A Nicky Wroe hat-trick moved North End up to eighth place in League One, delighting the fans and his gaffer at Scunthorpe.
Manager Graham Westley was delighted at what he described as almost ‘perfect away day performance’ in the first 40 minutes, followed by a resolute last hour to give the Lilywhites their third away win of the season in the 3-2 success at Glanford Park.
“I think the lads took a lot of unfair criticism at the weekend,” he told the press after the game. “We had 56 per cent possession against a side that was unbeaten and that was a very good return in terms of their display. They dominated the game and deserved to get a lot more than they did from it.
“I thought the press they got suggesting it was a one-way traffic game was disappointing, but tonight they showed the qualities they have started to show as a team and for 35 to 40 minutes it was a joy to watch and almost perfect away day football.
“They put them to the sword and really did put on a show.
“The whole team got on the front foot and took the game to them. It was disappointing to concede the first goal and we went into the second half trying to sure things up rather than go on the front foot and get the next goal. Sometimes when you haven’t been winning games consistently that can happen, but I am sure the mentality of the team will be positive in those situations going forward.
“I thought we controlled the game in the second half and although Simmo was called into action for the late save, we never really looked like giving up the advantage.
“We were very good; the players took the game to Scunthorpe; they decided they wanted to play on the front foot and with the ball. We mixed the game up well, we passed it and we worked it in behind and I thought the balance of our play was excellent and the three goals were first class.”
Wroe was the headline grabber with his first half treble and the manager was happy to reinforce his No.8’s praise: “It was a terrific finish. All else aside, I thought Nicky showed great athleticism to get into the box and great quality to finish Jack’s superb ball in. The way it bounced up he had to adjust himself and showed great technical skill to put it in the back of the net.
“They were three cracking goals. He’s got a hat-trick before but two of them were penalties. He got back in the box tonight and this is something I’ve been asking him to do and I thought his all round game was excellent and he deserved the plaudits he’ll get for three excellent finishes.”
He was also pleased with his frontmen: “Speaking in the dressing room my coach was keen to emphasise the role of the front two tonight.
“Jack’s hold up play was absolutely outstanding and Beav ran in the back of them and was a constant menace. Both of them had chances, but they helped the team going forward and it is right to pick them out and highlight an excellent performance from the pair of them,” he added.