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Match Reports

Report: Iron 2-2 Northampton Town

17 February 2018

The Iron drew 2-2 against Northampton Town on Saturday at Glanford Park.

Northampton took a one goal advantage early in the game courtesy of a Chris Long header, which was then cancelled out by a great strike from Funso Ojo in the 31st minute.

However, a John-Joe O’Toole header in the second half gave the Cobblers another lead, but defender Murray Wallace got the Iron back into the game when he made it 2-2.

Manager Graham Alexander made one change to the starting line-up for the match, which saw Duane Holmes return to the side replacing Hakeeb Adelakun.

After a quiet opening to the match, the Iron fell behind in the 13th minute when Long headed into the net from close range. A Matt Crooks header was deflected towards the striker, who converted for the visitors.

O’Toole looked to extend the Cobblers lead eight minutes later, but the connection on his left-footed volley was poor as it sailed over.

Loanee Ryan Yates was then presented with a great opportunity for the Iron when Holmes crossed the ball into the area. The midfielder made a late dart into the box, however his header went over the bar.

The Iron did hit back with an equaliser in the 31st minute when Ojo rifled a long-range strike into the back of the net. Levi Sutton started the attack with a well-timed tackle, before Yates set Ojo free in the centre of the park, taking the ball forward and then driving it past Richard O’Donnell in the Northampton goal.

Left-back Conor Townsend then immediately tried to give his side the lead. He controlled the ball and set himself up for a shot, but his curling effort bounced wide of the right post.

Just before the half-time whistle, Gboly Ariyibi showed pace and skill to find some space, yet his strike curled harmlessly past Matt Gilks’ left post.

After the interval, the Iron had a sighting of goal in the 50th minute. Yates touched the ball to Toney, who arrowed a half-volley wide of the target.

That was shortly followed by an effort from Holmes. The tricky winger cut inside, but his low left-footed strike was gathered by the goalkeeper.

However, the visitors regained their lead in the 57th minute. Matt Grimes took an out-swinging corner, which was met by a powerful header from O’Toole, who guided the ball into the top of the net.

The Iron had the opportunity to respond when Townsend stood over a free-kick on the left-hand side. He whipped the set-piece towards the far post, with Wallace seeing his header deflected behind for a corner.

Although in the 67th minute, the central defender did head home the Iron’s second equaliser of the match. Morris curled in a free-kick from the right, which wasn’t dealt with by the Northampton goalkeeper and defence, before Wallace jumped the highest in a crowd of players to nod home an equaliser to make it 2-2.

With five minutes to go, Morris forced O’Donnell into a superb one-handed save. In typical Morris fashion, he lifted a free-kick over the wall and with the ball heading for the top left corner, the ‘keeper dived to keep it out.

In stoppage time, substitute Cameron McGeehan fired a strike over the crossbar before Grimes sent a free-kick over for the visitors, with that being the final action of the contest.

Scunthorpe United:
 Gilks, Townsend, Wallace, Ojo, Toney (Hopper, 60’), Morris, Novak, Holmes, Sutton (McGeehan, 73’), McArdle (c), Yates (Adelakun, 81’).
Unused substitutes: Watson, Bishop, Goode, Burgess.

Northampton Town: O’Donnell, Moloney, Taylor (c), Powell (Foley, 90’), O’Toole (Barnett, 81’), Crooks, Grimes, Turnbull, Bunney, Ariyibi (Hoskins, 87’). 
Unused substitutes: Cornell, Mathis, McWilliams, Bridge.

Attendance: 4,157.

Referee: Andrew Madley

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