Scunthorpe manager Neil Cox was understandably upbeat after his side caused a huge upset in Cambridge on Tuesday evening, as they defeated the league leaders 1-0.
United were under the cosh for large parts of the game, but stood firm against the barrage of attacks from the home side.
And in the 79th minute, Alfie Beestin’s mazy run and tidy finished stole all three points on the night, in what you can only be described as a ‘smash and grab’.
Talking to the Iron’s iFollow account, Cox said: “We’ve come to the top of the league team and we’ve got absolutely battered, to be honest with you.
“They kept the possession, they worked us hard and they created chances in the first half.
“They had a couple of good chances to go 1-0 up, but we stuck at it and we put in a performance away from home where we dug deep, counter-attacked and went 1-0 up by luck. You deserve a bit of luck now and then; we’ve deserved some as we’ve had some decisions against us.
“We’ve managed to sneak one in but I must say they are an excellent footballing side, by far the best in the league, and I hope they keep playing that way because it’s good to see.”
The Iron went into the game with a handful of injuries and knocks to key players, with George Taft and Ryan Loft both notable absentees.
I mean, if you had been ballsy enough to back United to win this match, you might as well throw money at the 888 Android poker app, and can we have the lottery numbers please too whilst you’re at it?
Discussing the team’s performance in the light of the injuries, Cox said: “It’s a team game but we’ve had a couple of injuries, so George Taft and Ryan Loft missed the game. JB (Jacob Bedeau) had to come off, and hopefully that’s cramp and not a calf strain. Then Dev (Green) came off too and we end up putting people in different positions. We’re just down to the bare bones at the minute but we have to stick in there and show fighting spirit for the football club – I think that’s what we’ve done.”
Results went the Iron’s way in the division on Tuesday night but Cox is choosing to focus on United and not on the teams around them in the table, he said: “I’m not worried about anybody else, it’s what we do and sometimes when we don’t play well it’s about sticking together, as you can tell at the moment there’s a team spirit there even though we’ve had two defeats and we came here against the top of the league team trying to get the points, which we did.”
Commenting on the Beestin goal and the match as a whole, the manager said: “It’s the only chance we had but at the end of the day we hit the target. Early on they had a couple of chances which they missed and our keeper made a save or two as well.
“I don’t think they had many chances in the second half. In the second half, we got ourselves organised and were better defensively and did a good job.”
An away trip to Salford awaits this weekend, so the matches don’t get any easier.