the first half, but after going behind it was pleasing to be level by half-time, at which point we asked the players for more quality on the ball and a few more forward runs.
“We upped the tempo in the second half and it would have been very harsh if we hadn’t forced a winner.
“For large parts we were the better team. We had to raise the tempo, but sometimes that’s how games go – it might be a case of wearing teams down.
“If I had one criticism it’s that we could have been more clinical to make it more comfortable at the end, but I feel we’re starting to see the signs of progress that I thought we would.”
Vale were unbeaten in five going into the clash at the Sands Venue Stadium and looked good value to extend that run when Taylor rolled a shot into the bottom corner from inside the penalty area following good work by David Worrall.
Scunthorpe though levelled eight minutes after the visitors had gone in front as van Veen converted from Harrison McGahey’s run and cross, before Ntlhe forced home what proved to be the winner in the 51st minute, after Vale keeper Scott Brown failed to clear a corner.
Both teams had a man sent off after the final whistle, with Scunthorpe’s Matthew Lund and Vale winger Worrall shown red cards for an altercation as the players were about to leave the pitch.
While keen to see his side play with emotion, Port Vale manager John Askey admitted he’d have preferred to see it channelled differently.
He said: “You want players to run harder and be prepared to get on the ball, fight for every header and put their bodies on the line.
“The last thing you want to see is pushing and shoving because that doesn’t do any good.
“When we scored I thought we were going to get hold of the game, but we gave a poor goal away through not tracking runners and let Scunthorpe back into it.
“I thought Scunthorpe were really vulnerable at the back, but we didn’t make enough of that when we had the ball.
“Too many players put in poor performances.”