A youthful Iron reserve side suffered a 4-0 defeat to Gateshead's second string in the Final Third Development League on Monday.The United eleven featured only three members of the first team squad, as Miguel Llera started in the middle of defence with Matt Sparrow just in front of him, while Terry Hawkridge operated on the right-hand side of midfield.
The opening first 10 minutes were very end to end, with both sides trying lay acclaim to the game’s first goal. The Iron had an early corner expertly cleared by former Scunthorpe striker Michael Rankine, while at the other end, the stocky front man thought he’d nodded his side in to the lead after flicking the ball past Pat Weaver, but was adjudged to have fouled Charlie Cleminshaw in the build-up.
It wasn’t long before the home side finally had their goal. A defensive mishap in the Iron defence saw Jon Shaw capitalise by striding through on goal before calmly slotting he ball beyond Weaver, giving the Tynesiders the lead on 13 minutes.
A matter of eight minutes passed before the hosts doubled their advantage, Shaw again on the score-sheet. A smart move ended in Shaw impressively bringing down Rankine’s lofted cross, before rifling the ball in to the roof of the net from just six-yards out.
The visitors were stung in to life, with both Jack Dyche and Matt Sparrow coming close. Sparrow’s free-kick was only cleared as far as the prowling Dyche who was lurking on the edge of the area; however his deflected shot went inches wide. Sparrow also found himself with some space to shoot minutes area, but he too failed to find the target.
It was in fact a trialist who came within centimetres of reducing the deficit right before half-time. Former Notts County and Ipswich Town striker Danny Haynes started up front for the Iron for the game, and he rattled the cross-bar after unleashing a rasping drive from just inside the box.
Half-time came round and United were trailing by two goals to nil, but the opening period of the second half echoed the first, end to end stuff with neither side grabbing the game by the scruff of the neck.
Haynes forced Baird to make a save in the Gateshead goal in the opening 60 seconds of the second half after setting his sights on goal from the corner of the box, while Tom Allan’s header for the Heed clipped the upright on its way over the bar.
A free-kick for both sides were worth noting around the hour mark as Haynes sizzling effort stung the palms of Baird, while moments later, Rodman bent his shot over the wall and against the post.
The third goal of the game came on the 74th minute, as centre-half Allan remained forward after the initial corner was cleared, before stooping low to meet Rodman’s cross and find the net to make it 3-0.
Two minutes later, it was four. A goalmouth scramble saw the loose ball trickle towards the goal-line, and Shaw, sniffing out his hat-trick pounced first, knocking it over the line to grab his third and the match ball, making the score 4-0.
The final 10 minutes fizzled out in a bit of a blur, with both sides unable to produce any noteworthy chance due to some tough tackling in midfield and last-ditch blocks in defence, as the referee blew for full-time in the North East.
Gateshead Reserves: Baird, Jones, Morse, Allan, R.Wilson, D.Briggs, Chandler, Rodman, Sainte-Luce, Rankine, Shaw (Thear, 76).
Subs not used: M.Briggs, Wilson, Hay, Marshall, Ure, Drane.
Scunthorpe Reserves: Weaver, Baker, Mosanya, Sparrow, Cleminshaw, Llera, Burdett (Shilling, 64), Sutton, Haynes, Hawkridge, Dyche.
Subs not used: Ledger, Stockill, Purdue, Watkis, Butroid, Dean-Atkinson.
Attendance: 100 approx.
Referee: Craig Dean.