United went out of the Emirates FA Cup at the first round stage, as they were beaten 3-1 by Charlton Athletic at the Valley.On an afternoon in which the visitors created chances at will, things ultimately just didn’t go their way. Two strikes from Ademola Lookman and one from Johnnie Jackson sealed the Addicks’ passage to the next round, despite Tom Hopper bringing Scunthorpe back into the game after half time.
The Iron made two alterations going into the game, with Richie Smallwood replacing the suspended Neal Bishop, while Charlie Goode came in for David Mirfin in the heart of the defence.
The match began at a fast pace and, minutes into proceedings, Charlton midfielder Ricky Holmes took a tumble in the penalty area, but referee Christopher Sarginson waved away the appeals.
United then applied some pressure of their own, with Kevin van Veen sliding in a perfectly weighted pass for Josh Morris, who looked to slip through a lurking Duane Holmes at the far post. The Addicks’ defence did well though, and cleared the danger.
It was van Veen’s turn to then register an effort of his own, as he robbed a Charlton defender before unleashing a drive from 20 yards. Declan Rudd in the home goal was up to it though, and caught the shot.
The Dutchman went close again on 13 minutes and, after Holmes had stood the ball up, the striker looked set to head the visitors ahead. However, it was frustration as van Veen glanced just wide of the goal.
Scunthorpe were the dominant side, and chances persisted to present themselves, with Morris sending a left footed whipped strike past Rudd’s left hand post moments later.
Perhaps the best opportunity of the lot fell to the heavily involved van Veen. Scott Wiseman did brilliant initially to break down the right and cut the ball back to the forward, who lifted over from close range.
Despite their dominance though, Alexander’s men fell behind surprisingly, ten minutes before the interval. He’d not been on the field of play for too long, but substitute Lookman did well to cut in onto his left foot, and then fire the ball past Daniels and into the far corner.
No sooner had the hosts gone ahead, they were celebrating a second as captain Jackson doubled the lead with a neatly taken goal from the left of the penalty area, to send the hosts in ahead at the break.
Scunthorpe flew out of the traps at the start of the second period and, they were unlucky to not halve the deficit when Hopper went clean through on goal. Rudd foiled him however, as he spread his body to deflect the ball over the crossbar.
Hopper wouldn’t be frustrated for too long though as, seven minutes into the half, the striker pulled a goal back. Morris’ delivery from the left was excellent, and Hopper did well to guide his near post header into the back of the net.
By this point Scunthorpe were really turning the screw, but the door just wouldn’t open for that equaliser. Holmes was inches from doing so, with a shot which clipped the outside of the post, leading to van Veen drawing a good save out of Rudd from the follow-up.
There was a great round of applause for Luke Williams from the Iron faithful as he made his return to first team action, and he made a real impact also. The midfielder had two shots in a short space of time, the first of which forced Charlton stopper Rudd into a smart save down to his right.
Rudd’s goal was been peppered with attempts, Morris the next to set his sights. The winger’s curling left footed shot looked to have enough on it to creep in, but it drifted agonisingly wide of the goal.
United’s luck just wasn’t in, as seven minutes from time they were hit with an undeserved sucker punch on the break. It was Lookman who got it, slotting the ball past Daniels to get his second of the afternoon.
Lookman’s strike ended what was a frustrating day for the Iron, as despite throwing everything they had at the hosts, the ball just wouldn’t go in for Alexander and his team.
Charlton Athletic: Rudd, Foley, Bauer, Konsa, Fox, Holmes (Lookman, 27), Crofts, Ulvestad, Jackson (Botaka, 89), Magennis, Ajose (Novak, 73).
Substitutes not used: Phillips, Chicksen, Lennon, Teixeira, Botaka.
Scunthorpe United: Daniels, Wiseman, Wallace, Dawson, Madden (Hopper, 42), van Veen, Morris, Smallwood (Mantom, 77), Holmes (Williams, 67), Goode, Townsend.
Substitutes not used: Anyon, Mirfin, Adelakun, Clarke.
Attendance: 4,123 (682 away).
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