The Iron continued a strong week and a strong pre-season with another young contingent running out comfortable winners at Bottesford Town.The 6-0 scoreline was more than deserved with goals from Andy Welsh, a hat-trick from Matt Godden as well as Sean McAllister and Jamie Wootton contributing with a goal apiece.
The home side started with a bright spell of possession but United managed the first efforts on goal. Etienne Esajas stuck hard and low with his left while lurking in a familiar position on the edge of the box but Bottesford put bodies on the line to block.
Esajas then switched a ball from the right to the left corner of the box towards Iwelumo. The big man was able to head back across and feed Godden whose effort was met by Town keeper Jordan Simon low down at the striker’s feet.
With just six minutes played Scunthorpe took the lead. Welsh found himself in acres of space on the left, Grayson had sent him clear after an expansive pass crossfield by Esajas. Coming inside, Welsh struck a pinpoint effort across Simon and into the far corner of the net.
Following the opener, Bottesford were again keen to get a foot on the ball where they could. Waterfall and Howe were kept busy with the Iron’s defensive unit and organisation more than equal to anything Bottesford were able to create.
Scunthorpe weren’t having the same issues in breaking down Bottesford going forward. Godden twice found himself in space after cutting slide-passes from midfield. The first run was called narrowly offside but the second resulted in a two-on-three break with Iwelumo making tracks towards the back post. Godden fizzed a cross-shot in across the face after a free-run down the Iron right, unfortunately it was asking too much of his strike partner to meet it.
Godden’s pace and movement proved to be the feature once more in a more productive attack, this time in the 19th minute. Welsh played a simple ball through the middle for Godden to chase onto. Free in the box, the finish was cool – arrowed into the bottom left corner of goal leaving the Bottesford stopper no chance.
Bottesford had now lost any ability they had shown in ball retention earlier in the game as the Iron grew in confidence. The two early goals set Scunthorpe into a rhythm and only five minutes after their second they extended their lead further. Welsh again with the vision to provide a threaded ball through the heart of the home side’s back four. McAllister nipped in a couple of yards right of the penalty spot to place into the far corner. 3-0 Iron.
Town followed up the third United goal with their best spell of the half. Good work down the left got Bridge in behind past youngster Zac Cowling at right back. His low cross needed to be dealt with by a firm Waterfall foot-in. From the resulting throw-in, Bridge this time managed to swing a high ball. Severn was called into his first action of the evening to claim on the edge of his 6-yard box.
This spell did not last long however. On 34 minutes, Luke Hornsey fed a simple ball into Godden, who’d been a constant threat for Bottesford’s defenders throughout the first half and the striker made the finish look easy back to goal, on the turn, from the corner of the 6-yard box.
The last ten minutes of the first period was all Iron with half chances from Waterfall and Esajas as well as another Godden effort, this time narrowly past the outside of the post after good link up with strike partner for the evening Chris Iwelumo. Despite ending the half on the back foot, Bottesford kept the score at four.
Scunthorpe made just one change at half time. Connor Smythe, who had impressed on Monday evening at Winterton – chipping in with a goal and an assist, replaced Andy Welsh.
The 2nd half started where the 1st left off for the Iron. A good ball from half way from Grayson into Iwelumo allowed the striker to nod forward to Godden, who’d again beaten the offside trap. The inside of the post came to Bottesford’s defence after Godden had nudged towards goal, under Jordan Simon.
The next real action of the game on 52 minutes resulted in Scunthorpe’s fifth. Iwelumo bustled for a hung cross allowing the ball to break free on the edge of the box, centre of goal. Godden was again the man on hand to finish with a superb effort with a powerful half-volley on the spin – in off the crossbar and over the goalkeeper. Not a bad way to round of a hat-trick on the evening.
Three minutes is all it took for the 6th goal of the evening. Jamie Wootton, who had just replaced Matt Godden, peeled off at the back post to nod a cross back in the direction it came into the far corner across goal, looping over the keeper – who could only watch it hit the back of the net.
On the hour mark, Iwelumo and McAllister were withdrawn from the action and replaced by Kyle Wootton and Jacob Hood respectively.
The next ten minutes was more of an even contest with Bottesford able to sit back and better contain the altered Scunthorpe side in the middle third of the pitch. The Iron collected most of possession here and ended the brief stalemate with an opportune break from left back George Grayson. Stealing in to rob Gibbons, Grayson burst into the box. His strike curled agonisingly away from goal, narrowly missing the far junction of post and bar.
Scunthorpe made three further substitutions in the final quarter of the game. The first was enforced as on 75 minutes, Esajas pulled up. Noel Burdett replaced the Dutch flyer who required treatment on the far touchline. Three minutes later Pat Weaver and Jack Bowskin entered the action in like-for-like swaps with Severn and Waterfall.
For the final fifteen minutes of the game, United were keen to keep Bottesford feeding off scraps as they’d done throughout the game. The home side’s first clear-cut chance of the game did eventually come though, with a couple of minutes left on the clock. Pat Weaver was forced into an excellent block as he made himself big, blocking an effort from close range to keep the well-earned clean sheet intact.
Bottesford Town: Simon, Gibbons, Thompson, C. La Rocca, Morrill, Barwick, Golling, Bridge, Boulton, Okojie, Smith.
Substitutes: Morfitt, Quibell, Lane, Hipkins, M. La Rocca, Brackenbury, Grant, Hutson
Scunthorpe United: Severn, Cowling, Grayson, Howe, Waterfall, McAllister, Godden, Hornsey, Iwelumo, Esajas, Welsh.
Substitutes: K. Wootton, Weaver, Burdett, Hood, Wootton, Smythe.