The Iron’s development side suffered a 3-1 reverse against Chesterfield in the Final Third Development Cup.United’s second string were 3-0 down at the interval, but a much improved performance in the second half and a goal from Dave Syers gave Scunthorpe some consolation in the game. Levi Sutton also made a late appearance in the game, making his return from injury after suffering a leg break at the tail end of last season.
Taking his place between the sticks was Joe Anyon, with an initial back four of Scott Wiseman, David Mirfin, trialist David Stephens and Charlie Goode. Hakeeb Adelakun, Isaac Assenso, Sean McAllister and Jack Dyche made up the midfield, while Syers supported Kyle Wootton at the top of the pitch.
Played at Glanford Park, the Iron started brightly and had two attacks inside the opening two minutes, with Dyche and Adelakun both getting into promising positions early on.
It was the opposition though who went ahead after five minutes. A free-kick was awarded on the right wing following a foul, with Luke Pritchard sending the inswinging cross into the box. The ball was headed on by Wiseman under pressure from Dion Donohue and found its way past Anyon in goal.
The Iron were almost on level terms just 90 seconds later though as Wootton picked up the ball 40 yards from goal and played a one-two with Syers, putting him one-on-one with Spireites goalkeeper Aaron Chapman. It would be the latter who came out on top as Wootton tried to round him, with Chapman getting a strong hand on the ball to change the path of the ball.
Successive attacks for the Iron inside the opening twenty minutes didn’t come to fruition, despite winning a couple of corners – all of which were defended well by the visitors.
Armand Gnanduillet scuffed an effort for Chesterfield after 17 minutes, with Scunthorpe quickly counter-attacking from Goode’s clearance. Dyche played in a low ball from the left which just evaded Assenso as the defender looked favourite to clear. The ball subsequently found Adelakun, but he crashed his volley wide of the mark.
The Spireites doubled their lead, however, on 22 minutes. Byron Harrison fired a shot into the stand just moments before, but on their next attack it was Rai Simons who rose who highest following a cross from the right to head past Anyon, despite the goalkeeper’s best efforts.
Scunthorpe then produced their best attacking move of the match on 26 minutes, which cultivated in a good save from Chapman. McAllister fed Dyche on the left, with the second-year scholar floating a cross into the box for Wiseman. The former Preston defender cut back for McAllister who had continued his run, but his low volley was brilliantly saved. Goode rose highest from the resultant corner, but his effort went over the bar.
It was just a minute later that Chesterfield extended their lead through Simons again. He received the ball in the area and found the tightest of gaps to squeeze a shot into the bottom right hand corner, leaving Anyon with no chance.
With 15 minutes of the first half still remaining, United looked for a goal back with Adelakun coming closest with another volley. This time, two ricochets took the ball wide for a corner after twice wrong-footing Chapman.
Dyche and Goode both had further efforts for Scunthorpe before the interval, which saw Lewis Butroid replace Assenso. As a result, trialist Stephens moved into midfield with Butroid assuming the left fullback role.
On 50 minutes, Harrison looked to have put the Spireites four up, but his effort was blazed over the bar after Simons had unselfishly squared the ball – despite searching for his hat-trick.
A minute later, the Iron had a goal back through Syers. It came moments after good skill from Adelakun, with Syers battling his way through three defenders before adjusting his body position back to his stronger right foot and firing the ball over the onrushing Chapman.
Three minutes later and it could have been 3-2. Stephens grasped the ball on the halfway line and ploughed through the midfield, laying off Adelakun on the right wing. His low cross was gathered by Chapman, just as Wootton was lurking to put the ball into the net.
Chesterfield always had a threat with their strong attacking presence and Simons looked to have his hat-trick shortly before the hour mark. His header, though, went narrowly wide of the post following a pinpoint left-wing cross from Ritchie Humphreys.
A nasty collision between Syers and Chapman halted the game for four minutes while both received treatment, however both were able to continue. The game had resumed for merely seconds when Harrison was next to require the physio after landing awkwardly. He was unable to continue and was replaced by Derek Daly.
The Iron also made two further alterations of their own, with James Dean-Atkinson and Noel Burdett coming on for Stephens and Adelakun.
Dean-Atkinson made a bright impression on the game and moments after coming on persisted to charge down a clearance from the Spireites shotstopper. The ball would then rebound out for a goal kick – despite being a valiant attempt from the first-year academy player.
Both he and Burdett would make a good impression in their time on the pitch, with the latter providing good skill and persistence to find his way through four challenges before just being edged out when trying to find a shot on goal.
United’s fourth change would see Syers replaced by Sutton, who returned to the pitch for the first time since his untimely leg-break at the end of last season – just as he was offered his first professional contract.
With few openings between the 82nd minute and the end of the game, the Iron’s Development side were forced to suffer their second successive defeat of the season.
IRON: Anyon, Wiseman, Mirfin, Stephens (Dean-Atkinson, 67), Goode, Dyche, McAllister, Assenso (Butroid, 46), Adelakun (Burdett, 67), Syers (Sutton, 82), Wootton.
IRON SUBS NOT USED: Ledger.
SPIREITES: Chapman, Maguire, Humphreys, Onovwigun, Donohue, Simons, Beesley, Gnanduillet, Orrell, Pritchard (Milner, 89), Harrison (Daly, 68).
SPIREITES SUBS NOT USED: Parkin, Hudson, Germain.
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