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04:37 11th July 2012

The Iron lost their first League One home game of the season after going down 2-1 to newly promoted Crewe Alexandra.

Goals from Adam Leitch-Smith and Luke Murphy were enough to give the Railwaymen the win after Mike Grella had levelled the scores in the fifteenth minute.

The home side started the game with only one absentee from the defeat at Crawley with Robbie Gibbons replacing the suspended Mark Duffy.

This meant that Jimmy Ryan occupied a wide midfield role and Gibbons slotted in the centre of the park next to Josh Walker.

Tom Newey continued to deputise at the heart of the defence in the absence of captain Paul Reid, with David Mirfin again skippering the side.

Just a minute into the game, Crewe opened the scoring in spectacular fashion through young striker Adam Leitch-Smith.

Scunthorpe lost possession in the middle of the park and the ball was picked up the Crewe striker. He dribbled past two players and volleyed the ball over Slocombe’s head from 25 yards out to put the Railwaymen 1-0 up.

Further pressure came from Steve Davis’ men, and in the sixth minute Westwood hit the ball first time on the half volley but his shot whistled just over the bar.

Then straight up the other end, Barcham made a run at the full back and put in a dangerous cross which was fumbled by Martin, almost falling to an oncoming striker.

Fourteen minutes into the game, the Iron levelled the scores through Mike Grella.

A Robbie Gibbons corner was headed against the bar by David Mirfin; the ball eventually fell back to Josh Walker on the edge of the area and his chipped cross was met by Grella who finished emphatically.

Crewe’s defence stood motionless as they appealed for offside but the goal was given by referee Robert Lewis.

Much of the next fifteen minutes was played in the middle of the park, with both sides looking to retain possession and take control of proceedings.

In the 31st minute, Mirfin played a long diagonal pass aimed for Grella. He headed the ball across the area and Bobby Grant just failed to connect with what would have been a certain goal.

The Iron looked to make their mark on the game and, on 40 minutes, Josh Walker’s whipped in corner was headed just wide by Grant.

Every time Crewe tried to press, they were closed down quickly by the Scunthorpe players, and Alan Knill’s men pressed well on the counter attack.

Just before the half-time mark, Grella was fouled in the area with what seemed to be a certain penalty, but the referee waved play on.

After a shaky start to the game, the Iron looked much more dangerous as the first half came to a close and the players left the field with the scores level.

The second half began in a similar fashion to how the first ended, and Mike Grella looked a constant threat when he turned and ran at the Crewe back line.

His skill and persistence earned Scunthorpe a free-kick just before the 50 minute mark. Robbie Gibbons put in the ball quickly but Grella couldn’t reach the cross as he beat the offside trap.

With Crewe working their way into the game with some half chances, Bobby Grant missed the chance to put the Iron ahead with a free header.

Good work down the left between Barcham and Kennedy saw the left back put in a teasing cross. Grant managed to break free of his marker but with only the keeper to beat, he headed the ball over the bar from six-yards out.

A lot of the visitors good play came through central midfielder Ashley Westwood. He was a constant outlet for the Crewe side as they looked to build up attacks.

And just after the 60-minute mark, Westwood hit a curling shot from just outside the area which was aimed for the top corner. Slocombe could only watch the ball as it drifted just over the bar.

Then, a good bit of pressure resulted in Jimmy Ryan crashing a shot against the post. Walker put in a first time ball, the ball was cleared as far as Ryan and his strike from inside the area hammered against the inside of the post.

After 72 minutes, Crewe took the lead through a great team goal which was heavily influenced by both of Steve Davis’ substitutions.

Manchester City loanee Harry Bunn squeezed past two defenders and fed the ball to fellow substitute Max Clayton. He turned on the ball and played a lovely pass through to Luke Murphy.

One-on-one with Slocombe, he finished coolly to put the away side ahead.

After the goal, the visitors took charge of the game and looked to extend their lead when Byron Moore came in from the right touchline and smashed his shot against the outside of the woodwork.

Scunthorpe’s full backs started to attack more as they tried desperately to find a way back into the game. Ribeiro made a lot of promising runs with the ball down the right which made Crewe sit deeper in their own half.

The Iron fans thought that Jennings had equalised late on, but his fierce effort hit the side netting. He then had another effort from a similar position just a minute later but this time he blazed harmlessly over.

Then, Jimmy Ryan hit the final chance of the match after a good move, but he scuffed his shot and Martin watched it sail wide of his left post.

Scunthorpe United: Slocombe, Ribeiro, Mirfin, Newey, Kennedy; Walker (Keegan 87), Gibbons, Ryan, Barcham (Jennings 70); Grant, Grella.
Substitutes not used: Severn, Canavan, Hughes, Howe.


Crewe Alexandra: Martin, Davis, Dugdale, Ellis, Robertson; Westwood, Osman, Murphy; Moore, Leitch-Smith (M. Clayton 65), Pogba (Bunn 70).
Substitutes not used: Garratt, Turton, Mellor, Ray, Daniels.

    Data provided by Press Association


    For the first 50 years of their existence, England played their home matches all around the country.