Scunthorpe United 0 Fleetwood Town 2: Five things we learned

Fleetwood Town fans celebrate at the end of the game
Fleetwood Town fans celebrate at the end of the game
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Fleetwood Town moved into the League One promotion places with victory at Scunthorpe United on Saturday but what were the talking points?

A potential selection headache

On the face of it, second against third - and away from home - may not have looked the ideal match for Joe Maguire to make his debut.

However, the former Liverpool youngster had a hugely impressive first outing for Town with regular wing-back Amari’i Bell sidelined through injury.

Comfortable on the ball, strong in the tackle and always willing to get forward when possible, Maguire’s performance gives head coach Uwe Rosler a nice selection issue once Bell is back to fitness.

Clinical finishing

The post-match statistics showed that Fleetwood Town only had five efforts on goal at Glanford Park, of which three were on target.

Of those three, though, two resulted in goals for Devante Cole and Bobby Grant while the third was Cian Bolger’s early header which could - and maybe should - have opened the scoring.

Yes, Scunthorpe had more attempts at goal but they only had the same number on target as Uwe Rosler’s men - and could not get the better of Town keeper Alex Cairns.

Midfielder makes a point

There may have been some eyebrows raised when the teamsheet showed the inclusion of Markus Schwabl in midfield ahead of George Glendon.

Nevertheless, he more than justified his selection with a strong display, anchoring Town’s midfield in front of their back three.

He also played a massive role in Town’s opener by winning possession, finding a team-mate and then continuing his run forward to lay the goal on a plate for Cole.

Refereeing controversy

It wouldn’t be a typical weekend without some kind of flashpoint involving the match officials.

With Town 1-0 up and 64 minutes gone, Iron midfielder Stephen Dawson thought he’d pulled them level with an acrobatic finish past Alex Cairns, only to be thwarted by an offside flag.

Post-match, United boss Graham Alexander labelled it ‘a terrible decision’ only for Town head coach Rosler to counter: “For me it was offside.”

Who to believe?

Laying down a marker

Eighteen games unbeaten is impressive enough in its own right, as is Town’s position in the automatic promotion places with only 11 games left.

What was most impressive about Saturday’s victory was the way it was achieved in a game with plenty riding on it.

January’s victory at Sheffield United was impressive enough but this one, given the significance of second facing third, was arguably a more notable three points.