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Iron on rise as Owls run is ended
Published : 27 Jan 2010 22:27:49
Hooper hit his 10th goal of the campaign early on and McCann finished the job after 77 minutes for his seventh of the season to help Nigel Adkins' men to a maiden home league win over Wednesday. Both players' futures at the club are unclear, however, with Hooper linked with transfer window moves to Bristol City and Leeds, and McCann out of contract at the end of the season and yet to reach a new agreement. That will not concern Adkins too much at the moment, though, as he appears to be on course to guide his unfancied charges to what had appeared to be an improbable survival this season. The same cannot currently be said of opposite number Alan Irvine. The Scot had won his first three games in charge of the Owls but, despite this being his first loss, he was given a rude introduction to some of the reasons why his charges had previously floundered so badly as they failed to work home goalkeeper Joe Murphy more once. After impressing in their 4-2 FA Cup defeat to Manchester City on Sunday, Scunthorpe started in the same vein here and were ahead within 80 seconds thanks to Hooper. The striker could barely believe his luck as the Wednesday defence stood and watched Paul Hayes' slide-rule pass to leave him in the clear, and he kept his composure and easily slotted past Lee Grant from just inside the area. Wednesday were stunned by Scunthorpe's flying start but could have equalised six minutes later had Leon Clarke directed his shot on the turn away from Murphy's body. Hayes and Hooper then combined again, this time with the latter playing in the former who thumped an effort against Grant's body as Wednesday captain Darren Purse continually failed to deal with the pace and movement of the pair. Scunthorpe would have extended their lead after 32 minutes were it not for the brilliance of Grant, with the highly-rated goalkeeper using every inch of his frame to tip over a wicked McCann drive. Clarke's earlier attempt ended up being Wednesday's only meaningful shot at goal during the first half, but the striker signalled an upturn in their attacking intent after the restart with a low hit that drifted wide. At the other end Martyn Woolford should have done better with a free volley inside the box that was gifted to him by another moment of indecision from Purse. Tommy Spurr looped an ambitious shot just wide of Scunthorpe's goal and Cliff Byrne had to head off the line as the visitors built some pressure which would have culminated in a goal had Michael Gray not tamely shot wide when through on Murphy's goal. Garry Thompson then did the same at the opposite end but it did not matter as McCann sealed the win with 13 minutes remaining. Hayes squared the ball to him in the area and, after his initial strike was well blocked by Purse, he prodded the ball into the roof of the net on the rebound to see his side home.