Scunthorpe made it two wins from two after an excellent team performance with players all across the pitch helping United triumph 6-1 and regain their second place position in the National League North.
Following Tuesday’s dominant 6-0 thrashing of promotion hopefuls Spennymoor Town, the Iron were again in front of the Glanford Park faithful looking to make it three home wins in a row, which was to be crucial in the hunt for promotion from the National League North.
Iron manager Jimmy Dean was forced to make one change from the XI that overwhelmed the Moors in midweek, with captain Michael Clunan dropping out of the squad as a result of illness and was to be replaced by Leeds United loanee Jack Jenkins. In other news Jenkins induction into the starting XI had left a space on the bench that was filled by midfielder Tom Pugh.
In-form midfielder Jacob Butterfield got the game underway for the Iron in a tie that United were looking to use as a building block and to help sustain the much-required momentum to achieve their promotion goal.
Scunthorpe began the tie on the front foot and soon replicated the impressive start against Spennymoor by taking the lead within the opening five minutes of proceedings. Heart of Midlothian loanee Connor Smith opened his account in midweek and found himself on the scoresheet once again after he received a pinpoint pass from Tyler Denton. Smith chopped inside of Nigerian right-back Tosin Olufemi and unleashed a devastating strike past the Blues goalkeeper Jack Giddens to make it 1-0.
The Iron’s early lead was quickly cancelled out as the Blues drew level a mere minute after Smith’s goal. A long lofted free kick had been relatively cleared by captain Andrew Boyce, only for the ball to land kindly at the feet of former Wealdstone midfielder Gio McGregor who languished a powerful driven volley that nestled in Ross Fitzsimons’s bottom corner.
Following the equaliser, Dean’s players seemed intent on quickly regaining their advantage and it was almost found in spectacular fashion. After expert defending from Jenkins to steal the ball in his own half, he played a neat one-two with Danny Whitehall and continued to weave in and out of multiple defenders, but his neatly placed effort was casually collected by Giddens.
United’s persistence in and around the final third soon proved to some avail as they regained their lead with 15 minutes to of first half action still to play. Butterfield floated a delightful corner into a dangerous area and Reagan Ogle was there to meet the enticing cross with somewhat of a backwards header, securing his first goal in claret and blue, restoring United’s advantage.
The second goal had seemed to spur on the Iron even more, and across the minutes that lead up to the end of the first period of play a flurry of corners ensued. Eventually, another Butterfield cross allowed the United to further fortify their already lead going into the half-time break as it was this time centre back Will Evans who acquired himself his first goal for the club, as he rose highest to meet the cross and glance a header toward goal that snuck past the scrambling Giddens.
The visitors resumed action for the second period with the Iron holding a relatively comfortable 3-1 victory, and throughout the halves early stages the scoreline showed no sign of changing, as both sides exchanged possession on numerous occasions.
Despite 15 minutes of very little action, United appeared to put their foot on the gas once more, heavily pressuring the tiring visitors and using the ball wisely in and around their opponent’s penalty area. The goal appeared to be looming and it was soon found through Denton. Workhorse midfielder Kian Scales picked up the ball deep within his own and half and after driving at the Bishop’s Stortford defence unleashed a darting effort that stung the palms of Giddens, who could only push the ball as far as Denton who acquired his second goal in as many games with a side-footed effort that soared past the onlooking goalkeeper.
As time ebbed away, the Iron added insult to the already injured Blues as Whitehall added another to his already impressive goalscoring tally for the season, as he latched onto a delicious low driven cross from Smith and tapped the ball home into an open and gaping goal to extend the score to 5-1.
Dean called to his bench in order to see out the already decided encounter and brought on technically-gifted winger Cameron Wilson who was immediately looking to end his recent goal drought and nearly did so when he broke free of his marker and darted into a mile of open space before him. Wilson bared down on goal, but Giddens leapt to his left to deny the Iron’s sixth goal.
Giddens heroics were cancelled out deep into the five minutes of additional time with Whitehall doubling his tally for the day right at the death. The ever-outstanding Smith received the ball on the edge of the area, and was brought down after checking inside with some immense trickery. Referee Oliver Noonan pointed to the spot, and Whitehall all but confirmed the result with an audacious panenka effort from the resulting spot kick that rang out another roar around Glanford Park for the 12th time in four days.
Soon after, Noonan’s whistle signified the end of the encounter, and ended another inspired performance by the Iron which saw them outwit and outplay the Blues for the full 90 Minutes.
IRON: Fitzsimons, Ogle, Evans (Barrows, 75), Boyce, Butterfield (Kelly, 62), Scales, Smith, Jenkins, Law (Wilson, 62), Denton, Whitehall.
IRON SUBS: Bennett, Pugh.