The Iron secured a 1-0 victory over Blackburn Rovers in the Capital One cup first round, despite late pressure from the hosts.A Neal Bishop goal was the difference between the two sides as Scunthorpe secured their place in round two.
Bishop put the Iron ahead midway through the first half, after a glancing header from a Gary McSheffrey corner nestled into the far corner of the goal.
The Iron enjoyed good spells of possession through the game and looked good value for their lead. However, Rovers made changes and looked to score late on. United’s defence stood strong despite the pressure and clinched the victory.
Following the 3-1 defeat to Swindon at the weekend, the Iron made two changes to start at Ewood Park. Dawson came in for the suspended Marcus Williams, whilst Lyle Taylor was handed his first competitive start for Scunthorpe, replacing Dave Syers. Youth team player Kyle Wootton took his place on the bench for the first time after being handed the number 29 shirt.
The hosts got us underway in the match and didn’t sit back. Josh King burst down the left wing, dribbling past Nolan before attempting to find and on-rushing David Dunn on the edge of the six-yard box, however his effort went wide of Slocombe’s post.
The Iron pressed forward with confidence and weren’t fazed by the early chance created by Blackburn. McSheffrey looked dangerous out on the left wing and was found with plenty of space on more than one occasion during the early minutes of the first half, however he was unable to capitalise on the space he’d created for himself as his first cross was well blocked, whilst his second opportunity sailed wide of the near post.
Scunthorpe continued to attack the wings, with Myrie-Williams getting in some good areas, leading to two corners for the visitors. Teasing crosses were put into the area, however they were dealt with well by the defenders and cleared away before the Iron could win the second ball.
As the minutes went on, neither side created any significant chances until the 18th minute, when the Iron carved out an opportunity. A ball up towards Madden was well flicked on into the path of strike-partner Lyle Taylor on the left hand side. He held onto the ball as he worked towards goal, before laying it off to an on running McSheffrey, who put the ball into a dangerous area and forced Jake Kean to parry away, as Scunthorpe players looked to get on the end of the cross.
Blackburn didn’t sit back and forced the Iron defence back as they ran at them with intention, which lead to Blackburn winning a few free-kicks on the edge of the box, and Llera finding himself getting a yellow card. The second free-kick was struck well by Ben Marshall, but Slocombe caught well, relieving the pressure.
30 minutes in and Scunthorpe again created an opportunity from good work down the left wing. McSheffrey held up the ball well as he allowed Dawson to overlap before playing him into space. Dawson’s cross was floated onto the head of Myrie-Williams, who headed it back to Madden. Madden first touch was well taken before getting a shot in on goal. However his shot was blocked before Lyle Taylor’s follow up went wide.
The Iron took a deserved lead on 33 minutes. The Iron won a corner after Myrie-William’s cut back was intercepted for a corner. From the subsequent corner, McSheffrey put a fantastic cross onto the head of Neal Bishop, who placed it perfectly into the far corner and beyond Jake Kean.
Scunthorpe didn’t sit back after the goal and they continued to worry the Rovers defence as they won a succession of corners. However, none of the set pieces concerned Kean as the final corner was cleared. Bishop looked to add a second to his name, however his shot was struck high and wide of the goal, which signalled the end of the first half, with the Iron going in leading 1-0.
After the break, Blackburn looked to get back on level terms and nearly came close in the 50th minute. A free-kick was swung in by Marshall, missing every head in the six-yard box and forcing Slocombe into a fantastic save, as the Iron number one tipped it round the post for a corner.
It wasn’t long after the opportunity until the Iron got back into their first half rhythm. Good footwork from Myrie-Williams earned his side a corner. Another good set-piece was put into a busy six-yard box, but was cleared to the Iron on the edge of the Blackburn area. Myrie-Williams was played in down the left, but his cross flew over the bar.
Scunthorpe were enjoying all sorts of space down the wings due to the wide pitch of Ewood Park, and got in behind the hosts a lot in the second half, much like they did in the first. McSheffrey danced his way round two Rovers defenders before being fouled on the edge of the area. A great ball was whipped into the box and nearly found Llera, however the ball was snatched off his head and cleared away from trouble.
As the minutes went on, the tie started to become more even and Rovers started to enjoy a lot more possession in and around the Iron box. Josh King earned his side a corner after his cross was tipped over by Slocombe. From the result set-piece, Conway fizzed the ball into the box and onto the head of substitute Rudy Gestede, but his header looped over Slocombe’s goal.
The double substitution of Conway and Gestede sparked life into Blackburn as they looked to get an equaliser and they thought they had. A ball was put into the box which Slocombe looked to punch away. The ball did find its way to Gestede, who thumped the ball into the back of the net. However, the official pulled back play after Slocombe was adjudged to have been fouled in the build-up.
The Iron were put under a lot of pressure as they game reached the final ten minutes, but defended fantastically, dealing with set-pieces and the constant threat that Rovers began to pose. A Conway cross was curled into the Iron box and found its way to Luke Varney, however his header was comfortably saved by Slocombe. Minutes later, it was a similar situation. Conway swung a ball into the danger zone and Gestede met the cross well, but again the header was caught by Slocombe to take the pressure off the Scunthorpe defenders.
That proved to be the final opportunity of the game as the Iron sealed their place in the second round, with some late resolute defending which troubled the hosts throughout the game.
Blackburn Rovers: Kean, Henley, Lowe, King, Dunn (Gestede 61), Marshall (Conway 61), Varney, Williamson, Taylor (Cairney 77), Songo’o, O’Connell.
Substitutes not used: Eastwood, Rhodes, Baptiste, Evans.
Scunthorpe United: Slocombe, Nolan, Llera, Canavan, Dawson, McAllister, Bishop, Myrie-Williams, McSheffrey, Madden, Taylor (Addison 84).
Substitutes not used: Severn, Hawkridge, Adelakun, Sparrow, Bateson, Wootton.
Attendance: 5,352 (551 away).