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Match Reports

Report: Iron 1-1 Walsall

11 August 2018

Glanford Park played host to league football for the first time in the 2018-19 season, as the iron drew 1-1 against Walsall on Saturday.

Nick Daws made two changes from the side that started in the 2-1 win against Coventry last time out. Matthew Lund and George Thomas replaced James Horsfield and Olufela Olomola.

Ryan Colclough came off the bench for the iron to mark his first appearance after signing on deadline day, whilst Josh Morris was also back in action for Scunthorpe after a thigh problem in pre-season.

It was the visitors who got the ball rolling, but it was United who started the brightest and had the first shot on goal inside the first ten minutes. Cameron Borthwick-Jackson did well down the left flank to get forward and deliver a cross into the box. Lee Novak was waiting in the area and got in front of his man before getting to the ball first, but his effort flew over the bar. 

The Saddlers looked to hit back and mounted a spell of pressure of their own. Firstly, Jon Guthrie struck the post after 12 minutes with a venomous volley when the ball dropped kindly to him from a corner. 

Moments later, Morgan Ferrier had a wonderful chance when a ball across the box found him free in the area but fortunately for Scunthorpe, he got his connection all wrong and sliced his effort well wide of the target.

United then got back into the game with two quickfire attacks. Jordan Clarke found space down the right-hand side to cut the ball back to Stephen Humphrys, whose shot was fired towards goal, but the defender got in the way to deflect the ball behind for the iron’s first corner of the game.

The resulting set-play was played deep and was kept in well by Borthwick-Jackson on the far side. The left-back played it to Andy Dales, who sweetly struck the ball, stinging the palms of goalkeeper Liam Roberts.

Rory Watson in the United goal then had some work of his own to do in the 28thminute. Ferrier drilled a powerful shot towards goal from close range, but Watson did well to keep out the effort with a strong hand to tip the ball behind.

32 minutes in, and Humphrys had a shot on goal saved by Roberts. He picked up the ball on the right-wing before he cut inside to create space and unleashed a shot that was well held by the keeper.

Just before the half-time whistle blew, there was a scramble in the Walsall box as the iron looked to go into the break with a lead. A cross from the right was aimed towards the back post and fell to the feet of Novak, who found George Thomas in the area. However, he was crowded out as he tried to work some space for a shot that was eventually deflected and cleared.

Despite both teams searching for a goal in the first half, neither side could break the deadlock.

As the referee got proceedings underway for the second half, it was Scunthorpe who continued in the same vein as they left off and were rewarded just three minutes into the half. Captain Novak with the strike to put the iron in front from the edge of the area.

The ball was put into the box from the right and fell to Novak. The striker volleyed the ball neatly into the right corner of the net, scoring his first goal of the season as United led one nil.

The visitors looked to get back in the game straight away, Watson did well to punch clear as a dangerous looking cross was sent into the box. Jack Fitzwater then had a chance with a header at the back post, but his effort went over the top of the bar.

After 64 minutes, the Saddlers were awarded a penalty when Zeli Ismail was bundled over in the area. The winger got up and took the penalty for the visitors and leveled the score, firing past Watson who went the right way, but the ball was just out of reach as it was placed above his head and into the right corner. 

With the scoreline level, the iron pushed for another goal. Novak was fed the ball through the right and looked to square to Humphrys in the centre, but it was cut out and cleared for a corner. 

Humphrys then had a chance of his own when he touched the ball out of his feet on the edge of the area before drilling it just over the bar. 

In the 75th minute, Walsall had a chance but Jordan Clarke did superbly well to prevent the shot when a low ball was put into the area, blocking with a brilliant slide tackle. Ferrier then fired his shot wide from a tight angle. 

Andy Cook hit the underside of the crossbar and bounced out for the away side in the 80thminute as they searched for a winner and the follow-up from Ferrier was dragged wide of the target.

Going into the last five minutes of the game, United looked to press for a goal. Morris was cleverly found on the left by Colclough before his shot was parried away by Roberts.

The Iron had a corner going into added time. Cameron Burgess met it with his head, but Roberts dived to his right to pluck the ball out of the air and hold on.

Both teams went for the win, but neither could find the decisive goal as the game ended 1-1 at Glanford Park. Scunthorpe are back in action at home to Doncaster in the first round of the Carabao Cup on Tuesday.  

Scunthorpe United: Watson, Clarke (Morris, 78), Borthwick-Jackson, Lund (Horsfield, 65) Humphrys, Dales (Colclough, 80), Perch, Novak, Thomas, Goode, Burgess.
Substitutes not used: Flatt, McArdle, Olomola, Butroid

Walsall: Roberts, Leahy, Dobson, Guthrie, Devlin, Cook, Ismail, Ginnelly (Wilson, 87), Ferrier (Gordon, 90), Fitzwater, Osbourne (Kinsella, 69).
Substitutes not used:Dunn, Morris, Kouhyar, Candlin.

Referee: Dean Whitestone. 

Attendance: 4,331.

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