Scunthorpe began their pre-season with a convincing 7-1 win on a sweltering afternoon at the Hawthorns.Brigg Town kicked off and put early pressure on the Iron’s back line.
After a string of passes from the home side through the Iron midfield, Slocombe was forced to clear hurriedly and sliced out for a throw. Slocombe made amends with a reflex save from a close range effort at his near post from the resulting throw in.
The next break again came from the home side. Ex-Iron youth Jordan Thewliss broke from midfield and past Eddie Nolan. His low cross across the six-yard box was dealt with comfortably by Canavan, however.
At the other end, Scunthorpe saw a penalty appeal turned down by referee Mark Swift after Jennings went down under pressure from a Brigg defender.
The Iron followed up with a spell of good possession with Etienne Esajas at the heart of Scunthorpe’s good work. The Dutchman was brought down after a reckless tackle 30-yards from goal. From the free-kick 13 minutes in, Andy Welsh poked the ball wide to give Esajas the angle on his left and the diminutive winger smashed home, off the post with the keeper stock-still.
Two minutes later, the Iron’s possession told once more. Esajas broke inside from the right and laid the ball into Godden. Godden played the ball back into Esajas’ path and he duly doubled his and Scunthorpe’s tally for the afternoon with a low drive to Pettinger’s left.
Scunthorpe’s dominance continued. On the 20th minute, Canavan hit home from inside the six-yard box following up a Welsh cross and Mirfin effort.
Collins and Sparrow were offering the Iron composure and constant communication in midfield and after a period of keep-ball, Welsh was put through on goal. Brigg Town’s Sam Woods tracked him all the way, though and intervened excellently on the slide to poke the ball behind for an Iron corner.
Shortly after a brief drinks break, on what was a sweltering afternoon, the Iron struck again with 28 minutes on the clock. Esajas was involved once more. He burst in from the flank and chipped forward for Godden to run onto. The Iron youngster managed to latch onto the ball and chip over the onrushing keeper to make it four.
Scunthorpe were really cruising. Jennings carried the ball through Brigg’s midfield until he was tackled from behind, resulting in a free-kick. It was a carbon copy of the opener in every respect. On 32 minutes, Welsh teed Esajas up and the Dutchman smashed the ball into the bottom corner – Pettinger was motionless and could do nothing to prevent it hitting the back of the net.
A spell of calm followed, with the Iron content to hold the ball. Brigg did manage to break in a dangerous position on the edge of the box after stealing the ball. Right-back Nolan coolly nipped in to quell the danger.
Scunthorpe added to their ever-increasing tally of efforts with a break forward on the stroke of half time, again resulting in a free-kick. The Scunthorpe supporters were expectant with Esajas again looking likely to strike. This time, though, the winger teed Dawson up for an effort which was blocked by the onrushing Brigg wall.
The Iron kicked off the 2nd half holding a 5-0 lead, and manager Brian Laws took the opportunity to rotate his eleven entirely.
It took only a couple of minutes for Scunthorpe to exert pressure on the home side again. After the ball was played around the back line, Hawkridge was found in a pocket in midfield. He broke and played in Kyle Wooton who shot narrowly wide.
Hawkridge again sparked into life on 49 minutes. After finding room once more coming in from a wide position, trialist Sean McAllister found him on the edge of the box. The former Gainsborough Trinity winger calmly slotted into the bottom left corner of the goal, making it 6-0 to Scunthorpe.
Minutes later though, Brigg Town managed to reduce the deficit with a quick counter-attack. Out of the blue, a ball played over the top beat the Iron’s back line and Danny Freeman chipped beautifully over Severn to make it 6-1 with 55 minutes gone.
Brigg were in the ascendency and following on from their opening goal, they mustered another effort, from midfield this time, after Scunthorpe were pulled wide. Space opened up for a Town midfielder who, unchallenged, fired narrowly over the angle of post and bar from 25 yards.
Brigg were looking more composed, though Scunthorpe were still a constant threat on the break. Hawkridge’s running – cutting in from the right flank onto his left and Adelakun’s presence in the centre of midfield were a consistent worry for the home side. Adelakun went close from the edge of the box with a powerful effort and Hawkridge stung Zand’s palms a couple of minutes later.
Scunthorpe came close to extending their lead on 65 minutes, again from a quick break. Waterfall read a pass hit forward to the Brigg front-man and played the ball into midfield. Kyle Wooton put Jamie Wootton through with a good pass between centre and right back. Wootton cut inside and saw his effort tipped expertly over the top by Zand.
On 68 minutes Zand was again called into action with a point-blank save as the ball bobbled free in the 6-yard box.
The game turned into a midfield battle for a short period, until Ribeiro seized the initiative and burst from right back to whip a ball in low across the face of goal. His cross found Kyle Wooton at the back stick for an easy conversion. 7-1 with 74 minutes played.
The final few minutes of the game played out with little in the way of goalmouth action and Scunthorpe were able to see through a strong win in their pre-season opener.
Scunthorpe United (first half): Slocombe, Nolan, Mirfin, Canavan, Dawson, Esajas, Sparrow, Collins, Welsh, Godden, Jennings.
Scunthorpe United (second half): Severn, Ribeiro, Howe, Waterfall, Grayson, McAllister, Hornsey, Adelakun, Hawkridge, Jamie Wootton, Kyle Wooton.