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Match Reports


9 February 2013

The Iron recorded back-to-back victories at Glanford Park for the first time since March 2011 after coming from behind to beat Crawley.

A Niall Canavan headed goal was enough to secure all three points for Scunthorpe after Jimmy Ryan had levelled proceedings. Richie Barker’s men had taken the lead just after half time but the home side battled hard to turn the scoreline around.

United made one change to the side that beat Portsmouth 2-1 on Tuesday, with Mike Grella coming in to replace Andy Barcham who failed to recover from a thigh injury.

Sam Slocombe started in goal and in front of him was a defensive line containing Tom Newey, Paul Reid, Niall Canavan and Callum Kennedy.

Mike Grella started out wide in a midfield also consisting of Mark Duffy, Michael Collins and Jimmy Ryan while AkpoSodje and Karl Hawley retained their places up front.

Former Scunthorpe favourite Matt Sparrow started for the visitors in what was just his second appearance for the club. The announcement of his name was greeted with a round of applause from the home fans.

The first real chance came in the fourth minute when a great ball down the right from Duffy found Hawley. The striker cut inside and from a narrow angle forced a good save from Jones.

Then, Duffy caused the Crawley defence more problems when he picked the ball up 25-yards out and hit a fierce shot. Jones was again called into action and he managed to tip the ball wide for a corner.

On the counter attack, full back Sadler managed to outpace Newey down the Scunthorpe right but his drilled cross evaded all of the bodies in the 18-yard-box and rolled out for a goal kick.

After thirteen minutes, a dangerous corner from Duffy was met by Sodje’s head but his effort flew narrowly over the bar.

Crawley started to come into the game more and when Jamie Proctor put the ball through the legs of Newey, he played a return with Adams and drove into the area; however his low cross was smothered my Slocombe.

Mid-way through the half, the Iron earned a freekick after Hawley was wrestled to the ground by Connolly. From the resulting set piece, Grella’s effort snuck just wide of the left post.

The game then went through a quiet ten minute spell, with neither side able to create a worthy chance.

But then the game sprung back to life again when a clearance by Sadler only went as far as Jimmy Ryan. His whipped ball in was met by Sodje and the Crawley keeper clawed the ball behind. From the resulting corner, Canavan rose highest but his header crashed against the bar and flew over.

With five minutes of the first period remaining, Jamie Proctor picked up the ball after a neat flick by Clarke. With a lot of space to run into, he attempted a long range shot which went narrowly wide.

At the interval, both sides went in level, but it was the Iron who looked the more likely to grab a goal after having the better of the chances.

Just minutes into the second half, the away side took the lead. Billy Clarke received a pass on the right side of the Iron area and after some neat footwork, drilled the ball across the face of the goal. An Iron defender got a touch on the cross but it fell to Matt Sparrow who slotted into an empty net.

This was the only chance in what was a quiet start to the second half, with some poor passing from both sides meaning a lack of attempts on goal.

However, Crawley had the upper hand and with that in mind, Brian Laws introduced Josh Walker on the 60 minute mark to try and inject some life.

Minutes later, the Iron almost went two goals down when midfielder Mike Jones caught a sweet half volley on the edge of the area which sailed just wide.

In the 67th minute, United got an equaliser. After great work from Newey down the right, his cross was struck at goal by Collins. Jones was only able to parry the ball into the path of Jimmy Ryan, who blasted the ball home from six yards.

Moments after levelling, Scunthorpe nearly found themselves behind again. Nicky Adams broke down the left wing and put the ball to the back post where Jamie Proctor’s header hit the bar. It eventually rebounded back to Sparrow and in a similar position to the first goal; his tame effort was his straight down the throat of Slocombe.

With fifteen minutes remaining, Newey won the ball at the back and played a good ball to Hawley. He turned and hit a long range effort which went harmlessly over.

After coming right back into the game, Scunthorpe’s pressure finally paid off when they took the lead. United had looked dangerous from corners all match and following another good cross from Duffy, Niall Canavan crept up at the back post to nod in his fourth goal of the season.

Crawley pressed for an equaliser, and with five minutes left on the clock, substitute Elford-Alliyu pounced after the home side failed to clear a corner. His first shot was blocked by a defender but with space and time, he put his second attempt just over.

Four minutes stoppage time was added on at the end and Laws brought on Mirfin to sure things up in defence.The visitors began to launch men forward but were unable to create another chance and the game finished 2-1.

Scunthorpe United: Slocombe, Newey, Reid, Canavan, Kennedy; Duffy (Mirfin 90), Collins, Ryan, Grella (Walker 60); Hawley, Sodje.
Substitutes: Severn, Nolan,Wootton, Adelakun, Godden.

Crawley Town: P. Jones, Dumbuya, Connolly, Walsh, Sadler (Smith 86); Adams, Sparrow, Simpson, M. Jones (Torres 73); Clarke, Proctor (Elford-Alliyu 80).
Substitutes: Hunt, Essam,Bulman, Maddison.

Attendance: 3,124 (128 away).

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