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23 July 2016

United slipped to a loss in their first game back at Glanford Park since April, as they were edged out 2-0 by Premier League newcomers Hull City in a pre-season friendly.

In an open, entertaining match, the Iron will probably count themselves unfortunate not to at least find the back of the net on one occasion, after some good opportunities fell their way.

It wasn’t to be however, as goals either side of the break from Shaun Maloney and Uruguayan Abel Hernandez sealed the victory for the Tigers.

The opening five minutes of proceedings passed by without a chance or effort of any note, up until Sam Clucas took aim from the edge of the penalty area. The midfielder’s left footed shot had Luke Daniels scrambling, but the ‘keeper stuck out a strong hand to palm the ball away.

The Iron stopper had to be alive soon after too, when Mohammed Diame sent a powerful strike towards goal, but Daniels stood up once more and repelled the strike.

Graham Alexander’s men grew back into the match though, with Conor Townsend drawing a smart stop from Tigers goalkeeper Edin Jakupovic, who got down to his right to frustrate the full back, following a swift United counter attack.

Just after the mid-way point in the first half, the visitors got their noses in front through Maloney. The diminutive midfielder broke the offside trap, to poke the ball underneath Daniels, after he’d been found with a neat throughball.

Eight minutes before the interval, van Veen looked to have brought the hosts level with a fine header from a superb cross from the left by Townsend. The Dutchman got free of his marker, and sent the ball back towards the top left corner of the goal, but Jakupovic reached out a hand to deny him.

This would prove to be the last act of the opening period, as the Premier League newcomers went in ahead at the break.

United got off to a positive start after the restart, with Josh Morris stinging the palms of Jakupovic from just inside the 18-yard box, as a result of some good hold up play from Tom Hopper initially.

Diame, who’d brought the best out of Daniels in the first half, did so 15 minutes into the second, as he drove a left footed shot from distance. Daniels was again equal to it though, palming the ball over the crossbar for a corner.

Things were almost levelled up on the hour mark through Morris however. After a smart one-two with Townsend, the new Iron addition drew a fine save from Jakupovic, who got down to his right to foil the 24-year-old.

However, United’s failure to equalise was punished by City, and by substitute Hernandez, who not long after coming onto the field, slotted home at the end of a slick and precise move to double Hull’s lead.

The visitors’ second did little to affect Alexander’s men’s endeavour though, and Williams went close to halving the deficit with a deflected effort on 73 minutes. The former Middlesborough man picked the ball up on the left, cutting inside before unleashing a curling right-footed attempt which was well defended by the Tigers.

A golden chance then fell the way of substitute Duane Holmes, after he’d seized on a loose pass in the Hull backline, but he couldn’t find a way past a resolute Jakupovic, who smothered his close range attempt.

He set his sights for goal once more moments later, with an effort from distance, but he was again denied by the City ‘keeper Jakupovic, who held onto his stinging drive.

Neal Bishop and Jack Dyche had efforts of their own, but neither of them could find a way past an in-form Jakupovic, as the visitors held out for a comfortable victory in the end.

Scunthorpe United:
Daniels, King (Sutton 72), Wallace, Mirfin (Goode 85), Williams (Dyche 85), Dawson (Bishop 72), van Veen (Wootton 83), Morris (Laird 78), Hopper (Adelakun 72), Townsend (Wiseman 78), Clarke (Holmes 78).
Substitutes not used: Anyon.

Hull City: Jakupovic, Elmohamady, Robertson (Tymon 46), Davies, Clackstone, Maloney, Diame (Bowen 61), Clucas, Snodgrass, Luer (Hernandez 46), Diomande (Odemwingie 61).
Substitutes not used: Kuciak, Ter Horst, Olley, Batty.

Attendance: 2,085.

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