Football: Sheldon sets up the future

Leyton Orient 0 Scunthorpe United 1 Calvo-Garcia 6 Half-time: 0-1 Attendance: 36,985

SCUNTHORPE'S 30 years of almost constant languishing in the bottom division finally ended at Wembley yesterday when they clung to a lead cleverly set up by 19-year-old Gareth Sheldon for the Spaniard Alex Calvo- Garcia to win their Nationwide Third Division play-off.

Scunthorpe had come to the final knowing that the team finishing one place behind the automatic promotion position for the Second Division had gone to Wembley and succeeded in the previous seven seasons. When you think about it that is the way it should be in all divisions, but such predictability would take away the whole point of the play-offs, which is to extend the wait for the champagne until last orders.

Neither side had reached Wembley comfortably. Scunthorpe had been involved in a 20-man brawl and had a player sent off against Swansea in the second leg of their semi-final but Sheldon, a substitute, scored twice in extra time to get them through; Orient progressed only after a penalty shoot- out against Rotherham, thanks to their goalkeeper, Scott Barrett.

Sheldon's inexperience counted for little then or yesterday when, after only six minutes, he turned smartly in the Orient penalty area to give Calvo-Garcia the chance to guide a header inside the far post.

Afterwards the former Spanish Second Division player admitted: "When Scunthorpe asked me to join them I had to look at a map to find out where they were." The Scunthorpe manager Brian Laws added: "He didn't come for the money, that's for sure."

Sheldon, linking with the much more experienced former Wimbledon striker, John Gayle, continued to disturb Orient's hesitant defenders, who were unable to relieve the pressure. Orient rued the early failure of Steve Watts to connect strongly enough with a header that proved their only serious chance of the first half.

Orient needed to get a grip in midfield, especially through the creative Martin Ling. They replaced Stuart Hicks and Tony Richards with Craig Maskell, up front, and Alex Inglethorpe in support. The effect was encouraging, the pressure relieved and opportunities followed.

With Scunthorpe pinned back, Watts brushed one of their goalposts and Amara Simba had a shot blocked in a goalmouth melee, but there was always danger of Scunthorpe breaking away and taking the match out of Orient's reach.

In this week in which last-minute delight and exasperation had so excitingly explained football's appeal, it would have been no surprise to see Orient force extra time. Yet this Scunthorpe side has resilience as well as youthful ambition. When the need came to prove they could hold their nerve they did, though not without fluttering hearts in the final minutes when Tom Evans, in goal, secured their promotion as he blocked a goal- bound shot from Inglethorpe.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Books should be for everyone, says Els, 8. Publisher Scholastic now agrees
booksAn eight-year-old saw a pirate book was ‘for boys’ and took on the publishers
Life and Style
Mary Beard received abuse after speaking positively on 'Question Time' about immigrant workers: 'When people say ridiculous, untrue and hurtful things, then I think you should call them out'
tech
Life and Style
Most mail-order brides are thought to come from Thailand, the Philippines and Romania
life
News
i100
Life and Style
tech
Voices
Margaret Thatcher, with her director of publicity Sir Gordon Reece, who helped her and the Tory Party to victory in 1979
voicesThe subject is being celebrated by the V&A museum, triggering some happy memories for former PR man DJ Taylor
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Ashdown Group: Treasury Assistant - Accounts Assistant - London, Old Street

£24000 - £26000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: A highly successful, glo...

Recruitment Genius: Installation and Service / Security Engineer

£22000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company is part of a Group...

Recruitment Genius: Service Charge Accounts Assistant

£16000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you a a young, dynamic pers...

Cancer Research UK: Corporate Partnerships Volunteer Events Coordinator – London

Voluntary: Cancer Research UK: We’re looking for someone to support our award ...

Day In a Page

General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

Marginal Streets project documents voters

Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

The real-life kingdom of Westeros

Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

How to survive a Twitter mauling

Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

At dawn, the young remember the young

A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

Follow the money as never before

Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

Samuel West interview

The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence
Public relations as 'art'? Surely not

Confessions of a former PR man

The 'art' of public relations is being celebrated by the V&A museum, triggering some happy memories for DJ Taylor
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef succumbs to his sugar cravings with super-luxurious sweet treats

Bill Granger's luxurious sweet treats

Our chef loves to stop for 30 minutes to catch up on the day's gossip, while nibbling on something sweet
London Marathon 2015: Paula Radcliffe and the mother of all goodbyes

The mother of all goodbyes

Paula Radcliffe's farewell to the London Marathon will be a family affair
Everton vs Manchester United: Steven Naismith demands 'better' if Toffees are to upset the odds against United

Steven Naismith: 'We know we must do better'

The Everton forward explains the reasons behind club's decline this season
Arsenal vs Chelsea: Praise to Arsene Wenger for having the courage of his convictions

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Praise to Wenger for having the courage of his convictions