Dorrans keeps West Brom in touch at top

Scunthorpe United 1 West Bromwich 3

West Bromwich Albion emerged unscathed at a ground where their promotion rivals Newcastle have already succumbed this season, but Roberto di Matteo's team only triumphed after the award of two penalties – one of which they missed – and the dismissal of two Scunthorpe players.

Yet Albion should not have needed any assistance from the decisions of referee Jon Moss, who got most of the big ones right – even if the Scunthorpe crowd would not agree.

The visitors briefly wobbled, but the dismissal of Andrew Wright, swiftly followed by a red card for Grant McCann, tipped the game in their favour and keeps them on course for a swift return to the Premier League.

The referee was the focus of attention at the end, with Di Matteo insisting: "He had a good game. He was in a good position to give both penalties. This is a difficult place to come and we have to be pleased with our performance, but the first sending off gave us the edge. We needed to stay calm because the crowd tried to influence the ref."

Scunthorpe manager Nigel Adkins was less content, but stopped short of blaming the official for a defeat that leaves them in trouble. He said: "I've got to be careful what I say. We have to live with the decisions he made but I was very disappointed with the Andy Wright dismissal. It was the turning point. It's disappointing, but that's life."

It should not have been this difficult for Albion who had dominated the first 45 minutes of the game. The Baggies, the most prolific scorers in the division, emphasised their attacking outlook with a neat move that ended with Scunthorpe keeper Joe Murphy saving well from Jerome Thomas after only 47 seconds. It heralded an enterprising spell from Di Matteo's team, who were not to be denied their deserved lead for long. With 19 one-sided minutes gone, Murphy palmed another Thomas cross straight to Graham Dorrans, who finished decisively.

For the rest of the half Albion's superiority in every area was not seriously questioned, but with just 45 seconds of the second period gone, the visitors were caught dozing. Josh Wright collected a short corner but his shot was saved by keeper Dean Kiely. The rebound fell straight to Rob Jones, who reacted quickly to claim his first goal for the club since moving to the club from Hibernian in the summer.

It prompted a brief spell of pressure from Scunthorpe, but their fate was settled on the hour when they were reduced to 10 men after Wright collected his second yellow card. Albion were ahead again within five minutes when Dorrans scored from the penalty spot after being brought down by Michael O'Connor.

Then the 10 men became nine when McCann saw red for dissent after the award of a second penalty. He should have saved his breath – Dorrans' hat-trick bid was foiled by a fine save from Murphy. Despite that disappointment, Albion made sure of the points with a late goal from Gianni Zuiverloon.

Scunthorpe United (4-5-1): Murphy; Williams, Mirfin, Jones, A Wright; Thompson (Forte, 83), J Wright (Woolford, 54; May 87), Togwell, O'Connor, McCann; Hayes. Substitutes not used: Slocombe, Sparrow, Spence, Canavan.

West Bromwich Albion (4-4-2): Kiely; Zuiverloon, Meite, Olsson, Cech; Brunt (Martis, 87), Jara, Dorrans (Mulumbu, 77), Thomas; Cox (Wood, 63), Moore. Substitutes not used: Allsop, Bednar, Reid, Teixeira.

Referee: J Moss (West Yorkshire).

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

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

Career Services

Day In a Page

On your feet! Spending at least two hours a day standing reduces the risk of heart attacks, cancer and diabetes, according to new research

On your feet!

Spending half the day standing 'reduces risk of heart attacks and cancer'
Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Reds baulk at Christian Benteke £32.5m release clause
With scores of surgeries closing, what hope is there for the David Cameron's promise of 5,000 more GPs and a 24/7 NHS?

The big NHS question

Why are there so few new GPs when so many want to study medicine?
Big knickers are back: Thongs ain't what they used to be

Thongs ain't what they used to be

Big knickers are back
Thurston Moore interview

Thurston Moore interview

On living in London, Sonic Youth and musical memoirs
In full bloom

In full bloom

Floral print womenswear
From leading man to Elephant Man, Bradley Cooper is terrific

From leading man to Elephant Man

Bradley Cooper is terrific
In this the person to restore our trust in the banks?

In this the person to restore our trust in the banks?

Dame Colette Bowe - interview
When do the creative juices dry up?

When do the creative juices dry up?

David Lodge thinks he knows
The 'Cher moment' happening across fashion just now

Fashion's Cher moment

Ageing beauty will always be more classy than all that booty
Thousands of teenage girls enduring debilitating illnesses after routine school cancer vaccination

Health fears over school cancer jab

Shock new Freedom of Information figures show how thousands of girls have suffered serious symptoms after routine HPV injection
Fifa President Sepp Blatter warns his opponents: 'I forgive everyone, but I don't forget'

'I forgive everyone, but I don't forget'

Fifa president Sepp Blatter issues defiant warning to opponents
Extreme summer temperatures will soon cause deaths of up to 1,700 more Britons a year, says government report

Weather warning

Extreme summer temperatures will soon cause deaths of up to 1,700 more Britons a year, says government report
LSD: Speaking to volunteer users of the drug as trials get underway to see if it cures depression and addiction

High hopes for LSD

Meet the volunteer users helping to see if it cures depression and addiction
German soldier who died fighting for UK in Battle of Waterloo should be removed from museum display and given dignified funeral, say historians

Saving Private Brandt

A Belgian museum's display of the skeleton of a soldier killed at Waterloo prompts calls for him to be given a dignified funeral