The Iron fell to a 2-0 defeat at the hands of Bradford City on a bitterly cold afternoon at Glanford Park.It was another day of frustration for Mark Robins' side, as they couldn't bounce back from the previous weekend's defeat at Swindon Town.
There were four changes from the away defeat at Swindon, as Luke Daniels, Scott Laird, Neal Bishop and Darius Henderson all came into the starting eleven. Laird's return saw Scott Wiseman move across to his preferred right-back slot, with David Mirfin and Niall Canavan keeping their places at the heart of the Iron defence.
Jack King once again played in the centre of the United midfield, and he was partnered by the returning Bishop. The attacking trio of Paddy Madden, Tommy Rowe and Gary McSheffrey remained, and they provided support to Henderson.
It was almost a dream start for the Iron. After some good work from Henderson down the left hand side, the forward picked out Madden in the box, whose flicked effort found Bishop. However, the United midfielder could only head wide from a tight angle.
There was soon a response from the visitors though, and it almost resulted in them edging ahead. Jordan Bowery showed a good turn of speed down the Bantams' left flank and delivered a dangerous cross, which was met by Kyel Reid. Despite meeting the cross, he got the connection all wrong and United were able to clear.
An even better opportunity came the way of Bishop in the 20th minute. Henderson again showed great hold-up play on the edge of the box and fed the ball out to McSheffrey.
The United winger then drove a dangerous ball across the face of goal, which was palmed into the path of Bishop by Bantams stopper Ben Williams.
As the ball fell to Bishop, it looked for all the world like the net would bulge, but Williams somehow managed to scamper across his line to deny the Iron midfielder's close range strike.
United were soon punished, as 28 minutes in the visitors took the lead. Reid, who spurned a great chance earlier on in the half, forced Daniels into a save down to his right, but from the follow up Reid was tripped by McSheffrey, leading to the result of a penalty kick. From the resulting spot-kick, Tony McMahon stepped up and placed the ball into the roof of Daniels' net.
Both sides cancelled each other out towards the end of the half and there were very few openings. The best of which fell to Madden, who volleyed over from just inside the area, three minutes before the interval.
The Irishman flashed a volley wide soon after too. This time the ball dropped to him on the edge of the box but, much like his previous effort, the attempt just wasn’t quite accurate enough to trouble Williams in the Bradford goal.
Madden's second volley would be the last action of a frustrating half for the Iron.
After taking the lead in the first period, the visitors started the second on the front foot. Firstly, Billy Clarke wriggled in the box before hitting a weak shot straight at Daniels. Then shortly after, Jordan Bowery really gave the Iron goalkeeper something to think about, as he forced him into a save low down to his right.
The visitors' constant pressure paid off though, and they doubled their advantage through Greg Leigh's powerful drive, eight minutes into the second half. The full-back received the ball inside the box, after some neat build up play and then made no mistake with his finish, as he lashed the ball past Daniels and into the far corner.
The Iron almost found a route back into the game, with 25 minutes remaining, when substitute Kevin van Veen glanced header goalwards. But, like in the first half, Bradford 'keeper Williams performed heroics to keep the ball out.
The Dutchman went close again moments later. This time he jinked past two Bantams defenders, after receiving the ball from fellow substitute Luke Williams. But he couldn't hit the target, and dragged his shot wide.
United continued to press, but they were frustrated once more, when Madden couldn't get on the end of a Mirfin flick on, 10 minutes from time.
This was to be the last chance United would have in the game - one in which the Iron will be disappointed they couldn't create more openings in.
Scunthorpe United: Daniels, Wiseman (Adelakun 82), Mirfin, Canavan, Laird, Bishop, King, Madden, Rowe, McSheffrey (Williams 61), Henderson (van Veen 61).
Substitutes not used: Anyon, McAllister, Goode, Clarke.
Bradford City: Williams, Darby, Evans, Clarke, Liddle, Clarke, Leigh, Reid (Marshall 86), Bowery (James 78), McArdle, McMahon.
Substitutes not used: Cracknell, Knott, Morris, Routis, Cole.
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