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REPORT: IRON 2-2 LINCOLN CITY (6-5 PENS)

1 August 2015

The Iron progressed to the final of the Lincolnshire Senior Cup with a penalty shootout victory over Lincoln City at Glanford Park on Saturday afternoon.

The game itself finished 2-2, with Tom Hopper scoring both of the goals for United.

It was a completely changed Scunthorpe eleven to the one which came away victorious from Meadow Lane on Friday night.

Luke Daniels returned in goal, in front of him there was a back five of Scott Laird, Niall Canavan, Jack King, Charlie Goode and Jordan Clarke. Neal Bishop partnered the returning Jamie Ness in the middle of the park, with Kevin van Veen once again playing the supporting role to Paddy Madden and Hopper up front.

The visitors almost took the lead early on in the third minute, but despite climbing well, forward Matt Rhead could only direct his header straight at United 'keeper Daniels from close range.

The Iron's first effort on goal came in the eighth minute, as van Veen fired his free-kick just over Paul Furman's goal, after Hopper had been tripped on the edge of the area moments before.

Mark Robins' side then started to get a grip on the game and opened up the visitors minutes later, when Goode picked out Hopper with a glorious pass, but he couldn't bring the ball under control.

The striker wasn't to be denied though, as moments later he found the bottom corner of Furman's goal after a cut back from Clarke on the right hand side.

Hopper was certainly in the mood and not long after getting his first, he added another and it was the same combination, this time Clarke flighted the ball and the centre forward dispatched a header into the top corner.

Midway through the half, it was the turn of Hopper's strike partner Madden to work the Lincoln stopper Furman, the Irishman cut in off the left hand side and curled his effort towards the far corner, but the 'keeper did well to tip it round the post.

The home side were in the ascendancy, and Madden again tried his luck, this time from inside the area, but the shot was well blocked.

Madden was looking dangerous and just as he had done previously, he hit a curling effort from the edge of the box, but unfortunately it had the same outcome, with Furman getting across well to save.

The visitors were perhaps fortunate that the deficit was only two and in the 35th minute they were presented with a route back into the game. Midfielder Alan Power burst into the box and was tripped, resulting in a penalty being awarded. Power himself stepped up and dispatched the penalty with complete ease.

Just before the break, tempers threatened to boil over as former United defender Luke Waterfall looked to have elbowed Madden - this resulted in the Lincoln defender picking up a booking.

That would be the last incident of the first half and the Iron went in leading by just the one goal, when perhaps it could and maybe should have been more.

Madden picked up from where he left off in the first half by having the first effort of the second period, slicing his effort wide on 50 minutes.

The Irishman almost turned provider with the very next attack, crossing for Hopper, but he couldn't complete his hat-trick as his header struck the post and bounced back into play.

Alex Simmons then flashed an effort wide of Daniels' post in the 53rd minute, as the visitors looked for a route back into the game.

They were soon nearly two goals behind again, as van Veen and Laird linked up inside the box, but the Iron wing-back's strike was stopped by an onrushing Furman.

Then Ness, who was making his first appearance since United defeated Hartlepool, was replaced in the 58th minute by Friday night's matchwinner Jack Dyche.

Former Scunthorpe midfielder Sparrow was then substituted and given a warm ovation from the home crowd as he left the field.

Hopper kept searching for that elusive third, but couldn't quite get on the end of Madden's cross in the 65th minute.

City then equalised in the 68th minute. Rhead was left free in the six yard box and had the easy task of slotting the ball past Daniels in the Scunthorpe goal.

The away side grew in confidence and went looking for a winner, with subsititute Jon Nolan stinging the palms of Daniels with a well struck drive from distance in the 80th minute.

A lapse in concentration at the back soon after almost gifted the game to Lincoln, but Liam Hearn couldn't round Iron stopper Daniels.

Despite pressing late on, Robins' side couldn't find a winner and the game had to be decided by the lottery that is a penalty shootout.

Bradley Wood was the first man to step up, but the full-back saw his kick brilliantly saved by Daniels.

Madden didn't manage to find the net during the 90 minutes, but he showed a cool head to dispatch his spot-kick.

After Hopper, Laird and Bishop had all scored, the pressure was on King to send the Iron into the final, but the defender saw his shot saved by Farman meaning the shootout would go on.

Substitute Nolan then saw his kick saved by Daniels, meaning Dyche had the chance to win it.

The diminutive midfielder did just that, calmly slotting the ball into the bottom left hand corner of the goal.

So a different kind of test for the Iron, but one which they passed as they gear up for next Saturday's visit to Burton Albion.

TEAM LINE-UPS
Scunthorpe United:
Daniels, Laird, Canavan, Madden, van Veen, Bishop, King, Goode (Watkiss), Hopper, Ness (Dyche), Clarke.

Lincoln City:
Furman, Wood, Stanley, Waterfall, Muldoon (Robinson), Power, Rhead, Simmons (Hearn), Beevers (Bush), Sparrow (Nolan), Howe.

Attendance: 1,015 (158 away).

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