United took all three points, in the first game of the new era, in a 1-0 win against Brackley Town.
United made three changes from last week’s fixture against Buxton. Reagan Ogle, Will Evans and Richie Bennett all came into the side to start this first game of a new era. Jimmy Dean was unable to attend this fixture due to medical problems so Chris Plummer was the main voice on the sidelines.
Within the opening minute, United created the first chance of the game. Cameron Wilson picked up the ball on the edge of the penalty area and spotted Danny Elliott making a run into the area. He played the pass and the Iron striker got on the end of the ball and took the shot on. His shot looked to be heading into the back of the net but it was blocked by a defender.
Minutes later, Jacob Butterfield almost grabbed the first goal of the game. From 25-yards-out, he chose to take a shot and he had the Brackley goalkeeper worried. Lewis had to get across his goal quickly and make a save at full-stretch.
In the 9th minute, Brackley got forward for the first time. Dom McHale slotted a pass through for James Armson to run onto. He was clean through on goal but before he could get to the ball, Ross Fitzsimons rushed off his line and swept up the danger.
The next opportunity came in the 17th minute. Butterfield whipped a dangerous freekick into the area and Ogle was the Iron player who met it. He glanced the ball towards the bottom-left corner but it went just wide of the target. The hosts were inches away from taking the lead. For a long period in this first half, a lot of the play was taking place in the centre of the park. Both teams were struggling to create any clear cut chances.
In the 34th minute, the Iron had a penalty shout. Wilson picked up the ball and slotted the ball though for Elliott to chase. He managed to get into the area and just before he could get the shot away he was brought down. It looked as though it was a clear penalty; however, the referee waved away the shouts and gave a goal kick. The Iron players swarmed around the referee, protested the decision and Butterfield ended up being booked for voicing his opinion.
Just before half-time, Evans found himself with time and space on the edge of the penalty area. He had no options so he decided he was going to take the shot on. He lined it up, took the shot on and it looked to be heading straight into the top-right corner. There was a lot of power behind the shot but the direction was slightly off and it went just over the bar.
This was the last action of a fairly even first half. Both teams had opportunities but neither could convert their chances.
The visitors got the second half underway and they were the ones who started the brightest. Cosmos Matwasa got a shot away from the edge of the area and Fitzsimons struggled to keep hold of it. He spilled the ball into the path of a Brackley player and the visitors almost found the first goal of the game. However, an Iron player got their first and was found in the process. It was a let off for United.
Danny Newton was the next player to test their luck on goal. A neat turn on the edge of the area earnt him some space for the shot and he drilled a left-footed effort towards the bottom corner. However, Fitzsimons was aware and got down to make a smart save.
United’s first opportunity of the half came in the 60th minute. From 25-yards-out, Butterfield lined up a freekick, his effort looped over the wall and into the back of the net. An excellent freekick by the Iron’s number nineteen put Scunthorpe into the lead. Lewis had no chance of getting to it as it was placed in the top-right corner of the goal. The deadlock had finally been broken and it was the first goal of a new era at the club. This goal filled the home side with confidence, they started to break forward more often.
In the 71st minute, Bennett was replaced by Danny Whitehall, as the Iron looked to push on and grab a second goal.
Minutes later, Elliott almost grabbed the second goal they were looking for. Butterfield directed another dangerous ball into the area and Andrew Boyce was the first player to meet the ball. He flicked the ball towards the back post, Elliott was there and found himself unmarked. He managed to get the header away but the effort didn’t have the direction it needed and went just the wrong side of the post.
The away side were trying to get back into the game but they weren’t able to create many chances as the play was mainly being contained in the middle of the park. The Iron were very disciplined in their shape and were happy to let Brackley have the ball.
Boyce was the next player to have an opportunity on goal. Jack Jenkins played a long, cross-field pass to the centre-back and Boyce managed to get his head on the end of this pass. At the back post, he met the ball and the header looped over the crossbar. He couldn’t manage to keep his header down as he was stretching to get to the ball.
In the closing stages, Whitehall received an arm to the face by a Brackley defender and a card should have been produced. However, the referee waved play on. Substitute Michael Kelly almost killed the game off with a second goal. He cut inside and released a right-footed effort towards the target. It was heading into the top-right corner but Lewis denied Kelly by producing an excellent save.
This was the last action of the game and the Iron took their first three points of the new era.
IRON: Fitzsimons, Ogle, Evans, Boyce, Elliott, Wilson (Kelly, 88), Bennett (Whitehall, 73), Butterfield (Shrimpton, 84), Scales, Jenkins, Denton
IRON SUBS NOT USED: Smith, Barrows.
BRACKLEY TOWN: Lewis, Carline, Calder (Roberts, 85), Murombedzi, Gudger, Dean, Matwasa (Cross, 88), Bates, Newton, McHale, Armson (Turner, 77').
BRACKLEY SUBS NOT USED: Lyttle, Lilly.
ATTENDANCE: 5,063 (46 away)