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Match Reports

Report: Iron 3-2 Bradford City

26 March 2017

The Iron emerged 3-2 victors over Bradford City in an action-packed afternoon of football at Glanford Park.

After Ivan Toney’s early strike was cancelled out by two quick-fire Bantams goals, Scunthorpe rallied, and deservedly got themselves level at the beginning of the second period through Toney.

The three points were then sealed by Matt Crooks seven minutes from time, as he headed home a Josh Morris corner.

There were five changes to the side which started against Oxford United last weekend. 

Charlie Goode, Conor Townsend, Crooks, Adelakun and Toney replaced David Mirfin, Harry Toffolo, Neal Bishop, Jamie Ness and Tom Hopper in the starting eleven.

Things got off to the perfect start for Graham Alexander’s men, as they struck the first blow inside three minutes. Morris’ corner from the right somehow found it’s way through to a loitering Toney at the far post, with the Newcastle loanee firing high into the roof of the net.

However, the visitors’ response was a good one, and they hit back 11 minutes later. They did so via the head of Kevin Toner, who found space round the back of the Scunthorpe penalty area to head home Billy Clarke’s left winged free-kick.

The Iron’s lead was almost restored instantly, with the Bradford backline getting themselves in a mix-up. Goalkeeper Colin Doyle came rushing out of his goal, but was left in no man's land when the ball was diverted past him by a Bantams defender. Luckily for the Irishman though, the ball skipped out of play and went behind for a corner.

In the moments that followed however, Bradford completed the turnaround. Alex Jones was the man who got it, as he picked the ball up on the right, prior to drilling into the far corner past Luke Daniels.

Like the away side before them, Scunthorpe immediately seeked a reaction, and they nearly got one through Crooks. The Iron built up play neatly, with the midfielder then lashing over from 30 yards out.

More impressive approach play from the hosts soon followed, as did another effort, but Jordan Clarke’s half-volley was always rising.

2-1 would be how it stayed until the interval, with the Bantams holding a slender advantage as the two teams walked off the pitch.

Bizarrely, the second period started in exactly the same vain as the first, and it was a case of deja vu for Toney. The frontman peeled off his marker to find space in the box, but he still had so much to do when Adelakun expertly picked him out. What followed was magnificent, as the 21-year-old acrobatically hooked the ball home with his back to goal.

The game continued at a frantic pace and, before the Iron had chance to finish their celebrations, the visitors were on the front foot again. Fortunately enough though, Clarke’s close range strike flashed past Daniels’ post.

There was more Bantams pressure in the minutes that followed, but Daniels was up to the task, as he somehow grabbed hold of Charlie Wyke’s goal-bound header.

Scunthorpe’s man between the sticks wasn’t finished there either, and the battle with Wyke continued. The striker’s turn and shot looked to have caught Daniels out. However, his handling was superb, and he held on despite several onrushing opposing players.

As the clock ticked over into the final ten minutes, the game was finely poised. Toney went within a whisker of completing his hat-trick in the 82 minute, but he could only flick Paddy Madden’s near post cross into the hands of Doyle with Morris lurking.

The drama was by no means finished there though and, with just seven minutes left to play, Crooks took the roof off Glanford Park. Morris’ corner from the right was beautifully flighted and Crooks did the rest, as he powered his header into the back of the net.

From then on, Alexander’s team showed their true character to keep out everything the visitors threw at them. A series of blocks from Murray Wallace and company preserved the lead, with referee Darren Deadman blowing for full-time after six minutes of stoppage time.

Scunthorpe United: Daniels, Wallace, Dawson, Madden, Morris, Adelakun (Wiseman, 85), Goode (Mirfin, 72), Townsend, Toney (Davies, 88), Crooks, Clarke.
Substitutes not used: Anyon, Bishop, Hopper, Ness.

Bradford City: Doyle, Meredith, Toner, Vincelot, Marshall, Dieng, Wyke, Clarke (Devine, 79), Jones (Hiwula, 79), McArdle, McMahon.
Substitutes not used: Sattlemaier, Darby, Hanson, Penny, Pybus.

Attendance: 5,247.

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