Reds fight back to draw 2-2
Reds stretched their unbeaten league run to five games with a hard fought 2-2 draw against League One strugglers Scunthorpe United.
Izale McLeod scored his ninth goal of the season on his welcome return after suspension from a well taken spot kick to earn John Gregory’s side a crucial point.
Lewis Price, on loan from Crystal Palace, and McLeod were the only two changes from last week’s away draw with Oldham with Marvin Elliott back from injury and starting on the bench.
The Iron were on the front foot for much of the first half and took a deserved lead after 21 minutes when centre back Sonny Bradley slipped just inside his own half and the experienced Gary
McSheffrey pounced on the loose ball which worked its way to the ever lively Paddy Madden to slide a shot underneath debutant Price for his sixth goal of the campaign.
Gwion Edwards was the main threat going forward working in and around the front two of Gavin Tomlin and McLeod in search of an equaliser, but United’s back four were strong and resolute in
the a frustrating first half for the Reds who went in at the break 1-0 down.
The second half again started in similar fashion and the Iron doubled their lead on 56 minutes after some direct wing play down the left with the impressive Lyle Taylor nipping in front of his marker and turned the ball past Price from close range.
With 20 minutes to go Gregory replaced defender Bradley with winger Lewis Young and changed the shape of the side moving to a conventional 4-4-2 with Bobson Bawling moving into midfield and Jimmy Smith slotting in at right back.
The tactical move had an instant impact with Young, Bawling and Edwards using their pace against a tiring Scunthorpe defence which lead to the start of the fight back when a powerful Leacock header from a Ryan Dickson cross from the left gave Sam Slocombe no chance with 14 minutes to go.
Izale McLeod celebrates his equaliser from the penalty spot.
Slocombe had earlier kept out a powerful drive as Reds began to build some momentum.
Town kept up the pressure and were rewarded when the ever willing Dickson was brought down in the area by defender Jennison Myrie-Williams after good link up play with Tomlin. McLeod stepped up and planed his spot kick firmly in the right hand corner to complete the brave comeback.
And it could easily have been three points. Bawling forced Slocombe to parry his volley after he'd been found by Tomlin and Tomlin then saw a header fly just wide. At the other end Price made a point-saving tip-over from a late header by Taylor.
Reds will now be looking to take the momentum from the last 20 minutes and turn it into three points at next week’s home game against Chesterfield.