A Scunthorpe United XI beat RIASA (Richmond International Academic and Soccer Academy), managed by former defender Rob Jones, 9-1 on Tuesday afternoon at Weetwood Sports Park.
With the Iron looking at a number of players for their Under-23s team next season, only goalkeeper Adam Kelsey and academy players Charlie Barks, Jack Harrison and Tom Pugh were recognised United players who started the game - the others all trialists.
It took just three minutes for Scunthorpe to break the deadlock with Pugh netting the opener. He fed off a right-wing cross and sent the ball into the net with a brilliant back heeled effort.
That early goal could have been added to just two minutes later when a long Kelsey clearance found the head of a home defender. That header was misplaced, allowing Trialist 9 to drive into the area with the ball. His low drive would be well saved, the ball pushed into the side-netting for a corner.
That second goal did come on eight minutes following a succession of corners. This one would be won following a neat interchange between Pugh and Trialist 9 in midfielder. A flick from the latter would allow Trialist 14 to peel into the area on the left, with a last ditch tackle thwarting him from shooting. From the resultant corner from the left, Barks won the first header, knocking the ball into the six-yard box for his defensive partner Harrison to stab the ball into the net.
One minute later, there was almost an immediate response from the hosts. Barks, fresh from his assist, got in the way of a goal bound low effort from the edge of the box at the expense of a corner.
13 minutes in, a positive move down the left from the Iron saw Trialist 14 played into the area. His first touch saw him flick the ball into a promising position for a shot, with last ditch pressure from a home defender forcing him to miscue his effort.
Three minutes later, the Iron had a free-kick in a promising position. Barks played a long ball forward, with United picking up the second phase and, following handball claims being turned down, Trialist 9 was fouled following an aerial challenge. From the free-kick, Trialist 7 curled the effort around the wall, forcing the goalkeeper into a fine save down to his left. Trialist 9 was alert to the save and steered home the rebound, but he was swiftly flagged offside by the assistant referee.
A third goal would, however, follow on 19 minutes when Trialist 7 dispossessed a home defender 25-yards from goal, playing a short pass to Trialist 9. His low drive from outside the area was seemingly saved by the ‘keeper only for the ball to bounce up, hit the crossbar and nestle in the back of the net.
Two minutes later, the hosts had their first real opportunity of the encounter. RIASA’s number 14 was played through, with Kelsey alert to the danger, narrowing the angle and making a fine save. Another two minutes later, he was called into action again. The ball dropped to RIASA’s striker on the edge of the penalty area. His right-footed shot deflected away from goal, with Kelsey out to gather the bouncing ball with another player running in.
The Iron fourth goal almost arrived on 27 minutes when Trialist 9 was played through. He chested the ball down and placed a half-volley just wide of the target with the home shot stopper advancing towards him.
32 minutes in, Kelsey was forced into a decent save low to his left following a cross from the right. The ball would be cleared to the edge of the area with a 20-yard shot heading for the corner.
Three minutes later, Scunthorpe would extend their lead to four. It would start with Kelsey at the back as he claimed a through ball. He would roll to Barks, who would send a precise long ball through to Trialist 7 who broke the offside trap and delicately lobbed the ball over the advancing ‘keeper from just inside the penalty area.
Kelsey maintained his clean sheet as he confidently gathered a header following a right-winged corner on 39 minutes. The ball was headed back across goal before a flick-on towards goal, but the 19-year-old was perfectly placed to catch.
Two minutes later, the hosts had their best chance of the half following a long ball which was allowed to bounce. RIASA’s number 96 latched onto the ball and cued his effort wide of the target from the edge of the box under pressure from Harrison.
Barks and Harrison continued their fine first-half defensive partnership just before the interval, with both dealing with late threats. Barks initially cleared a right-sided throw, Harrison thwarted his man from getting through, while Barks was on hand again to clear the ricochet. The follow-up effort would go over.
