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15:00 1st January 2013
By  Alex Renshaw

Scunthorpe were held to a 2-2 draw on Tuesday afternoon in a fiery encounter against Oldham Athletic.

United took a two goal lead thanks to strikes from Niall Canavan and Mark Duffy, but ex Iron captain Cliff Byrne pulled a goal back just before half-time to give the Latics’ hope.

Jose Baxter equalised for the visitors from the penalty spot midway through the second half shortly before James Wesolowski was given a straight red card but neither side could find a winning goal.

United made four changes to the side that went down at Tranmere three days ago as Steve Mildenhall, Callum Kennedy, Robbie Gibbons and AddaDjeziri were replaced in the starting line up by Sam Slocombe, Christian Ribeiro, Jimmy Ryan and Mark Duffy.

The visitors made two changes to their starting X1 as Jean Yves-Mvoto and Cristian Montano came in for Connor Brown and Youssouf M’changama which meant that Iron old boy Cliff Byrne retained his place in defence to make his maiden appearance at Glanford Park as an opposition player.

The first chance of the match came on eight minutes when a long ball forward from Tom Newey was picked up by Karl Hawley and he proceeded to play a dinked cross towards Ryan at the back post but the winger saw his effort crash against the underside of the crossbar and onto the goal line but, despite valiant appeals from the Iron supporters, the referee’s assistant decided that the ball had not crossed the line.

Oldham then had a chance of their own just moments later as a pin-point centre into the United box was headed over by 6ft 6in striker Matt Smith at close range.

And then it was Scunthorpe’s turn to go close once more as Hawley latched onto a punt up field by Slocombe, only to see Latics’ glove man Dean Bouzanis tip his effort over the crossbar.

However Brian Laws’ men did take the lead soon after as Mark Duffy played a weighted pass to Ryan on the edge of the area who unleashed a powerful drive towards goal that was initially saved by Bouzanis but defender Niall Canavan was on hand to prod the ball into the back of the net from deep inside the six yard box.

The Iron then doubled their advantage three minutes later as Duffy made a purposeful dart up the pitch and struck a low effort from just inside the penalty area that flew past a motionless Bouzanis in the Oldham goal to put Scunthorpe two goals to the good.

To make matters worse for Paul Dickov’s men, the Greater Manchester outfit were then forced into a substitution as wide man Cristian Montano was brought down on the edge of the United area and required immediate assistance before being replaced by Youssouf M’changama.

That change seemed to have a positive impact on Oldham’s play as M'changama’s dangerous in-swinging cross was nudged away for a corner and the resulting flag kick saw Smith direct a forceful header at Sam Slocombe’s goal which the returning ‘keeper could only parry before diving on the ball to prevent a goalmouth scramble.

And Oldham then found a way back into the game on 35 minutes as Reece Wabara floated a free kick into United’s 18 yard box which Smith then nodded back towards goal where Cliff Byrne was lurking to notch his first goal for his new employers at the place that he used to call home.

Scunthorpe came close to regaining their two goal advantage soon after as Bouzanis failed to hold Newey’s high ball into the area but Jimmy Ryan couldn’t direct his hooked attempt on target.

In a free flowing game, Oldham then had an opportunity to equalise as the menacing Smith saw a commanding header superbly saved by Slocombe down to his right from a delightful Lee Croft cross but the score remained at 2-1 as referee Richard Clark blew his whistle to signal the end of a scintillating first half.

The second period got off to a dull start but Niall Canavan did force Bouzanis into a smart save from a Mark Duffy Corner before the match was then brought to life.

First, the away side were awarded a penalty as Canavan knocked Smith over in the area and former Everton man Jose Baxter dinked the resulting spot kick into the middle of the goal to level the game at 2-2 but Oldham were then reduced to 10 men as James Wesolowski received his marching orders for kicking out at Iron midfielder Damien Mozika.

And United almost retook the lead minutes later as Duffy’s cross field pass was struck goal bound by substitute Nathan Ellington but his left footed volley whizzed agonisingly wide of the far post as the game fired up.

However, as the match reached its dying embers - with five minutes of stoppage time added - neither team could muster up any more chances of note and the game ended in a draw.

Scunthorpe are next in action on Saturday when they play host to Shrewsbury Town.

Scunthorpe United:
Slocombe, Ribeiro, Reid, Canavan, Newey, Ryan (Ellington, 70), Mozika, Collins, Duffy, Barcham, Hawley
Substitutes not used: Severn, Kennedy, Grella, Gibbons, Godden, Djeziri.

Oldham Athletic: Bouzanis, Wabara, Byrne, Yves-Mvoto, Grounds, Croft (Winchester, 74), Furman, Wesolowski, Montano (M'Changama, 25), Smith, Baxter
Substitutes not used: Cisak, Brown, Tarkowski, Taylor, Millar.

Attendance: 3,116 (256 away).

Sponsors' man of the match: Mark Duffy.

Iron Bar man of the match: Damien Mozika.


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