The Iron’s youth team secured a 1-0 victory in the top of the table clash against Chesterfield FC, reaffirming the Iron’s place as league leaders.After losing 1-0 to Chesterfield in the Youth Alliance Cup earlier in the month, United played with a real vengeance and displayed some brilliant football today, enabling them to overcome a physical Chesterfield side and take home the 3 points which sees them stay top of the league.
An early first half volleyed goal from Kyle Wootton also secured his fifteenth goal of the season as his strike proved the difference between the two teams.
Although United started the game brightly, the Spireites had the first shot on goal in the 4th minute when a mis-placed pass from Jacob Hood inadvertently put Tope Fowodu in on goal but Iron first year keeper Ben Ledger did well to make a diving save, palming the ball wide of the net.
On 6 minutes, Chesterfield pressed United’s defence again and a swift ball in from Jake Beesley gave Lewis Sugden the opportunity to unleash a dangerous shot on target from outside the box. Another admirable save from Ledger saw the ball deflect over the cross bar and prevented United going behind.
On 8 minutes, the youth team lads started to introduce their passing game with Noel Burdett and Jack Mawson showing excellent passing ability in midfield. Intricate passing triangles between the players moved the ball up the right wing. Emilio Stothard started the move by playing a good pass in to the feet of Burdett who received and played quickly to put Jack Mawson away down the right. Mawson used his pace and made good ground breaking free of his full back before whipping a cross into the Chesterfield penalty box. Striker Kyle Wootton spotted the cross and was on to it, timing his run perfectly, before meeting the ball with a right footed volley from the penalty spot. Wootton’s volley nestled in to the far corner of the Chesterfield goal, giving Spireites keeper Jake Smith no chance.
Scunthorpe improved significantly from here on and started to take control of the game with the back four dealing well with the direct long balls thrown at them by the visitors and the Iron’s midfield and strikers started to link up play.
The tempo of the game from both teams had increased substantially and a few nasty and mis-timed challenges emerged in the process. On 21 minutes, the first of two bookings was awarded to the visitors, with Chesterfield’s Ovenden shown the yellow card.
A United free-kick subsequently lead to a corner where the Iron used a very well organised training ground set play routine to their advantage. A Connor Purdue corner sought out a storming run from winger Reece Mosanya whose dangerous ball into the Chesterfield box just drifted wide of the far post as Charlie Cleminshaw stretched to get a contact on the end of the shot.
On 29 minutes, Scunthorpe moved the ball around quickly and with quality, maintaining sole possession of the ball for at least 3 minutes. It seemed as though Chesterfield couldn’t get near the ball as the youth lads kept up this passing game, but some questionable refereeing decisions enabled the Spireites to regain possession.
A free kick was awarded to Chesterfield, only for the strong and dominant Taron Hare to head the ball clear and send the Iron on another counter attack.
In the 38th minute, United used another corner effectively, to fool their opposition, with left back Jack Dyche firing a first time effort at goal. The shot looked promising, but a near miss over the crossbar meant the score line remained at a vulnerable one-goal lead.
On 41 minutes, Wootton and Burdett showed some lovely link up play, moving the ball up the pitch in a style. A free kick was awarded to Burdett (although advantage would’ve been the obvious decision) and a low ball through the Chesterfield defence saw Wootton’s attempt blocked. A rapid deflection broke to Cleminshaw at the back post but an unfortunate misjudgment meant that United couldn’t secure the second goal they were looking for.
Another attempt followed seconds later when a forward pass found Wootton up field. The towering striker used his body to control the ball and let loose a fierce strike at goal but his effort dropped slightly wide.
On 45 minutes, as Cleminshaw tried to get on the end of a cross at the far post, he collided with the perimeter wall under a heavy challenge from a Spireites defender. As a result the Iron first year centre back sustained an injury to his back that was too painful for him to carry on and so a substitution before the half time whistle saw first year midfielder Matt Stockill replace Cleminshaw, with Jacob Hood moving into the back four.
Scunthorpe returned to the second half showing the same momentum as before the whistle. Immediately on 47 minutes, Purdue switched a ball out to Burdett who released a shot just wide of the top corner.
Burdett showed some excellent footwork holding the ball up when necessary and taking the ball past opponents to switch play for the runs of both wingers. On 55 minutes, Mosanya received the ball from Burdett and the winger used his pace to take the opposition on before feeding the ball into Wootton, who’s blocked cross went for a corner. Iron captain Hare did well to meet the corner but could only direct his header over the bar.
A counter attack for Chesterfield put Iron’s back four under pressure with Hare trying to get a challenge in as fast as possible. Chesterfield striker Beesley brought the ball up the pitch with speed but a trusty challenge from Hood cleared the ball and enabled United to regain their shape.
In the 60th minute, Fowodu was clean through on goal however, Ledger made himself big in goal and pulled off another good save, keeping Iron in the lead.
On the attack, Scunthorpe displayed some of the best passing they’ve played all season. One touch pass and move worked effectively and the youth lads looked excellent at times. Some clever movement from Mosanya and Burdett on the left wing saw both players defeat Chesterfield’s right back more than once and allowed them to put the cross in or win the corner more often than not. However, the finishing shot on target was absent from Iron’s final third play, and this prevented them scoring the goals that their build up play deserved.
In the 72nd minute, the ball broke to Wootton on the attack but he was upended and a yellow card was given to Spireites Captain Lawrence Maguire.
Just two minutes later, a Purdue free kick found Mosanya, who was well positioned on the left. Mosanya advanced before he let loose another superb effort into Chesterfield’s danger area and the visitor’s keeper Smith had to make a diving save to avoid conceding a second goal to the Iron.
On 80 minutes, Mosanya received an injury that meant he had to be replaced and it was first year midfielder De’Andre Watkis that took his place.
From the first whistle, United’s defensive ability shone through today, with the back four all making commendable challenges and working well as a unit, ensuring it was exceptionally difficult for Chesterfield to create anything.
In the closing minutes of the game, Iron dominated possession and controlled the game excellently. The home side were deserving of the win, even though the officials decisions against them made it very difficult at times.
After the game, Academy Manager Tony Daws added: "I think that having considered all aspects of our play, both in and out of possession; this was our best performance of the season so far.
"All of the lads showed a real commitment and had a right go today, playing very well and reaching the level of performance that we expect from them and a level that the players are capable of reaching. Well done - to all of the lads."