Like Plymouth Argyle and Walsall before them, Scunthorpe United technically reached the last day of the League One season in position to avoid relegation. Granted, they would have needed some help – losses by clubs above them and a major improvement in goal differential – but were ultimately done in when they lost to Plymouth Argyle on the last day of the season.
After spending most of the season removed from the relegation zone, a late season tumble (sound familiar?) ultimately led to their relegation to League Two. Here’s a quick look at how the Iron ended up in this position:
What Went Wrong
Let’s talk about the stretch directly involved in their ultimate relegation.
After a convincing 4-1 win against Southend United on 12 March 2019, the Iron sat in 15th position, though only four points clear of the relegation zone. Little did they know, they would only accumulate two more points over their remaining nine matches.
They didn’t have that difficult of a schedule down the stretch; aside from losses to Portsmouth (4th) and Charlton Athletic (3rd), the best finish for any opponent over the last nine matches was the 9th place finish of Burton Albion. And the Iron had to feel good entering the final two matches of the season: a home match against already relegated Bradford City and the aforementioned season-ender against Plymouth Argyle. Earning four points across those two matches likely would have resulted in safety. Instead, identical 3-2 losses to end the season.
What Went Right
The Iron nearly saved their season with a six-match unbeaten stretch that began just before the new year.
A loss on Boxing Day to champion Luton Town moved the club to 23rd in the table, and the recent form of the club to that point – 11 losses over their last 13 – seemed to indicate that they would remain in the relegation zone for the rest of the season. Instead the club went on a six-match unbeaten run, compiling a 5-1-0 record through the end of January. The run moved them from 23rd to 14th and to temporary safety, which unfortunately didn’t last.
Despite the lost season, forward Lee Novak found some individual success, notching 12 goals over his 43 appearances.
Recent English Football League History
Who’s Playing Elsewhere Next Season?
Chances of a Quick Return?
Until next time…