Goals from Alex Head, Harry Middleton and Liam Mandeville ensured a 3-0 win for Doncaster Rovers against the Iron's reserves at Brigg.United fielded another fairly youthful side, with Terry Hawkridge, Reece Mosanya and Pat Weaver the only three to be involved in the first team duties so far this season, as they looked to build on last week’s narrow defeat to Hull City.
The Iron began the game on the front foot, controlling the early passages of play, with Purdue finding the advancing Mosanya down the left with a lofted pass, but in turn the defenders cross was gathered well by Marosi.
Doncaster immediately returned the favour by launching a counter-attack which found its way to Mandeville, who broke the offside trap and bore down on goal. Weaver delayed his decision to come out before the Scunthorpe defence saw that the danger was averted, with Baker clearing to safety.
Hawkridge will be looking to get back in to Mark Robins’ plans in the next few weeks, and he showed his experience through a mazy run, dancing past the legs of five Rovers players before unleashing a shot. The effort went low and to the left of Marosi, who got down well to parry away, with the ‘keeper fresh from being part of the senior squad that went down 2-1 to Swindon Town in the SkyBet League One last night.
Joseph Pugh was the next to try his luck during a frantic game of toing and froing between the two sides, this time seeing his chip over Weaver fly harmlessly over the cross-bar.
Half an hour approaching and United came close to breaking the deadlock when Burdett pounced on a poor back-pass to put Marosi under pressure. The young shot-stopper cleared the ball in to touch, but Baker was on hand to get play back underway rapidly, finding Sutton who mustered a strike on goal, but with Marosi scrambling back he was relieved to see it fly safely over the bar.
The Iron were unfortunate to lose defender Charlie Cleminshaw after he was forced off due to injury after a crunching tackle on the far side of the pitch, with Oliver-Stothard replacing him at the back, moving to the right side with Hare going central.
A few moments later Doncaster carved out the best chance of the half. Pugh found some space on the edge of the area to let fly, but Weaver produced a terrific diving save to tip his effort on to the post and out for a corner.
A superb piece of goalkeeping, but unfortunately right on the stroke of half-time, the visitors had the lead. After some smart control inside the box, Alex Head looked up and slotted coolly home past Weaver, taking his time to place the ball right in the corner, breaking the deadlock for Doncaster.
Middleton and Mandeville both tried to stretch the arrears in stoppage time, but United held out to keep the score at just 1-0 at half-time.
Scunthorpe emerged after the break with one new face amongst the side, with Matt Stockill replacing Terry Hawkridge in midfield.
The Iron needed to find a way back in to this match, but after just seven minutes in to the second period their chances were handed a huge blow. After darting in to the area, Mandeville took a tumble after colliding with Baker, as the referee pointed to the spot. Middleton stepped up to send Weaver the wrong way, with the penalty making it 2-0 now to the visitors.
Scunthorpe needed a reaction, and right on the hour mark they came within a whisker of reducing the deficit. Stockill’s enticing cross was met by Sutton, but his curling effort was sublimely pawed away by Marosi, with many expecting the ball to bulge the net.
At the other end, a flurry of chances peppered Weaver’s goal, with Pugh firstly firing over from four yards out after the Iron ‘keeper saved the initial shot, before tipping over another fine strike moments later.
With Sonny Shilling replacing De’Andre Watkis on the 70th minute mark, within five minutes the game was all but over after Doncaster found their third. Liam Mandeville had been a constant menace all game for the Yorkshire side, and his spectacular curling volley from 12 yards beat Weaver all ends up; a fine finish by the striker who had looked threatening all game.
A final fifteen minute period flew by as neither side managed to force any reasonable chances out of each other’s goalkeepers, as the game petered out through the final two minutes of stoppage time, as the referee blew his whistle to signal the end of the game, and a strong 3-0 victory to take back to Doncaster from Rob Jones’ young team.
Scunthorpe United: Weaver, Baker, Mosanya, Purdue, Hare, Cleminshaw (Oliver-Stothard, 40), Sutton, Watkis (Shilling, 70), Burdett, Mawson, Hawkridge (Stockill, 46).
Substitutes not used: Ledger.
Doncaster Rovers: Marosi, Lund, Carberry, Head, McKay, Mbuti, McCormick (Linley, 76), Middleton, Pugh (Parkin, 85), Mandeville, Ferguson.
Substitutes not used: McLaren, Greasley.