Dave Syers scored his third goal in two games since returning from his long term injury as he helped Scunthorpe reserves beat Mansfield reserves 3-1.Triallist Ryan Brobbel scored a second half brace to secure victory for manager Andy Dawson’s side at Kirklington Road, the home of Rainworth Miners Welfare Football Club.
Syers’ goal was a ferociously struck free kick that slammed into the Mansfield net to bring the Iron back on level terms shortly into the second half. Mansfield’s Liam Hearn had put the hosts ahead, also from a free kick, in what was a largely uneventful first half.
Scunthorpe started the game with four triallists on show, as Brobbel, Zac Thompson, Jake Rose and Scott Tancock attempted to impress the Iron coaching staff.
In incredibly windy conditions, the first half was a very scrappy affair, with few chances being created. The Stags started the game on top and threatened early on with a shot from Alex Fisher that went harmlessly wide of the Scunthorpe net.
The deadlock was broken after 13 minutes when a speculative free kick from Hearn curled around the Iron wall and into the corner of the goal to put Mansfield ahead.
Hearn’s finish was the first effort on target in the match and proved to be one of the last in the opening 45 minutes.
Dave Syers scored two goals in his last outing with the reserves and he almost extended his scoring form moments after Hearn’s goal but his calm finish, which went in off of the post, was disallowed for offside.
Scunthorpe’s right back Eddie Nolan and central midfielder Thompson were seeing a lot of the ball but with the difficult weather conditions and a hard working Stags midfield, opportunities for attacks were quickly cut off.
Mansfield saw out the rest of the half with little worry, as did Scunthorpe, with defender Charlie Cleminshaw proving to be a commanding figure in the centre of the Iron’s back line.
The second half started with a Scunthorpe onslaught that saw Nolan set up Syers on the edge of the area but his shot was well blocked. Syers’ next effort was more successful as he earned a free kick right on the edge of the area, with many people wondering if the referee had awarded a penalty or free kick, and his right footed thunderbolt flew into the top corner. It was a stunning effort to bring Scunthorpe level and proved to be one of Syers’ last actions as he was replaced after the hour.
Jack Dyche came on as his replacement and he was immediately involved in the action as Scunthorpe’s captain Levi Sutton sent an accurate pass to the substitute to leave him one-on-one with Mansfield goalkeeper Sascha Studer. Dyche won his aerial duel to head into the net but the linesman halted any celebrations as he ruled out another goal for the away side, once again for offside.
The next Iron attack resulted in a goal that was allowed to stand and it was triallist Ryan Brobbel who provided the finish. Jack Mawson kept the ball brilliantly on the right wing and the striker spotted Dyche on the edge of the area. His pull back gave Dyche the chance to strike but after a good challenge from a Mansfield defender, the ball fell to Brobbel and he smashed the ball home with a sweet left-footed strike.
The home side responded to the goal by becoming more direct in their play, which resulted in far more defending for the Scunthorpe side. Cleminshaw had an ongoing battle with Mansfield striker Anthony Dwyer with many physical challenges and aerial duels between the pair. Dwyer had struggled to create many chances all game but found himself in behind the Iron defence after 80 minutes but Cleminshaw’s presence was enough to force the striker into firing a powerful effort wide of the target.
Mansfield continued to press for an equaliser but their attacking intentions left plenty of space for the Iron’s attacking players. Brobbel, Mawson and Sutton were causing the away side plenty of problems on the counter attack as their pace almost cut their defence open on more than one occasion.
The third Scunthorpe goal of the game came after yet another counter attack, this time in the 90th minute, and it was Brobbel who was on hand to snatch his second of the game. He had started the move by releasing Sutton down the right wing and the skipper’s shot was too strong for Studer to hold, leaving Brobbel to tap in from close range and seal the win.
Dyche almost rounded off the victory with a memorable strike but his long distance shot was brilliantly tipped onto the crossbar by Studer. This proved to be the last meaningful action in the game that saw Scunthorpe come out on top thanks to Dave Syers’ free kick and Brobbel’s brace.