United’s youthful side bowed out of the Lincolnshire Senior Cup at Grimsby Town on Thursday afternoon.
The Iron fielded players from their academy side, with only one current first year professional in Leslie Sackey in their ranks. Meanwhile, Grimsby opted to use the game to take a look at trialists, while first team players were also among the starting eleven. One of those was Andrew Boyce, who was with Scunthorpe between 2014 and 2016.
The hosts started the brighter and attacked down United’s left channel inside the first minute. Pugh and Lilley in defence both stood strong though, with the latter deflecting the cross towards Kelsey, who gathered.
The Iron were absorbing the early pressure at Blundell Park, with a long range effort flying wide of the target inside the opening ten minutes, while Robinson hit the post with a header shortly after following a cross from the right.
Grimsby took the lead on ten minutes as Bolarinwa worked hard down the right wing to put the ball on a plate for Yussuf, who headed into the net.
United, in response, went forward and triallist Louis Collins beat Boyce to the ball down the right channel before feeding in David Allasan, only for the defence to read the ball and clear.
James Kalu had a brief sight of goal shortly after as Allasan drove down the left wing. He found space for a cross, but Kalu could only glance a head on the ball as it spun away from the area.
Boyce nearly added Grimsby’s second of the match on 16 minutes following a right-winged free kick. He headed the cross goalwards, but his effort bounced wide of the near post.
Collins looked lively up front for the Iron and took a neat first touch following a ball over the top, but the experienced figure of Boyce again did well to read it and snub the danger.
Goalscorer Yussuf then fired wide inside 20 minutes for the Mariners after finding space on the edge of the area.
Kesley was then called into action to make a magnificent save as Summerfield smashed the ball goalwards from 20 yards, with the Iron shot stopper pushing the ball out for a corner despite the ball coming through a lot of bodies.
Lilley defended well on 25 minutes to deny Yussuf before Kelsey was again out to claim the ball after a threaded ball through the middle.
United went forward towards the end of the half and Tom Pugh put the ball into an inviting area from the right, but there was no one to get on the end of it.
Yussuf drew Kelsey into one final stop with his feet before the interval as the Mariners threatened to add more goals to the scoreline.
That second goal did come on 37 minutes as Boyce bundled the ball over the line after one Grimsby player hit the bar. Kelsey first denied the defender from two yards before he put in the rebound.
Kelsey made one final save before the interval, while Allasan created a chance for the Iron, with Collins not quite latching onto Kalu’s cross.
The hosts made three alterations at the break and it took just three minutes for Grimsby to make it 3-0 as one of those Harry Cardwell was allowed space in the area to turn and fire into the corner of the net.
Substitutions for both teams would follow before Collins stole onto a loose ball before playing to Train, whose effort was deflected wide for a corner.
Moments later though, the hosts broke clear and added a fourth with Robinson netting the pick of the strikes as he saw his effort go in off the angle of the post and crossbar.
Substitute ‘keeper Riches made a fine save soon after to prevent the scoreline growing, before the Iron enjoyed some neat forward play of their own, with Train and Collins prominent throughout.
Further substitutions for both teams slowed the game down towards its conclusion, with Liam Colclough firing over from the edge of the area after a corner was cleared to him with under five minutes remaining.
There was time for Riches to make one final save from point blank range as one of the Town substitutes drove into the area.
All in all, the youthful side performed well and were beaten by an experienced side, but it was a game not without plenty of experience and learning points to take from it.
MARINERS: McKeown (Killip, 46), Davies (Wright, 57), Dixon (Keeble, 72), Ait El Haj (Venney, 72), Boyce, Keeble, Bolarinwa, Summerfield (Rollins, 46), Robinson (Paul-Jones, 77), Dembele (Cardwell, 46), Yussuf.
IRON: Kelsey (Riches, 59), Pugh, Bartholomew (Colclough, 78), Harrison (Triallist, 78), Lilley, Sackey, Kalu (Ablett, 78), Busby, Allasan, Collins, Train.
IRON UNUSED SUBS: Morfoot.