The Iron were knocked out of the Emirates FA Cup in the second round, following a narrow 1-0 defeat to fellow League One opposition Shrewsbury Town at the Montgomery Waters Meadow Stadium.
Aaron Holloway’s goal in the first half proved to be the difference, after Josh Morris saw his penalty saved by Shrewsbury goalkeeper Steve Arnold late on.
Stuart McCall made three changes from the team that were defeated by Southend on Tuesday night. Cameron Borthwick-Jackson came back into the side following injury and replaced the suspended James Perch after his red card in midweek. There were two further changes with James Horsfield and Ike Ugbo switching to the bench, as Matthew Lund and Kyle Wootton came into the side.
The referee blew his whistle to signal the start of the game with Anthony Grant kicking off for the hosts. A quiet opening five minutes followed.
Shrewsbury then won a corner on the right after Rory McArdle steered the ball away to prevent the hosts from advancing forward. The resultant set-piece presented the first chance of the match when a deep ball was delivered towards the back post. A bunch of Shrews’ players looked to get on the end of it to prod it home, however the final shot landed straight into the gloves of Jak Alnwick, leaving him with a simple save.
Just minutes later, the Iron attacked themselves. Matthew Lund found space on the right-hand side of the box, before hooking the ball back across to Lee Novak in the middle. The striker met it with his head, but saw his effort drop just wide of the target.
A controversial moment then followed seconds after, when Scunthorpe thought that Luke Waterfall should have been dismissed after a foul on Kyle Wootton. The defender brought him down as he closed in on goal, but after further consulting with his assistant, the referee decided to bring play back and award a free-kick to the hosts, after an earlier foul had been committed.
Both sides continued to press as they tried to break the deadlock. Another Iron chance fell to George Thomas after he unleashed a shot from distance, however Waterfall deflected it behind for a corner. Then, after the initial danger was cleared for the resulting set-piece, the ball was sent back in towards Novak with the striker rising highest again, but he headed past the post.
After a quarter of an hour, Shrewsbury forced Alnwick into a fine save. Ferjiri Okenabirhie cut in from the left and curled a shot towards the top corner, however the goalkeeper dived to his left and superbly tipped the effort behind with his fingertips.
On 21 minutes, the home side thought that they had found the breakthrough. Josh Laurent picked up possession, before driving forward and firing a shot towards goal, his effort took a wicked deflection and looked to be looping in, but he was denied by the upright.
Just five minutes later, Shrewsbury came forward again. Greg Docherty ran down the right, before his attempted cross then landed back at his feet. He drove inside the area and tried to lash a shot across the face of goal, however he put it into the side netting.
Then, as the clock ticked towards the half-time interval and ten minutes to go before the break, the Shrews’ took the lead. Aaron Holloway was the man to score it, cutting in from the right side of the box and curling the ball low into the far bottom corner.
A goal behind, Scunthorpe looked to level. Novak stole possession from Omar Beckles and steered a pass to into the path of the onrushing Josh Morris. He surged down the flank, before neatly feeding through Lund in the middle, who tried to bend the ball in the corner, however his shot was well wide of the mark.
There were then two additional minutes added on at the end of the first half. During that, Morris was brought down on the edge of the area to give Scunthorpe their last chance of the half. Thomas stood over the free-kick and struck it well to force Steve Arnold into a smart save down in his bottom right. That proved to be the last action of the half, with the referee brining the first 45 minutes to a close.
As the second half got underway, it was Shrewsbury who had the first opportunity. Holloway cushioned the ball to Laurent, who had found himself with his back to goal, he then tried to turn and acrobatically shot, but his effort flew over the top of the crossbar.
On 57 minutes, Wootton turned past Mat Sadler, who then blocked the strikers’ clear route to goal in the centre of the pitch, but the referee decided it was only going to be a yellow card for the Shrewsbury skipper.
Shortly after, the Shrews were on the attack. Laurent gained possession and passed square to Docherty, who switched the ball back onto his left foot, before powerfully striking towards goal, however his shot didn’t trouble Alnwick.
Andy Dales then charged down the right-hand side, before standing up a cross to the back post, where Cameron Burgess was lurking after making a surging run into the area. The centre-half climbed to win the header, but couldn’t quite direct it on target, as the ball narrowly skimmed over the bar.
With the Iron still trailing, they brought on Yasin Ben El-Mhanni for Dales in the 74th minute. However, it was the home side who came closest through a substitution of their own when Lenell John-Lewis powered his header past the target.
Scunthorpe still pushed for an equaliser as the game clock entered the final ten minutes. Morris looked to provide the spark, as he charged through midfield, but he was hacked down just outside of the area. When he tried to pull the trigger. He then took the resulting free-kick, but it was held comfortably by Arnold.
The Iron then had a golden opportunity to send the game to a replay when the referee awarded Scunthorpe a penalty for a push on Novak. Morris stepped up to take it, but Arnold guessed the right way to keep it out.
Five additional minutes were added on, but it wasn’t enough for the Iron as they fell to defeat in the second round of the Emirates FA Cup.
Shrewsbury Town: Arnold, Sadler (C), Beckles, Docherty, Okenabirhie (Emmanuel, 90+2), Bolton, Gilliead (John-Lewis, 74), Holloway, Waterfall, Laurent, Grant.
Substitutes not used: Coleman, Haynes, Eisa, Colkett, Sears.
Scunthorpe United: Alnwick, Borthwick-Jackson, Lund, Morris, Dales (Ben El-Mhanni, 74), Novak, Thomas, Goode, Burgess, McArdle (C), Wootton.
Substitutes not used: Flatt, Horsfield, Ugbo, Humphrys, Lewis, Sutton.
Referee: Neil Hair.
Attendance: 3,427 (192 away).