The Iron's youth team were beaten 3-2 by their Walsall counterparts at Winterton on Monday afternoon.United faced a Saddlers team who are a week in front in terms of their preparations for the new season, as they start their campaign on August 2 in comparison to our August 9.
Physically, it was very demanding for the Scunthorpe players, for whom it was their second game in two days. Walsall had more time to rest ahead of the game, having not played since Wednesday.
This made it more challenging in the midday heat as the opposition were fresh.
Walsall started the game well and went a goal in front on 15 minutes.
Defensively for that goal, United were indecisive and hesitant, allowing the opposition too much time and space to weave through our defence to open the scoring instead of us getting solid tackles in.
Walsall then went two goals up on 25 minutes from the penalty spot.
The Iron got back into the game ten minutes later when Noel Burdett raced into the box drawing the opposition goalkeeper before unselfishly squaring the ball across goal for strike partner Kyle Wootton, who side-footed home.
Just before half-time, and the Iron having got back into the game, the visitors extended their advantage to notch their third goal.
Early in the second half, Levi Sutton swung in an excellent corner and it was Iron captain and central defender Taron Hare who rose well at the far post to power his header home as United responded well to the half-time teamtalk.
United should have levelled afterwards but unfortunately Burdett couldn't find enough power in his effort as his spot-kick was easily saved by the visiting goalkeeper.
Academy manager Tony Daws said: "It was always going to be a physically demanding for our boys to play two games in three days with very little rest in between.
"It was the only date Walsall could play, and I wanted us to play them as I knew they would provide a good test and measure for us.
"From today's game, defensively our players need to develop their individual positioning and game understanding of what their role is in the team.
"We need to play with more urgency out of possession to work harder to close down the opposition and stop them from playing.
"In possession we need to to move the ball quicker through the thirds of the pitch by having willing runners with and without the ball and by passing the ball quickly.
"We must also retain possession better all over the pitch.
"There is lots for Paul Harsley and myself to work on."