After going behind early in the first half, the Iron youth team showed great determination and team spirit to get back on top and secure a comfortable win against Notts County F.C.Going into the game, Notts County was the league’s ‘in-form’ team and on the back of a 3 game winning streak, having beaten York City 7-1 away in their previous game and so the Iron faced a stiff challenge.
Within the first 7 minutes, County had forced four corners and United had to be well organised to withstand the immediate pressure that Mick Halsall’s team posed.
On 17 minutes, Notts took the lead as left winger Reece Fyfe used his pace to full advantage. United right back Emilio Stothard was slow making his recovery run as the ball was played in the space behind him and this left Fyfe with a clear run at goal before slotting his effort beyond Iron keeper Pat Weaver.
United slowly started to creep back in to the game and on 26 minutes, Jacob Hood played a swift free kick up field to Noel Burdett. The pacey first year brought the ball under control with finesse before beating several opponents and tapping a nice ball inside the full back for forward, Kyle Wootton. The big striker released a fierce shot at goal but a deflection saw the convincing effort go out for a corner.
The Iron then created 3 chances within a minute and all of their efforts looked goal worthy as Burdett, Wootton and Jack Mawson all went agonisingly close to scoring for the home team.
Wootton was beginning to cause problems for the home team and time and again he was being pulled back or impeded as he went for goal.
Eventually, the referee had seen enough from the visitors and a free kick was given for shirt pulling on Wootton in the 31st minute. Reece Mosanya took the training ground rehearsed set play and his ball found the right foot of Wootton who made no mistake as he released a low, powerful drive in to the corner of Magpies keeper Harry Andrew’s net to level the score.
The equaliser gave Iron the confidence to express themselves and United went on to dominate the remainder of the first half as more chances came their way.
At the start of the second half, DeAndre Watkis put in an excellent cross for Wootton whose header looked to be going in but Notts keeper Andrew’s managed to connect his fingertips and push the ball over the bar.
On 61 minutes, Scunthorpe secured their second goal. Burdett succeeded in delivering another cross in to the visitor’s penalty area and a Mawson touch-on gave Wootton the opportunity to pounce and smash the ball into the back of the net to put the Iron in to the lead and to record his nineteenth youth team league and cup goal of the season.
In the 70th minute, Burdett demonstrated his ability again when he picked the ball up in midfield and made a solo run, defeating numerous players in the process. Burdett brought the ball just inside the 18-yard box before firing his effort at goal, Magpies keeper Andrew was well beaten but the ball struck the goalpost and rebounded to safety for the visitors.
Within minutes, Mosanya had another good chance for the Iron when he took the ball inside the box, creating a 1v1 situation with County’s keeper. Andrew’s did well to make himself big and Mosanya’s shot trailed just wide of the far post as United turned up the pressure.
United were pushing to obtain their third goal as they controlled possession and the game. The youth’s began to speed up their passing game and play at a higher tempo again which made it difficult for the Notts County juniors to compete with them.
In the closing minutes of the game, County began to pressure United but the home side stayed resolute and determined, defending well when they needed to.
In one last push at goal and on 90 minutes, Burdett claimed the third goal which guaranteed Iron the victory that their performance had deserved. Jack Dyche played the ball to Mosanya who was able to move the ball quickly to Wootton. Quick feet and decision making saw Wootton slip the ball to Burdett who made no mistake as he rounded off a good move from the Iron youngsters to slot home the third goal securing the win.
The Iron’s 3-1 victory was no more than they deserved after the countless opportunities they had created.
After the game, Academy Manager Tony Daws added: “Paul and I are both really pleased with the quality of performance our lads gave in today’s game against good opposition. Both in and out of possession, our players worked really hard to do the right things.
“If there is any criticism, it would be to take our chances and to be more ruthless as a team and as individuals in front of the opposition’s goal.
"However, there are lots of positives to take from today’s game and we are very pleased with the players."