Scunthorpe suffered defeat at the Kassam Stadium on Tuesday night, as Oxford United advanced into the next round of the Checkatrade Trophy after defeating the Iron 4-1.Luke Williams had given the visitors the lead, but a neat finish from Marvin Johnson and a hat-trick from Kane Hemmings sealed the Iron’s fate.
Graham Alexander made six changes to the side that defeated Bury 3-2 at the weekend, as Joe Anyon, Scott Wiseman, Luke Williams, Duane Holmes, Craig Davies and Levi Sutton all entered the starting line-up in place of Luke Daniels, Josh Morris, Harry Toffolo, Tom Hopper, Neal Bishop and Stephen Dawson.
After a slow start, it was the Iron who forged the first real opportunity, as Sutton latched onto Holmes’ long throw to set up a curler for Kevin van Veen. The Dutchman’s effort was deflected out for a corner, with Charlie Goode seeing a volley at the far post hitting the bar from the corner.
Williams won the away side a penalty after ten minutes following some intelligent skill inside the box. The winger then put the ball on the spot and duly dispatched it to give the Iron a 1-0 lead.
Holmes almost doubled the lead three minutes after the opener as he was sent through on goal, but his low shot drew a good save from Simon Eastwood.
The hosts equalised on 18 minutes as Marvin Jonhson raced into the box before firing in via the post, in what was the first time the U’s had come anywhere near the Iron’s penalty area.
Oxford then turned the game around and scored a second 22 minutes in. Jordan Clarke was intercepted in the box, before the ball was laid back for Kane Hemmings to slot home.
Joe Anyon was forced into a good save 15 minutes before the break, when Joe Rothwell cut inside Goode and curled one towards the top corner.
The Iron should have been level five minutes before half-time, but van Veen’s cross was headed wide by new signing Craig Davies.
Seconds before the break an incredible solo run from Williams, which saw him take on three defenders, almost levelled the scores, but his effort rose too high and ended the scoring for the half at 2-1 to Oxford.
Oxford won a penalty of their own early on in the second period after Rob Hall was tripped in the box by Levi Sutton. Hemmings made no mistake from the spot to take the hosts into a commanding 3-1 lead.
The game should have been put to bed 53 minutes in, but somehow Rothwell hammered over when the goal was at his mercy.
The U’s nearly added a fourth 21 minutes from the end, but Sercombe’s shot from the edge of the box was tipped over by Anyon.
Anyon kept his side in it after 81 minutes when Hemmings was through on goal, diving to his right to parry the shot away from danger.
Oxford made it 4-1 in the dying moments as a break down the right wing ended in a low cross, which was met by the grateful Hemmings – confirming his hat-trick.
That would be the final action of the game, as the Iron exited this season’s Checkatrade Trophy.
Oxford United: Eastwood, Skarz (Carroll, 87), Sercombe (Maguire, 73), Ruffels, Hemmings, Edwards, Rothwell, Hall, Taylor (Lundstram, 80), Johnson, Dunkley.
Substitutes not used: Stevens, Nelson, Ledson, Roberts.
Scunthorpe United: Anyon, Wiseman (Morris, 61), Wallace, Williams, van Veen (Margetts, 56), Mantom, Holmes, Goode, Davies (Hopper, 65), Sutton, Clarke.
Substitutes not used: Daniels, Adelakun, Wootton, Butroid.
Attendance: 1,383 (90 away).
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