United beat a young Leicester City side 3-1 as they continued their preparation for the new season with a victory from their final pre-season match.Despite going a goal behind, from a Jacob Blyth penalty, goals from Miguel Llera, Lyle Taylor and finally Sean McAllister secured Russ Wilcox’s side victory over a strong, energetic Leicester City side.
The first half produced a tough, competitive match up as both sides committed to every challenge as if it were a league game and not a game just seven days before the season starts.
The opening exchanges began with Scunthorpe United dictating the play as the Leicester youngsters settled in to their surroundings.
Deon Burton was proving to be a handful up front as his power and ball control allowed him the first chance of the game, but the experienced striker slashed his shot wide of Leicester goalkeeper Adam Smith’s goal.
The away side were struggling to contain Burton as a clever give and go between him and Gary McSheffrey gave the Iron number 10 a glimpse of the goal from ten yards out, however a superb defensive block from central defender Elliott Moore denied Scunthorpe and Burton the opening goal of the contest.
After ten minutes of the first half, the Leicester side began to find their feet and started to dominate their League One opponents.
Ryan Watson, at the heart of their midfield, was proving influential as his ball retention and passing ability gave his team mates plenty of space and opportunities to attack the Iron back four with.
The away side’s first chance of the game came after 15 minutes, when Harry Panayotou’s low cross found Tom Hopper, who produced a clever back-heel but his effort lacked the power to beat Sam Slocombe in the Scunthorpe goal.
Moments later came Leicester’s second effort of the match as Michael Cain stung Slocombe’s glove with a fierce long distance drive which was heading towards the Scunthorpe net.
The away side were building momentum but had to halt the game momentarily as their winger Jack Barmby was left floored after a pass from his own team mate hit him flush in the face, leaving him lying on the Glanford Park turf for a few minutes.
However, Barmby’s next contribution was to take on Scunthorpe left back Marcus Williams and unleash a shot which skimmed the post and went just wide of the goal.
This effort spurred Scunthorpe into life and Sean McAllister and David Syers started to exert their authority on the game which pushed the Iron further up the pitch.
On 40 minutes, Jennison Myrie-Williams almost benefited from this sustained Iron possession as McAllister orchestrated a long spell of Scunthorpe dominance which resulted in Myrie-Williams having the best chance of the first half when he curled an effort inches wide from inside the Leicester penalty area.
Myrie-Williams, buoyed by this chance, began to attack his opposite left back, Herve Pepe N’Goma, and the Iron winger won the dual between the pair to set up David Syers on the edge of the area, but the central midfielder failed to hit the target.
The final chance of the first half again fell to a Scunthorpe man, as McSheffrey hit a long distance drive which sent Smith scurrying across his goal but the ball flashed wide of the target once again. The chance was created after Deon Burton’s tenacity saw him track back, dispossess the Leicester midfield and spring the Iron into a counter attack.
It was an impressive half from the Scunthorpe centre forward as his presence up front was causing the central defensive pairing of Moore and Alie Sesay a severe problem.
Before the start of the second half, Russ Wilcox made three changes as he replaced David Syers, Paddy Madden and Niall Canavan with Lyle Taylor, Neal Bishop and Miles Addison - who has joined on a month loan deal.
Despite these changes it was the away side that began the second half on the front foot as Hopper found a yard of space to fire a low shot which produced the first save of the second half, from Sam Slocombe.
The Leicester youngsters looked full of confidence and their high energy was rewarded with the first goal of the match when Jacob Blyth put them ahead from the penalty spot after 49 minutes.
The penalty came after another high paced attack from Leicester was halted with a push inside the area from Miles Addison and referee John Moss felt it warranted a penalty kick.
The goal was just reward for the away sides bright start to the second period and despite Slocombe diving the right way, Blyth’s precise spot kick found its way into the top corner.
Russ Wilcox’s men needed to respond and they almost equalised straight away when McSheffrey drove to the by-line and pulled the ball invitingly into the path of Eddie Nolan, but the right back couldn’t find the equaliser as he could only manage to hit the post.
However, the Glanford Park crowd didn’t have to wait long for the home side’s first goal of the game as Miguel Llera scored his first goal for the club with a powerful header from Gary McSheffrey’s pinpoint free kick.
The 60th minute goal was celebrated enthusiastically by Llera as he continues to impress since his arrival earlier in the summer.
Following the equaliser, Scunthorpe brought off the impressive Deon Burton and replaced him with Terry Hawkwridge.
On the 66th minute, the Iron took the lead for the first time in the game as Lyle Taylor produced a cheeky chip to beat Smith in the Leicester net.
The goal came after quick passing in the Scunthorpe midfield managed to move the away side’s defensive shape into disarray and allowed Sean McAllister to play Taylor one on one with Smith, and the Scunthorpe striker calmly dinked the ball into the net.
The away side were beginning to tire and the majority of the play was happening in and around Smith and the Leicester penalty area. It took a goal line clearance from Pepe N’Goma to deny Hawkridge his name on the score sheet and it took three successive blocks to stop a goalmouth scramble resulting in a third goal for Scunthorpe.
However, there was nothing that Pepe N’Goma or his Leicester team mates could do to stop Gary McSheffrey and Lyle Taylor combining to put Sean McAllister through to make it 3-1 to the Iron in the 77th minute.
McSheffrey exploited the space in behind the away side’s defence to send Taylor through and the striker, after already scoring one, decided to unselfishly play in the onrushing McAllister who slotted the ball into the bottom corner to put the result beyond any doubt.
The home side made two substitutions as McSheffrey and Syers made way for Matt Sparrow and youngster Hakeeb Adelakun.
As the game wore on, Llera and Addison were proving to be an unbreakable force at the heart of the Scunthorpe defence as their superior physicality denied Jack Barmby any kind of opportunity to test skipper Slocombe, who was barely involved after the penalty.
As referee John Moss blew the full time whistle to end proceedings, the Glanford Park crowd rose to applaud their side off the field after a win with the start of their League One campaign being in just seven days.