The Iron slipped to their first league defeat of the season, as they were beaten 3-1 by Port Vale at Vale Park.It was a disappointing afternoon for the visitors, who fell behind to a Anton Forrester strike in the first half, before levelling things up on the stroke of half time. A double from Alex Jones then secured the three points for the Valiants, against a Scunthorpe side who ended the game with just nine men on the field.
United made two changes from Tuesday night’s EFL Cup encounter with Bristol City - alterations which saw David Mirfin and Duane Holmes replace Charlie Goode and Hakeeb Adelakun respectively.
Picking up where he’s left off so far this season, Kevin van Veen went close to dealing the match’s first blow, inside ten minutes. The Dutchman span on the edge of the area, and went for goal - dragging his shot marginally wide of Jak Alnwick’s right post.
An evenly contested 20 minutes would then follow, with the visitors still relatively comfortable in the game. Van Veen almost broke the deadlock just before the 30 minute mark though, beating his man with some brilliant footwork before forcing Alnwick into a fine save.
Bruno Ribeiro’s men hadn’t really made any sort of impact on proceedings up until Sam Foley attempted a delicate chip on 31 minutes. His effort had Luke Daniels back-pedalling, but fortunately enough, the ball drifted wide of the goal.
Ten minutes before the half time interval, Port Vale did get themselves ahead. Forrester eventually tucked the ball home into the roof of the net, after some neat build up play on the left corner of the box.
Forrester’s strike was soon cancelled out however, in somewhat chaotic fashion. Morris whipped a threatening free kick from the right, and into a sea of bodies in the Vale six yard box. It was unclear who got the decisive touch, but the ball eventually found it’s way into the back of the net, to send the Iron in level at the break.
The second half got off to a bad start for United, as the home side got themselves back in front. Jones was the man who got it, firing in from close range at the far post.
The Iron were then dealt another blow shortly after, with Jordan Clarke being dismissed for a second bookable offence, after committing a foul on half-way. He was swiftly followed by his manager too, as Graham Alexander was sent to the stands.
In spite of their numerical disadvantage, the away side went in search of a fast response. Murray Wallace went close mid-way through the half, glancing his header wide from a corner.
On 73 minutes, the travelling section of Scunthorpe supporters rose to their feet, as Paddy Madden made his return to action, following an injury lay-off.
Daniels then had to be on hand to keep his side in the match. The stopper got down well to prevent Martin Paterson’s shot from finding the bottom corner - pushing the ball away to safety.
Substitute Scott Wiseman was the next to have sight of goal. The full back was left unmarked at the back post, and was given the opportunity to let fly, but was frustrated by some good Vale defending.
There was soon more bad news for the Iron, with van Veen being unable to carry on from a knock he sustained in an aerial dual with Vale ‘keeper Alnwick. The striker’s injury subsequently meant the away side would have to finish the game with nine men.
Ribeiro’s side then sealed the victory with a third. Jones got himself a second, as he slotted the ball past Daniels into the far corner of the net.
Jones’ strike would be the last action of the match, with referee Brendan Malone blowing for full time minutes later, to bring to an end a frustrating day for the Iron.
Port Vale: Alnwick, Purkiss, Smith, Streete, Knops, Grant, Tavares (Amoros 16), Foley, Thomas (Hart 85), Jones, Forrester (Paterson 73).
Substitutes not used: Boot, Mac-Intosch, Pereira, Cicilia.
Scunthorpe United: Daniels, Wallace, Mirfin, Dawson (Mantom 67), van Veen, Morris, Bishop, Holmes (Wiseman 61), Hopper (Madden 73), Townsend, Clarke.
Substitutes not used: Anyon, Adelakun, Goode, Wootton.
Attendance: 4,557 (373 away).
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