Mason O’Malley netted a superb strike from outside the box to give the Iron victory in their third encounter of pre-season.
Played at Leeds United’s training ground Thorp Arch, Scunthorpe’s third match in seven days got underway at 1pm, with match coverage coming from post-match only at the request of the hosts.
Four outfield players got 90 minutes under their belts in the encounter, which included Andrew Boyce who played his second full game in the space of three days, guiding the side to a clean sheet in the process.
The Iron were stronger in the opening exchanges, with Harry Lewis winning an attacking free-kick in the opening minute. Dan Gallimore’s delivery was headed across goal by George Taft, with the ball cushioned out for the opening corner.
From the resultant corner, a slight touch on the ball resulted in it being taken off the boot of Joe Bunney, but Jai Rowe was able to control and shoot, with the effort blocked from point blank range.
Cameron Wilson was next to stretch the Leeds back line, with a run in behind on the left. His low cross was turned behind for another corner. That delivery was floated in by Jordan Hallam with Boyce winning first contact before George Taft sent his volley over the bar.
United continued their rampant start with Lewis intercepting on six minutes before combining with Bunney and Hallam. The ball was spread left to O’Malley who sent in a first time low cross which was controlled by Bunney before being swept narrowly wide by Hallam.
Leeds’ first advance came after eight minutes when they found space down the left to squeeze in a low cross. Taft was on hand, positioned in the goal mouth, to hook the ball clear.
Four minutes later, the hosts had some joy down the right channel after a beat through ball. Following the advance, a low cross was swept across the area, but no touch from the incoming striker resulted in an Iron goal kick.
Growing into the game, Leeds this time attacked down the left on 14 minutes, with the latest cutback turned behind for a corner by Taft.
On 17 minutes, the hosts won another corner following a blocked cross by O’Malley. The corner was zipped in low and missed by everyone before being recycled on the edge of the box. The resultant 20-yard effort curled wide of the target.
The Iron’s best chance so far came two minutes later as Wilson fed Hallam from the left. He took a beat drag back turn before curling a low, 20-yard effort narrowly wide of the target.
Marcus Dewhurst was first called into action on 24 minutes when a snapshot from 25-yards took a slight deflection. En route to his bottom right corner, the trialist ‘keeper got down smartly to beat the effort away.
Two minutes later, Leeds should have taken the lead as the forward advanced on goal before playing a reverse pass into the box. O’Malley slid in on the shot to provide a superb block to prevent what could have been the opening goal.
On 28 minutes, Boyce threw his body in the way of a long range, left-footed shot before Rowe headed away the resultant corner. That was followed up by another good block by Rowe from an incoming shot, with the ball cueing out wide to the channel.
With 12 minutes to go until half-time, Dewhurst was again called into action after Leeds played from halfway involving a give-and-go and some neat footwork, before the shot stopper saved well with his feet.
34 minutes in, Gallimore is played into the right channel before checking back and feeding Shrimpton. He is hauled down after he crossed into the area, resulting in a free-kick. Lewis curled in the in-swinger, but the cross was just above Bunney’s run, with the Leeds goalkeeper gathering.
After 40 minutes, Bunney seized on a loose pass to break through, but he was cynically hauled down by a Leeds defender. From the resultant free-kick, the Iron played into the box, with Rowe rolling a low shot narrowly wide of the post.
The hosts had one final advance before the whistle, winning a late corner, but Boyce headed away from danger with the referee bringing a swift close to the half.
Scunthorpe made six alterations at the interval, including Elliott Whitehouse making his latest appearance in claret and blue, but his first since penning a one-year deal.
Within the first minute of the second half, the Iron were on the front foot with Jack Moore-Billam shrugging off one midfielder before driving through. He played a give-and-go with Joe Nuttall but was crowded out. Scunthorpe maintained the pressure though, with Nuttall almost stealing in on a loose back pass.
Leeds’ first opportunity of the second half came on 50 minutes when their number nine unleashed a powerful effort which was well touched over by Dewhurst.
Two minutes later, from a Leeds short corner, the Iron broke with Feeney played in behind. He raced onto the loose ball before attempting to send the ball over the top of the goalkeeper from 45-yards, but the ball dropped just over the bat.
10 minutes into the second half, Gallimore strode down the right wing and had initially looked as though he’d overrun the ball. Just as the chance looked dead, he nipped around the back of the defender to win the ball, cutting it back for Nuttall. Just as the trigger was about to be pulled, the defence regrouped to steal possession, but the loose ball found Whitehouse, who sent a 25-yard effort over.
Just moments later, Jack Moore-Billam was threaded in on the right side of the area. His cross deflected away to Beestin, who was denied with his left-footed half-volley from 20-yards by the home shot stopper.
The Leeds goalkeeper was back making saves just a minute later as Feeney was found with a brilliant ball across goal, with the first time effort superbly saved. Feeney picked up the rebound before rolling in O’Malley from eight yards. His effort was again saved before his second was well blocked.
That was just a warning of what was to come though, with O’Malley picking up possession from 25-yards before rifling an effort low into the corner of the net to give the Iron the lead.
A minute later, on the hour, and before play restarted, Leeds made wholesale alterations with all 10 outfield players replaced.
On 71 minutes, the Iron won a free-kick on the left side. The ball was whipped in by Feeney, with Nuttall winning contact on the ball, but the header dropped just wide of the post.
The hosts ought to have equalised on 74 minutes after getting space out wide right on the edge of the box, but the incoming shot didn’t trouble Dewhurst as it flashed across goal and wide. Dewhurst was also quick off his line moments later as a throughball threatened to put the hosts in the clear.
With 10 minutes left, Gallimore picked up the loose ball and found Moore-Billam on the right. He spun his marker and was brought down for a free-kick. Feeney’s kick was headed away before Cribb sent a first time effort over the bar from outside the area.
Five minutes later, Dewhurst was called into action again as a low shot came in from the left towards his near post. It was a well-handled, yet comfortable, save from the goalkeeper.
That effort was the final of an action-filled encounter at Thorp Arch, with Scunthorpe recording their first victory and clean sheet of pre-season.
The side now returns to Glanford Park for their next three matches, first hosting Sheffield United next Saturday (July 16th).
IRON: Dewhurst, Gallimore, Boyce, Taft, O’Malley, Lewis (Moore-Billam, 45), Shrimpton (Whitehouse, 45), Rowe (Cribb, 45), Wilson (Beestin, 45), Hallam (Feeney, 45), Bunney (Nuttall, 45).