The Iron were beaten 2-1 at home by second-placed Wigan Athletic on Saturday, thanks to second-half strikes from Dan Burn and Nick Powell, despite a late goal from Funso Ojo.
Graham Alexander made two changes to the side that lost 2-0 to Shrewsbury Town. Funso Ojo replaced Sam Mantom and Kevin van Veen, who impressed in his Checkatrade trophy appearance during midweek, came in for Duane Holmes.
The first opportunity was missed by Wigan Athletic. Gary Roberts made a run into the left side of the Iron box and wanted the ball. However, the Latics midfield didn’t see him in time and chose another pass. You could see the midfielder’s frustration.
However, shortly after this, the Latics’ lively attack saw ex-Manchester United man Nick Powell rise in the box to connect with a header. However, he couldn’t guide it towards the target.
The Iron got their first dangerous attack in the 10th minute. Lewis Butroid ran down the wing and passed it back to Funso Ojo on the edge of the box. The Belgian played the ball through to Tom Hopper, who was running free in the 18-yard box, but the pass was just a bit heavy.
Murray Wallace was forced to perform the heroics in the box throughout the first-half. Not long after the Iron’s chance, Gavin Massey picked up a loose ball and ran into the right-hand side of the Iron box. However, Wallace blocked his shot on goal.
Wigan came into the game with a very high tempo and it almost paid off in the 22nd minute. The Latics full-back Callum Elder got the ball flicked onto him on the left-wing. He sent a cross into the box that curled in front of the Iron defence and ended up at the back post. However, neither Will Grigg nor Nick Powell could reach it in time.
The link-up play between Elder and the two forwards looked dangerous. However, Wallace and McArdle were meeting most crosses and consistently made some impressive clearances to protect the Iron goal.
Nick Powell took on a free-kick from 25 yards out in the 24th minute and looked like he would have hit it on-target. However, the wall did well to get in the way and deflect it out of danger.
Max Power went for a spectacular effort as the Latics piled on the pressure in the Iron half. The midfielder, who replaced Sam Morsy whilst on international duty, hit the shot from 25 yards out but it dipped a little too late, leading to it going over the crossbar.
The Iron’s best chance of the opening half came with 15 minutes of it left to go. United got a free-kick just inside the Wigan half on the right-flank, and Josh Morris and van Veen stood over it. It was the Dutchman that approached it first but he stuttered and Morris came in to curl it towards the back post. The ball looked to be falling into the path of Wigan ‘keeper Jamie Jones, but Rory McArdle beat him to it and headed it at the goal. Wigan cleared off the line though.
Shortly after, the Latics came back at the Iron and Chey Dunkley got a chance as he headed the ball wide of the goal from the back post.
With minutes left in the first-half, the Iron attack seemed threatening. A quick flick from van Veen put the ball across to Josh Morris on the right-wing. The midfielder drove into the box and managed to get a shot away but he couldn’t keep it down enough to find the target.
The Latics came out of the second-half hot and in the 49th minute their efforts paid off. Their captain, Dan Burn turned inside the box and fired a shot into the right hand side of the goal from the left flank of the box.
Afterwards, in the 55th minute, Will Grigg worked his way into a good position on the right-wing and had a shot at goal.
The game soon took another turn though as Lee Evans was sent off two minutes later for violent conduct on Funso Ojo.
A chance soon came for the Iron against the ten man team in the 63rd minute. Link-up play between Butroid and Morris had earned a corner from the left flank. Morris produced a brilliant ball to Jordan Clarke on the edge of the 18-yard box and the right-back headed it towards goal and forced a save out of Jones.
Only a minute later, Morris was at it again on the other side of the pitch. He attempted to drive the ball across the box but the ball was deflected. The Iron were really piling on the pressure inside the hour mark.
There were brilliant displays of defending throughout the game and it was summed up in the 71st minute as McArdle reacted instinctively to put the ball out in the six yard box. Then, from the resulting corner, van Veen headed the Latics’ shot off the goal-line.
The Iron went on the counter attack and thanks to Paddy Madden finding some space after taking on a couple of defenders they got the ball to Sam Mantom, who was free on the edge of the box. The substitute hit it first time and forced a fantastic save out of Jones. The ‘keeper spilled it and it fell to Duane Holmes but the winger was offside.
Powell was the one to solidify the Latics' victory though as he got his sixth of the season. The forward got on the end of a long ball and slotted it past ex-Wigan Matt Gilks in the 74th minute.
However, the Iron weren’t done yet and a chance in the 83rd minute summed that up. Butroid was found again on the left wing and put a cross in with his first touch. It eluded the Wigan defence and fell to Clarke at the back post. The right-back hit it at goal but it was deflected for a corner.
With a minute on the clock it looked as if the Iron were going to get a goal as Morris had a shot on target at the edge of the six-yard box. The Wigan ‘keeper saved it, but the following corner led to Ojo’s first goal of the season. The ball ended up falling to the Belgian midfielder on the edge of the box and he hit it first-time into the back of the net.
There were five additional minutes played but, despite an onslaught of Iron attacks, Wigan held on to the three points.
Scunthorpe United: Gilks, Clarke, Wallace, Ojo, van Veen, Morris, Bishop (Mantom, 79’), Hopper (Holmes, 52’), Novak (Madden, 79’), McArdle, Butroid.
Unused substitutes: Watson, Crofts, Adelakun, Burgess.
Wigan Athletic: Jones, Byrne, Elder, Power, Evans, Grigg (Perkins, 58’), Massey (Thomas, 68’), Roberts, Dunkley, Powell (Toney, 76’), Burn.
Unused substitutes: Evans, Hunt, Burgess, Golden.
Referee: Robert Lewis.
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