The Iron’s development side ran out 3-2 victors against Gateshead at the Gateshead International Stadium on Monday afternoon.A brace from Luke Williams fired Scunthorpe into a 2-0 lead ahead of the interval before Jordan Clarke added a third. Matty Pattison and a Riley Baker own goal brought the scores back to 3-2.
The Iron named a strong team for the visit to the International Stadium, with Joe Anyon starting in goal, and a defence consisting of Clarke, Baker, Charlie Goode and Lewis Butroid. The midfield line-up saw Hakeeb Adelakun, Williams, Sean McAllister and Levi Sutton play, while Kyle Wootton and Darius Henderson played for United up front.
Within a minute, the Iron were on the front foot with Williams surging forward from the kick-off and firing wide of the target from 20 yards out before another attack followed just a minute later. Adelakun out-skilled in midfield, but then overhit his pass to Butroid.
Adelakun, though, was the main protagonist in the game’s earlier chances, with him winning a free-kick on the right after four minutes. Williams crossed, but the defence were equal to it. The former West Ham United youth player picked up the ball though, before combining with Clarke. Williams played his part again to feed the ball into the box, but the ball was cleared just as Henderson was lurking.
Scunthorpe’s first effort on target came after seven minutes, drawing the home goalkeeper into a fine save to deny Wootton. A deep cross found him, and a cushioned back-post header flew across the goal.
Two minutes later saw Wootton hit the ball wide following good work from Henderson to find McAllister after the attack again started with Williams. He was again provider on eleven minutes as United thought they’d made the breakthrough. He crossed from the corner, with the ball turned into the net. Henderson was penalised for a foul on the goalkeeper.
A quarter of an hour in saw Gateshead get their first sniff of goal, with a 20-yard effort flying wide with Anyon scrambling across his goal.
The deadlock was broken less than sixty seconds later though as Williams’ effort from outside the box found its way into the net to give Scunthorpe a deserved lead.
Henderson and Wootton both showed signs of a good partnership to link up for what nearly proved to be a second for the Iron. The latter took the shot, but his effort took a marginal deflection.
On 25 minutes, Williams nearly got his and United’s second, capitalising on an error from the goalkeeper after good pressure from Wootton. The former Middlesbrough midfielder attempted to audaciously chip the ball into the goal, but Iain Macleod atoned for his earlier error to save.
Three minutes later and it was very nearly all-square. Anyon kept the Iron ahead with a superb double save – the first of which came directly from a free kick, pushing the ball away brilliantly, before he reacted quickly to the rebound.
Henderson had the Iron’s next effort, drawing the goalkeeper into another save after an assist from Williams. He would have an effort himself a minute later though after a melee which resulted in him firing straight at the goalkeeper.
The hosts saw more of the ball just after the half hour period, with Gateshead’s winger cutting in from the left but the effort was stopped by Anyon.
The Iron’s second came on 38 minutes – a solo effort from Williams. He picked up the ball on the edge of the area, travelled along the edge of the box, beat two men and emphatically struck the ball into the net.
The lead was almost three before the interval, with Adelakun looking to shoot but then feeding Henderson. His effort was blocked from point-blank range and United’s second string were forced to settle for a two-goal lead at the break.
Into the second half, the Iron were straight on the attack once more, with Adelakun probing forward and drawing Macleod into another save with his cross-shot. Henderson then attempted to turn Williams’ cross into the net, but good defending gave United a corner.
51 minutes in and Gateshead almost halved the deficit. It was good play from the home central midfielder, who picked up the ball and travelled to the edge of the area before directing an effort wide of the mark. Two minutes later and Anyon was again tested – but he denied the hosts a goal after a low stop in a one-on-one.
Wootton could have added a third on 54 minutes when he latched onto a through ball, before rounding Macleod. The youngster took the ball slightly wide, giving him an acute angle to aim at – but he fired off target.
That third goal did come a minute later though via the right boot of Jordan Clarke. The attack began down the right and positioned himself perfectly for the cross, only to opt to shoot at the near post. The goalkeeper was wrong-footed and had no answer to the effort.
Gateshead threatened from the restart and almost got their goal a minute before they did after an effort from long range. That goal did come on 59 minutes though as Pattison fired in from 12-yards out following a cut-back to him.
James Dean-Atkinson and Jack Dyche came on for both the Iron goalscorers with just over twenty minutes remaining. The latter of those alterations was required to be on defensive duties ten minutes later after a good attack from the hosts saw the pressure rise. A cross-field ball threatened the United backline, but Dyche brilliantly headed back to Anyon to extinguish the danger.
The other substitute – Dean-Atkinson – then made a nuisance of himself at the other end of the pitch, flicking a corner onto the post before Henderson forced the goalkeeper to gather the ball.
On 81 minutes, Sutton almost netted a fourth for the Iron after Adelakun skilled his way into the box, finding the first-year professional. He was twice denied by an out-stretched leg with his effort.
3-2 was the scoreline just a minute later as Gateshead won a corner. The cross was played deep and hit Baker on the shin and found its way into the net.
The hosts then rallied for an equaliser, with Dyche making an important block in the box. Pattison then fired over from 18-yards out.
The game could have been put to bed three minutes from time as Sutton strode forward with the ball, but he fired over from distance with the game still in the balance.
Nevertheless, the Iron held on for victory in the Final Third Development League.
Gateshead: Macleod, Baxter, Ashton, Ackroyd, Colquhoun, Buddle, Wrightson, Pattison, Shaw, White, Kanda.
Substitutes: McCarthy, Elliott, Froggatt, Johnston, Cassidy.
Scunthorpe United: Anyon, Clarke (Dyche, 67), Baker, Goode, Butroid, Adelakun, Williams (Dean-Atkinson, 67), McAllister, Sutton, Wootton, Henderson.
Substitutes: Ledger, Burdett, Cleminshaw.
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