Scunthorpe’s fifth would come a minute into first-half stoppage time with the ball played forward into space down the right for Trialist 10 to run onto. The low cross was met by Trialist 9 who controlled and fired beyond the ‘keeper.
The last action of the first half would fall to the hosts through a free-kick won four minutes into added time. The 25-yard effort would clear the wall and draw Kelsey into his final save. He would be replaced by first-year scholar Tom Collins.
RIASA created the first chance of the second half without creating a clear cut opportunity. They’d play the ball down the right before a low cross was turned behind for a corner, which the Iron dealt with.
One minute later, after clearing the corner, it should have been 6-0. A cross-field ball saw Trialist 10 race away and find Trialist 9 with an inviting ball. He miscued his first effort before drawing a good save from the ‘keeper with his second. The ball would then bobble to Pugh from 12-yards with the newly-turned professional firing his effort over the bar.
On 53 minutes, Pugh redeemed himself for his miss, brilliantly threading through a ball for Trialist 10 to slot the ball across goal and into the net with his first touch.
Five minutes later, 6-0 would become 7-0 as Trialist 2 found Trialist 10 with a ball down the right channel. He would drive into the area, cutting onto his left foot and drilling a shot across goal and into the far corner of the net.
Following that goal, the Iron would make their latest substitution with Trialist 8 making way for first-year academy scholar Luca Chadli.
On the hour, Trialist 7 would clear the target narrowly with an audacious effort from just inside the attacking half. The ‘keeper scrambled back towards his line and was relieved to see the ball drop out of play for a goal kick.
Despite that near miss, it would become 8-0 a minute later. Following a move down the left, the ball was played into the area. Trialist 9 side-stepped his defender and saw his shot blocked, with Pugh firing into the roof of the net from 15-yards.
The deficit almost became nine on 64 minutes with a long ball flicked on by Trialist 10. Trialist 9 gained possession, taking the ball through before being denied by the goalkeeper with a fine save.
He was called into action 60 seconds later too when Trialist 14 seized the ball on the right, swiftly playing into Trialist 10. His control and turn took him into space, with his shot taking a deflection, looping towards goal, requiring a fingertip save by the ‘keeper to push the ball onto the top of the net.
On 69 minutes, a long goal kick from Collins was headed into the path of Trialist 9 who saw his low shot again saved well by the ‘keeper.
With just over 15 minutes later, Barks continued his defensive work as he read an overlap to block a goal bound shot.
A minute later, Trialist 7 was forced off through injury with goalkeeper Kelsey coming on outfield for the remaining 15 minutes in his place.
78 minutes in, Collins was forced into his first real save since coming on at half time as he threw himself down to his left to save from an effort following a right-sided corner.
He wouldn’t be able to maintain his clean sheet though, with the hosts pulling a goal back on 80 minutes. Following a move down the left, a RIASA player sent a 25-yard effort crashing into the roof of the net.
Three minutes later, the hosts almost made it 8-2 but, following a loose pass, Collins came racing out his goal and made a smart save with his left foot with the striker through one-on-one.
86 minutes in, the Iron were denied a ninth goal. A free-kick awarded on the edge of the box following a foul on Trialist 9 was bent around the wall with the home ‘keeper making a smart stop. The rebound is initially blocked before being forced home, but the goal was ruled out for offside.
Collins was forced into another save a minute later as he palmed away an effort from 20-yards. From that save, the Iron attacked through Chadli, who found Trialist 9 with a dinked pass into the area. He chested the ball down and struck just wide.
The ninth Scunthorpe goal arrived a minute from time with Trialist 10 breaking the offside trap following a ball down the right, racing into the area and squeezing home a shot from a very tight angle to complete his hat-trick.
In the final minute of the game, goalkeeper Kelsey almost got on the scoresheet himself as he dispossessed the final defender before going through. He looked to have slotted the ball beyond the RIASA ‘keeper only for him to make a fine save with his feet. Trialist 9 picked up the ball, but his follow-up shot was cleared for a corner.
That would be the last real action of the encounter at the United XI maintained their eight-goal advantage.