1-1 (Fowler 47), 2-1 (Fowler 56), 3-1 (Fowler [pen] 64)
0-1 (Keogh 17)
- Match reports
- Sat 07 Jan 2006, 12:00AM
- Posted by Leon Collins
A Robbie Fowler hat-trick saw City through to the next round of the FA Cup, but it was not easy after Scunthorpe shocked the stadium with a Keogh goal after 17 minutes.
The introduction of Lee Croft at half time paid dividends as he set up Fowler for his first just after the break. The striker struck twice more to complete the turn around in fortunes, but Stuart Pearce will no doubt seek a big improvement all round ahead of the derby, but City can point to a steely resolve that saw them home and will stand them in good stead for the United match.
Robbie Fowler made his first start of the season, playing up front with Antoine Sibierski. Stephen Jordan replaced Ben Thatcher, who failed a late fitness test.
The Irons brought around 6,000 fans, and they packed out the away end well before kick off. The stand-out name for Scunthorpe was the 40 year-old Peter Beagrie, Keogh and Sharp were the strikers to watch out for.
Scunthorpe's fans started the game in fine voice and were clearly out to enjoy themselves on a damp and chilly day.
City saw the lion's share of early possession and looked to get Onuoha into the attack out on the right. Fowler was brought into play on several occasions, especially after eight minutes when a good move finished with Jordan's cross towards Fowler just being headed away by the defence at the last second.
Scunthorpe did not lack confidence to go forward, and after 13 minutes Hinds was close to connecting to a free kick within the six yard box.
But seconds later at the other end Sinclair went close when he harried Evans in the Irons' goal, his looping connection traversing the face of the goal.
And just a minute later Robbie Fowler went close with a left footed shot that went inches wide of the keeper's left post.
However it was the visitors who shocked the home fans on 17 minutes, when they took the lead through Andy Keogh. The former Leeds trainee ran on to a through ball and with Dunne & James closing in he calmly slipped the ball into the corner of the net. To make matters worse Dunne looked hurt after colliding with his keeper but returned to the field at the restart.
City struggled to impose themselves with passes going astray, but Joey Barton broke the shackles to shoot on 27 minutes, a wicked deflection taking the ball spinning just onto the roof of the net.
Three minutes later Sun broke down the left and put in a testing cross towards Sibierski at the far post, but Evans collected well under pressure from the big Frenchman.
The visitors went close to scoring again after 35 minutes, when Keogh crossed towards Sharp, but the impressive striker did not realise how much time he had and his eventual effort was blocked for a corner. James palmed the dead ball effort away to concede another but City's defence cleared decisively.
City had a free kick on the edge of the box on the stroke of half time, but Fowler's effort hit the wall - leading to huge protests on the pitch and in the stand as the ball looked to have hit a defending hand.
And deep into stoppage time Sinclair homed in on goal, but his right-footed shot, fired in from the right side of the area, flew a couple of yards over the bar.
Half time 0-1
Croft replaced Onuoha at the break, with Sun slotting in at right back. The substitute went on the attack from the off and put Fowler through, but the striker's left-foot shot went wide of Evans' left post.
And the replacement really paid off on 47, with Croft getting to the byline on the left side of the area, crossing to Robbie Fowler and the striker smacking the ball home from six yards to the huge relief of the home fans.
The popular midfielder's arrival nearly came good again two minutes later, when he collected a Sinclair cross in the area, but after steadying himself he shot a long way over with his right foot.
The game was really alive now, with the hosts starting to impose their will on the game.
City took the lead on 56, and it was Robbie Fowler again! Ireland passed to the striker in space just outside the area, and Fowler's insolent left-footed flick floated past the stock-still Evans to go in off the keeper's left hand post.
The turn-around in fortunes was complete on 64 when Robbie Fowler completed his hat trick. This time it was from the penalty spot, after a Scunthorpe defender handled off the floor in the area. The England striker calmly stepped up and deftly placed the ball to Evans' right.
Both sides made a raft of replacements, and one of City's, Wright-Phillips, nearly made a Croft-like impact, but the striker elected to shoot when Fowler was in acres of space inside the box. BWP's effort rolled across the goalmouth and just wide.
City were in total control now, but Stuart Pearce could be seen demanding more from his side even with the game seemingly won. Ireland floated a corner way out to Barton with nine minutes left, but his shot was deflected to safety.
Fowler had a sniff of a chance to make it four on 90 minutes but was blocked. As the board flashed up three extra minutes, Barton looked to be clipped in the area but referee Hall waved the protests for a penalty away. Almost immediately Barton latched onto a Wright-Phillips knock-down but volleyed wide.
Next up at the City of Manchester Stadium - it's the derby! Citycard members can still buy tickets for the biggest game of the season by calling 0870 062 1894