The Iron returned to home league action with a 4-0 home defeat against Preston North End.They were without goalkeeper and skipper Sam Slocombe who insufficiently shook off a shoulder injury from the midweek victory over Blackburn Rovers, with James Severn deputising for his first league start for the club. That mean youth team goalkeeper Pat Weaver took his place on the bench, taking the number 21 jersey.
That was the only change from midweek though, with Neal Bishop taking captaincy of the side for the afternoon. Elsewhere Deon Burton returned to the bench after being rested under precautionary measures at Ewood Park.
Severn started in goal with a back four of Eddie Nolan, Miguel Llera, Niall Canavan and Andy Dawson. The midfield saw Jennison Myrie-Williams and Bishop make their home league debuts, while Sean McAllister and Gary McSheffrey accompanied them. Paddy Madden and Lyle Taylor started up front.
Scunthorpe kicked off the game in high spirits, kicking towards the away end and almost broke through in the opening seconds, only for Madden’s ball to evade Myrie-Williams and roll out for a goal kick.
Two minutes on the clock saw the hosts register their first shot of the game, although Taylor’s shot was wayward. They came closer just a minute later though, with Taylor playing a cross-field ball to Madden, with the Irish striker hitting a shot first time which cannoned off the crossbar and back into play.
In vast contract to seven days previously, the Iron were in the ascendancy and had another chance to break the deadlock on seven minutes, with Myrie-Williams opening out from 35 yards and testing goalkeeper Jamie Jones. The ball looked destined for the top corner, but the North End shotstopper managed to somehow grasp the ball en route to the net.
The visitor’s first attempt of the game came after 12 minutes, with returning former loan striker Joe Garner speculatively striking from 25 yards; a shot which was wayward and hit the top of the stand.
Against the run of play, it was the Lilywhites who went ahead after sixteen minutes, with Garner returning to haunt his former club. Humphrey’s ball in found the striker, with the defensive marking insufficient enough to allow Garner to control and volley home from twelve yards.
The visitors were in the ascendancy, with Canavan blocking a goal bound effort from point blank range with his chest, while Tom Clarke’s header towered over the bar with little over ten minutes before the interval.
On 37 minutes, it was the visitor’s lead that was extended. More great work on the right wing saw a low ball played into the box. Miguel Llera diverted the ball into his own net, past the helpless James Severn, while Garner was ready to poach a second.
Scunthorpe made a bright start to the second half, earning a corner in the opening seconds of the second half, with Llera almost connecting to atone for his earlier error.
Nevertheless it was Preston who stretched their lead further, with Chris Humphrey stealing in on the right after more standoffish defending to slot low and hard past goalkeeper James Severn.
On 51 minutes, Lyle Taylor stabbed wide from 20 yards after the ball was only partially cleared after intricate work from Jennison Myrie-Williams on the right wing. He winger beat his man before trying to find Madden, with the ball headed clear to Taylor - who really should have hit the target.
Three minutes later and it was Myrie-Williams who had an effort which cannoned off the upright. He rose highest from Dawson’s ball after the full back cannily retained possession on the left. Striker Madden skied the rebound with his left foot.
Both sides made their first alteration on 58 minutes with Deon Burton returning to the fold, replacing Lyle Taylor, while Bailey Wright made way for Jack King.
Ten minutes later – and without any further chances – Hakeeb Adelakun replaced Myrie-Williams.
Minutes later midfielder Neal Bishop became the first to receive a yellow card from referee Andy Madley after he deemed him to have fouled Paul Gallagher in the centre of the field. The Preston midfielder was replaced by Will Hayhurst.
76 minutes on the clock and Terry Hawkridge replaced Gary McSheffrey in the team’s final change with just under fifteen minutes to go. Seconds later and it was the Lilywhites who almost scrambled a fourth, with the ball flashing across goal and comfortably seen away by Severn.
Two minutes later and the hosts were denied a penalty after Jamie Jones missed the ball, instead punching Miguel Llera in the face. Nevertheless, a corner was awarded, which fell to Canavan, who headed straight at Jones.
Scott Laird replaced Chris Humphrey in the day’s final change just minutes later, with Preston continuing to comfortably retain possession of the ball. That spell cultivated in the Lilywhites’ fourth with Garner receiving a precision ball to allow him to head past Severn for his second of the game.
One minute from time, Neal Bishop did his best to reduce the deficit, getting on the end of Andy Dawson’s free kick, but his header was straight at Jamie Jones, who grasped comfortably.
Three minutes of added time came and went, with it leaving manager Russ Wilcox to pick up the pieces for another home league fixture on Tuesday. United take on fellow promoted side Fleetwood Town at Glanford Park, kick off 7.45pm.
Scunthorpe United: Severn, Nolan, Llera, Canavan, Dawson, Myrie-Williams (Adelakun 68), Bishop, McAllister, McSheffrey, Madden, Taylor (Burton 58).
Substitutes not used: Weaver, Sparrow, Burton, Hawkridge, Bateson, Addison.
Preston North End: Jones, Woods, Clarke, Wright (King 58), Davies, Brownhill, Kilkenny, Browne, Humphrey (Laird 80), Garner, Gallagher (Hayhurst 73).
Substitutes not used: Stuckmann, Laird, Wiseman, Davies, Welsh.
Referee: Andrew Madley.
Attendance: 4,013 (721 away).