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IRON AND CRAWLEY CONNECTIONS

21 November 2014

With the Iron making the trip down to Sussex on Saturday afternoon, we take a look at the players who’ve pulled on both the Scunthorpe and Crawley shirts during their career.

Matt Sparrow
Coming through the Scunthorpe academy, the Iron’s current no.7 made 373 league appearances and scoring 40 goals during his two spells at Glanford Park. Departing for Brighton & Hove Albion in the summer of 2010, Sparrow spent two and a half years on the south coast, before moving to Crawley in January 2012, making 17 league appearances and scoring three goals for the Red Devils. Sparrow then moved back to the club at the end of the 2012/13 season, making 37 appearances to date, scoring three times. Sparrow has been promoted from League One three times in his career, twice with Scunthorpe (2006/2007 & 2008/2009) and once with Brighton (2010/2011).

Paul Hayes

Dagenham-born Hayes has racked up 64 goals in 236 league appearances over his three spells with the club. His opening goal at Chelsea in the 2005 FA Cup third round lives long in the memory of the Iron faithful, Hayes played for a number of clubs around the Football League, including Preston, Charlton and Brentford. In 2013, Hayes was loaned out to Crawley from Brentford, playing 11 league games, scoring twice. Hayes now plays in League Two with Wycombe Wanderers.

Jonathan Forte

Joining the club in 2007, the Barbados international’s four seasons at Scunthorpe (three of them in the Championship) played 99 times in the league, scoring nine goals. Forte then moved to Southampton, but struggled to hold down a starting position, and was loaned out numerous times, including one spell at Crawley. He scored three goals in his 12 league appearances in 2012, before permanently moving away from the Saints in the summer of this year. Forte has been prolific in front of goal at Boundary Park, scoring 11 league goals this season, including the equalising goal in our 3-2 defeat to Oldham in September.

Josh Wright
London born, Josh Wright finally made the move up north after playing for Charlton, Barnet, Brentford and Gillingham. Wright was a regular in the Iron side, making 71 league appearances, however failing to find the net. After leaving the club, Wright returned to London with Millwall, but after suffering a lot of time on the bench at The Den last season, he was loaned out to Crawley, playing four times. He now plays for League One rivals Leyton Orient.

Karl Hawley
Starting out with Walsall, Hawley made his name as a striker for Carlisle United, making over 100 appearances for the Cumbrians, including firing them to promotion to the Football League in 2005. After moving to Notts County, with games becoming scarce, he moved to Crawley on loan. He played 4 league games at the Broadfield Stadium before his release, where he found himself moving north to Scunthorpe for the 2012/2013 season, grabbing 11 league goals in his 39 appearances.

Leon Clarke
Birmingham born and bred, having started his career with Wolverhampton Wanderers, he returned to the club after seven years away from Molineux. His career took him to teams such as Sheffield Wednesday, QPR and Swindon, before moving to Charlton in 2012. He was loaned out to both Crawley and then Scunthorpe, with his time at Glanford Park being more fruitful than his four games at Crawley (in which he scored once). He hit the net on 11 occasions in the 15 league games at Scunthorpe, before returning to Charlton.

Nicky Ajose
After 10 years in the Manchester United academy, Ajose finally moved away from Old Trafford, joining Darren Ferguson’s Peterborough under the recommendation of his father Sir Alex. Ajose was loaned out five times by the Posh, including both Scunthorpe and Crawley. He went to Lincolnshire first in 2011, making seven league appearances, scoring no goals, while his 19 games at Crawley produced two goals. He earned promotion to League One with Bury during one of his loan spells, and now plays in the Championship with Leeds United.

Richard Hodgson
From Sunderland originally, Hodgson came through Nottingham Forest’s academy before joining Scunthorpe in the year 2000. He joined on non-contract terms, making just the solitary appearance 3-0 home defeat to Cambridge United. After spells in non-league at Darlington, Farnborough and Stevenage, Hodgson signed for Crawley, but left at 48 hours to join Cambridge. After a move to ply his trade in Malaysia, Hodgson returned to England to play for Crawley, making four appearances in 2005. He now plays for Sunderland Nissan in his home city in the North East.

Rory Fallon
New Zealand international Fallon came through Barnsley’s academy, before joining the first team squad in 1999. Fallon made 52 appearances at Barnsley, 77 at Swindon Town, and then 149 in the league at Plymouth Argyle. After playing for New Zealand at the 2010 World Cup, in 2011 Fallon moved north of the border to play for Aberdeen and St Johnstone, before joining Crawley Town in February 2014. Fallon played eight times in the league, but failed to score, and joined Scunthorpe at the end of the season. Fallon grabbed his first goal on his debut in September’s 3-2 defeat to Oldham, and since scored three goals in four league games in total, before suffering a knee injury against Port Vale.

Jimmy Spencer
Now at Notts County recovering from a cruciate ligament injury, the former Huddersfield man played for both Scunthorpe and Crawley on loan. Although he never actually made an appearance at Crawley, Spencer scored one goal in his 13 league games at Scunthorpe, coming against Rochdale in a 4-0 win at Glanford Park.

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