The Iron slipped to only their second home defeat of the season, as they were edged out 2-1 by AFC Wimbledon at Glanford Park.Second-half strikes from Dean Parrett and Dominic Poleon gave the visitors a two goal buffer, before a Josh Morris free-kick gave Scunthorpe hope late on.
However, the Dons’ defence held out despite pressure from United in the closing stages.
United entered the match making three changes from Saturday’s fixture against Bristol Rovers, with Jordan Clarke, Stephen Dawson and Craig Davies coming into the side. They took the places of Levi Sutton, Sam Mantom and Tom Hopper respectively.
Proceedings began at a slow pace, with a 30-yard strike from visiting midfielder Parrett the only effort of note inside the opening 20 minutes of the match.
Graham Alexander’s side were probing, but the Dons’ resilient backline was making it difficult for the Iron, who threatened through Conor Townsend just after the 30-minute mark. The full-back was the first to react when the ball broke on the edge of the penalty area, with his drilled attempt being blocked by a Wimbledon defender.
The opportunities then started to present themselves on a more frequent basis, as Morris almost got in shortly after. The winger was ready to take aim from a similar position to Townsend before him, but George Francomb did well to prevent Scunthorpe’s top scorer from unleashing a left footed shot, as he slid in to nick the ball away.
Arguably the best chance of the opening period fell the way of Duane Holmes, just four minutes prior to the interval. Again, more neat play involving Clarke down the Iron right manufactured the opportunity, with Holmes eventually firing over the bar.
Right on the stroke of half-time, Holmes turned provider - standing up a clever cross for Davies, who glanced a header just wide of the goal, in what proved to be the final action before the break.
After the restart, Alexander’s men got back on the front foot once more. Davies and Holmes was the combination again, with the latter latching onto the Welshman’s ball ahead of placing his attempt over the crossbar.
Murray Wallace was the next man to try his luck, just prior to the hour mark. The Scotsman rose highest from Paddy Madden’s delicate cross from the left. However, his header was just a fraction too high.
Despite United’s constant pressing, they fell behind on 60 minutes. Former Scunthorpe man Andy Barcham did well to drive to the byline, before flashing in a low cross which was turned home by Parrett.
The hosts went in search of an instant response, as skipper Dawson struck inches wide of the goal from 25 yards out.
However, Neal Ardley’s men would soon double their advantage, with Poleon finishing well from the edge of the box. The forward gathered the ball in expertly, and then lashed home past a diving Luke Daniels.
The deficit was halved in the minutes that followed though and, in doing so, Morris would bring up his 20th goal of the season in all competitions. The winger’s free kick from close range took a slight deflection on it’s way through, deceiving Wimbledon ‘keeper James Shea, who couldn’t prevent the ball from finding it’s way into the net.
Morris’ strike then set up a very interesting final portion to the match, with substitute Scott Wiseman controlling well, and then prodding wide of the mark after a strong run into the penalty area.
As the game ticked towards it’s conclusion, Kevin van Veen, who was brought on to find the Iron a goal, almost did so from a corner in injury time. Morris’ corner from the left picked out the Dutchman at the near post, but despite a clean contact, Shea in the away goal held on and, in doing so, helped earn his side all three points.
Scunthorpe United: Daniels, Wallace, Mirfin, Dawson, Madden, Morris, Bishop (Crooks, 62), Holmes, Townsend, Davies (van Veen, 62), Clarke (Wiseman, 73).
Substitutes not used: Anyon, Hopper, Goode, Toney.
AFC Wimbledon: Shea, Francomb (Fitzpatrick, 79), Nightingdale, Robinson, Charles, Parrett, Reeves, Soares, Barcham, Taylor (Elliott, 61), Poleon (Bulman, 82).
Substitutes not used: McDonnell, Kelly, Barnett, Robertson.
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