The Iron’s Under-18s will take on Burton Albion away this Saturday (11am kick-off), as they prepare for their latest Youth Alliance League match.
The game will be played on the 4G pitch at St George's Park, Newborough Road, Needwood, DE13 9PD, and we'll have live coverage on the Academy Twitter site, in addition to a report and reaction from the fixture.
United were last in action a week ago when they were edged out against Bradford City, despite Raynerr Silva's strike giving the Iron the lead.
The match was a Bantams home fixture but was reversed late in the day to Barton. Despite back-to-back defeats, the side still remain second in the division with 25 points from 14 games. League leaders Doncaster Rovers are now mathematically in the ascendancy with 35 points from 17 games. Scunthorpe's three games in hand, should they be converted to points, would put them a point behind.
Burton Albion's away game at Mansfield Town fell victim to the weather last weekend, with the Brewers currently bottom of the division with 16 points from 12 games. Despite this, they're just two points behind Chesterfield, Grimsby Town and Lincoln City and three behind Huddersfield Town and Notts County. They have six games in hand over the Imps, four over the Terriers and the Magpies and Spireites and three over the Mariners.
The final date to play North East Youth Alliance fixtures before the Merit League split is Saturday, March 28th unless otherwise agreed with the League.
The threat of Charlie Barks' injury sustained in the loss against Mansfield Town Under-18s on February 18th was quickly extuinguished as he played in last Friday's Under-23s match against Newcastle United, followed by last Saturday's Under-18s game against the Bantams before also getting five minutes against Hull City on Tuesday. Aidan Train pulled out in the warm-up of the same match, but did not feature last time out, while Oliver Kemp came off with concussion and was also missing.
United lost out to the Bantams, despite going ahead, with a number of the players out of action featuring just 24 hours earlier for the Under-23s at Whitley Park. Barks, Fin Shrimpton and Harry Baker were the starters at the Magpies, while others travelled, subsequently seeing them missing for the match.
Tom Collins should return to the line-up after missing the last couple of games due to playing for the Under-23s - a knock on effect of Ian Lawlor's injury which has seen Adam Kelsey on the first team bench. Kelsey returned to the Under-23s line-up to keep a clean sheet against the Tigers in midweek, while Collins himself has struggled through injury also, so will be monitored. With first-year goalkeeper Ben Crosher still working his way back to fitness following a fractured wrist sustained in pre-season, Under-16s 'keeper Jake Balme has recently deputised and was on the bench on Tuesday against Hull City Under-23s.
Elsewhere, a number of Under-16s players filtered into the team last weekend and are likely to be seen more frequently as the remainder of the season progresses, even if it is to supplement the substitutes' bench.
Chesterfield v Mansfield Town (11am)
Grimsby Town v Doncaster Rovers (11am)
Huddersfield Town v Bradford City (11am)