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Match Reports

Report: Iron 2-2 Rotherham United

12 May 2018

The Iron came from behind twice to earn a deserved draw in the play-off semi final first leg against Rotherham at Glanford Park.

Rotherham took the lead in the first half through Jon Taylor but Scunthorpe responded instantly when Duane Holmes’ shot was converted into his own net by the Millers defender Michael Ihiekwe, drawing the iron level.

The Millers then restored their lead midway through the second half courtesy of substitute Joe Newell before Cameron McGeehan salvaged a draw for the Iron in the dying embers of the game meaning it’s all to play for at the second leg on Wednesday.

The Iron made five changes following the 1-1 draw with Bradford City on the final day of the season with Jordan Clarke, Murray Wallace, Funso Ojo, Holmes and Ivan Toney coming back into the side for Marnick Vermijl, Cameron Burgess, Neal Bishop, McGeehan and Lee Novak. 

It was the Millers who got the game underway and won a corner inside the first minute, Matt Gilks in the United goal with his first save as he came out and collected the ball comfortably at the far post from the resulting set piece.

Shortly after, United won a corner of their own, a deep ball whipped in by Josh Morris found Conor Townsend at the back post but his shot at goal was charged down by the Rotherham defence.

The Iron’s first shot on target came eight minutes in, good play down the right presented a chance for Duane Holmes after he cut inside to shoot but his side-footed effort was straight at Rodak in the Rotherham goal. 

The Millers then took the lead 17 minutes in when Jon Taylor slid the ball past Gilks to score the opening goal of the game following a long ball played upfield to the striker.

However, the Iron hit straight back, wasting no time and equalising a minute later courtesy of an Ihiekwe own goal. There was great work by Adelakun on the right flank after beating his man skillfully before slotting the ball through to Holmes who lifted his shot over Rodak. The Rotherham United defender attempted to clear but sliced the ball into his own net, drawing the Iron level. 

Scunthorpe continued to attack, Adelakun again looked threatening down the right side, sending a cross into the box searching for Toney but the forward couldn’t bring the ball under control to get the shot away. 

In the 35th minute, a Rotherham attack ended in a Will Vaulks long range effort after a short free kick, with the shot easy for Gilks to gather before Richie Towell fired over the bar which proved to be the last attack for either side in the first half. 

The first Scunthorpe attack in the first half came in the 51st minute when Morris’s cross was blocked resulting in a corner. The set piece was taken short before Morris crossed again to Toney who held up the ball well to lay off Ojo on the edge of the area but his shot cannoned off the defender. The ball was played back into the danger area and found the head of Rory McArdle but his header was comfortably claimed by Rodak. 

Rotherham then won a free kick in a good position on the left-hand side with the in-swinging ball from Taylor caught by Gilks, who appeared to get injured in the process and had to be replaced in the 61st minute by Rory Watson.

At the same time, a Rotherham substitution saw Newell replacing Jon Taylor who made an instant impact, scoring for the Millers three minutes later. A cross was sent towards the back post from the right was controlled by Newell who fired the ball past Watson, leaving the goalkeeper with no chance. 

Scunthorpe responded quickly again and in the 67th minute, Holmes forced Rodak into a low save before Toney’s follow-up was saved again at the near post. 

Great defending by Murray Wallace in the 83rd minute stopped a threatening Rotherham attack which set the basis for United to attack again.

A late surge from the Iron saw Scunthorpe draw level again. McGeehan bundled the ball over the line, equalising for the Iron right at the death in the 89th minute after his initial shot was saved following a flick on by Toney.

There was six minutes of time added on but neither side could find a winner and so the game ended 2-2.

Scunthorpe United: Gilks (Watson 61) Clarke, Wallace, McArdle, Townsend, Ojo, Yates, Holmes, Morris, Adelakun (McGeehan 74) Toney (Hopper 90+4).
Substitutes not used: Bishop, Novak, Vermijl, Burgess. 

Rotherham United: Rodak, Emmanuel, Mattock, Vaulks, Wood, Palmer, Taylor (Newell 61) Towell (Ajayi 71) Ihiekwe, Williams (Forde 90+6) Smith.
Substitutes not used: Price, Ball, Purrington, Lavery.

Attendance: 6,591.

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