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Match Reports

Report: Iron 0-2 Luton Town

26 December 2018

Despite a decent start to the game, United were defeated 2-0 by high-fliers Luton Town at Glanford Park on Boxing Day.

The Iron entered the match making one change from the side that lost at Bradford last weekend, with Jordan Clarke facing three months out with a lateral knee ligament injury sustained in that game. He was replaced in the eleven by Yasin Ben El-Mhanni.

The first shot of the match was for the visitors. Elliot Lee picked up the ball on the left side of the box and cut it onto his right foot, but dragged his effort wide of the target.

Then Jack Stacey put a cross into the box after making a run down the right, he played it low for Jorge Grant, who dragged it back, but Jak Alnwick was out to gather.

With 12 minutes on the clock, Funso Ojo crossed deep for Yasin Ben El-Mhanni at the back post. He connected with his right foot on the volley, but couldn’t quite direct it on target.

Three minutes later, there was another chance for the Iron as Ojo cut in from the left and sent a cross towards Lee Novak. The striker connected with the ball, however he flicked his effort over the crossbar.

There was another opportunity moments later with Scunthorpe dominating at that point. The ball dropped for Novak on the edge of the box after a Cameron Borthwick-Jackson cross was only partly cleared but the frontman’s half-volleyed effort was blocked away.

In the 22nd minute, there was another good United attack with the ball eventually reaching Ojo, whose curled effort forced James Shea into a save.

As the match reached 30 minutes, Scunthorpe had another opportunity as a left-wing free-kick was played into the box but headed wide by Rory McArdle.

Four minutes later, following a Luton counter-attack, Jak Alnwick produced a fine low one-handed stop to deny Harry Cornick after a good switch of play found him on the right. 

The away side then took the lead in the 37th minute when the ball was played square across the edge of the box to Andrew Shinnie, who sent his low effort into the bottom right-hand corner of Alnwick’s goal.

Some trickery from Ben El-Mhanni on 42 minutes saw the attacker play the ball to Ojo, who sent an effort just over the crossbar from 25 yards.

With 51 minutes on the clock, Harry Cornick doubled the Hatters’ advantage after he followed the ball in after an initial good save from Alnwick.

Shortly afterwards, James Collins won a free-kick for Luton midway in the Scunthorpe half. James Justin took it, it was headed back across goal, with Pearson looking to shoot, but it was charged down and the Iron cleared.

On 58 minutes, nice control by Ojo drew his marker into committing a foul. Borthwick-Jackson whipped it in, and the initial danger was cleared before the ball was sent back into the box from the right. Charlie Goode went down under a challenge in the area, but nothing was given.

Five minutes later, a break for the Hatters set Elliot Lee free. He got to the edge of the area, before shooting with his right-foot. It was blocked and went behind for a corner, which came to nothing.

Not long after, a mix up in defence for Luton meant Sonny Bradley had to put the ball into touch. From the throw-in, Ojo got it, and dinked it in towards Kyle Wootton but it was steered away. 

The resulting corner then found the striker again, however the header was straight at the ‘keeper.

With ten minutes left, United brought Stephen Humphrys on for Novak as they seeked a way back into the game. Soon after, Andy Dales replaced Ben El-Mhanni. However, despite trying to get the ball into the box and cause problems, Scunthorpe couldn’t find the goal that would get them back into the game.

The closest they came was with a minute remaining as the ball was played to Ojo on the edge of the area and his shot was deflected over the crossbar.

The Iron return to action on Saturday when they host Wycombe Wanderers (3pm kick-off).

Scunthorpe United: Alnwick, Borthwick-Jackson, Ojo, Perch, Novak (Humphrys, 80), Thomas, Ben El-Mhanni (Dales, 82), Goode, Sutton, McArdle, Wootton.
Substitutes not used: Flatt, Horsfield, Ugbo, Lewis.

Luton Town: Shea, Justin, Bradley, Pearson, Stacey, Lee, Shinnie (Berry, 90), Cornick (Hylton, 77), Ruddock, Grant (McCormack, 65), Collins,
Substitutes not used: Stech, LuaLua, Jones, Sheehan.

Attendance: 4,050.

Referee: Martin Coy.

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