Four players got 90 minutes under their belts and six got 70 minutes as the Iron continued their pre-season schedule with a deserved 2-0 victory over Guiseley AFC at Nethermoor Park.
Lee Novak and John McAtee got the goals, both coming shortly before the interval, to seal Paul Hurst’s second victory of pre-season.
United sent a mixed eleven to both Bottesford Town and Guiseley for fixtures, but it was a strong side that began at Guiseley, playing the majority of the game.
The Iron were forced to defend early on in the encounter with Butler managing to win the first header before Trialist A made a good first impression with his sliding challenge to prevent an early chance on goal.
After three minutes, United won their first corner of the game. McAtee held the ball up well on the right of the area, laying off for Dales who drove into the area before being intercepted for a corner. The corner dropped to Butler on the edge of the box, but he was closed down by three Guiseley players, with his subsequent shot blocked.
United began to put on the pressure, with another corner just a minute later going to the Iron with Lund and Dales both combining down the right. Kgosi Ntlhe rose highest from the resultant corner, floated in by Lund, with his header going narrowly over the bar.
Scunthorpe were making good advances and continued that work beyond the opening ten minutes of the game. On 10 minutes, play almost went route one though, with a quick release from Rory Watson seeing the ball flicked onto Alex Gilliead via Ntlhe, but his cross was turned away.
McAtee continued to be prominent for the Iron as he twice slid in to win the ball back and start attacks which were snuffed out by the Guiseley defence.
The hosts had their best chance on 14 minutes, drawing a brilliant save from Watson. Trialist 10 latched onto the long ball forward with his looping effort threatened to dip below the crossbar but the United ‘keeper got to it to tip over the bar.
18 minutes in, McAtee threaded a through ball down the right for Clarke to run onto. He wins the 50-50 challenge before crossing for Gilliead who had made a darting run. His header went wide of the target.
Guiseley had a couple of advances forward midway through the first half with Butler forced to head clear one cross into the box before Trialist A won a header in the crowded six-yard box from a home corner to alleviate the danger.
On 28 minutes, the Iron produced one of their best moves of the game so far, with Dales spreading the ball wide for Clarke. He plays a give-and-go with Gilliead who receives a cut-back pass in the area only to see his shot blocked from close range.
A minute later, Scunthorpe had a penalty shout turned down as Trialist A went down in the area, but the referee was unmoved.
33 minutes in McAtee almost had a goal that his performance deserved, starting and ending a move which resulted in him firing over the bar from just inside the area. Gilliead strode forward before the ball was intercepted. McAtee picked up the pieces before Clarke’s cutback from the right met the former Shrewsbury man’s timed run.
Five minutes later, the Iron drew Guiseley’s goalkeeper - Trialist 1 - into a tremendous double save First he palmed away Lund’s long range effort from 25-yards before the ball bobbled into the path of Novak who smashes the rebound towards the net, but the ‘keeper spread himself and kept the ball out.
That was just a temporary reprieve though as United did take the lead on 39 minutes. Lund threaded a through ball towards the edge of the area, intended for McAtee, but he used his awareness to dummy for Novak, who controlled before firing a left-footed effort across goal and into the bottom corner of the net.
United continued their pressure and pushed for a second before half-time. Novak played a brilliant ball around the corner for Gilliead to run onto down the right. He cut back for Clarke before Novak played in the cross. Dales was running in but couldn’t quite connect, with good intent continuing for the visitors.
That second strike did arrive before the interval, with Novak involved once more. He sent a brilliant ball over the top for McAtee, who plucked the ball out the air, taking the onrushing goalkeeper out of the equation before using his composure to coolly slot the ball into an unguarded net.
At the interval, Jordan Hallam replaced Trialist A for the Iron as manager Paul Hurst looked to extend the 45 minutes that most of his side received last time out against Dundee in La Manga.
Two minutes into the second half, the deficit could’ve been halved but for tremendous defending from Andy Butler. A low cross came in from the left aimed at Paul Clayton for Guiseley. He looked set to side-foot home, but a sliding challenge saw Butler come away with the ball.
On 49 minutes, the Iron had their first chance of the second half. Lund won the ball back on half way and played to McAtee who strode forward unchallenged before slotting to Hallam on the left. The Iron substitute checked onto his right foot before firing over.
Three minutes later, McAtee, Clarke and Gilliead all combined which culminated in a ball over the top by Clarke for McAtee before United win a throw. Soon after, McAtee again comes out with possession in midfield, striding forward before unleashing Hallam down the right. He won a corner as his advances were snuffed out. The resultant corner was played short, with Hallam’s shot blocked as he looked to find space inside the area.
On 56 minutes, Scunthorpe were forced to defend for the first time in the second half after conceding a free-kick on the left. Butler rose highest to command the area and head clear the kick into the penalty area by Trialist 10.
Just before the hour mark, Novak found space 25-yards from goal to open up and fire a powerful effort towards goal, only for a defender to throw himself in the way and block the attempt.
Guiseley made a string of substitutions intermittently beyond the hour which saw the tempo of the game drop. United still had advances though through McAtee and Novak, but none to test the substitute trialist in between the Guiseley sticks.
On 69 minutes, Ntlhe won a corner on the left side following more advance play from the left-back. Hallam took the cross, playing to Butler who headed wide from close range.
On 70 minutes, United made six alterations, with Andy Dales, Lee Novak, Jordan Clarke, Kgosi Ntlhe, Andy Butler, Alex Gilliead making way for Joey Dawson, Jo Cummings, Omar Sanyang, Reon Potts, Mason O’Malley, Harry Baker.
Six minutes later, the hosts win a free-kick outside the area on the left, with Watson doing brilliantly to come and claim the cross under pressure.
Nine minutes from time, the hosts threatened to get one back through Hussain. He took a neat first touch before shooting goalwards. Cummings flicked out a foot to block the goal bound effort.
On 83 minutes, Hallam had a chance to extend Scunthorpe’s lead as he was teed up by McAtee inside the area, but the half-time substitute fired over the bar.
Four minutes before full-time, Hallam and Sanyang do well on the right with the latter crossing deep for McAtee who controlled before sending a volley looping towards the target, but the ball dropped just wide.
That was the end of the action at Nethermoor Park, with United holding a clean sheet and their 2-0 victory.
IRON: Watson, Clarke (Baker, 70), Ntlhe (O’Malley, 70), Trialist A (Hallam, 45), McGahey, Butler (Cummings, 70), Dales (Dawson, 70), Lund, Novak (Potts, 70), McAtee, Gilliead (Sanyang, 70).
IRON SUBS UNUSED: Kelsey.