The Iron’s Under-18 side beat local rivals Lincoln City Under-18’s 1-0 at home on Saturday morning in the Youth Alliance League, as an own goal by a Lincoln defender in the 80th minute proved to be the matchwinner in a tightly contested game.
The result was well deserved for Scunthorpe, who fought hard, having lost the reverse fixture 2-0 earlier on in the season back in September. However, a resilient defensive display this time around from the Iron made them worthy of all three points come the final whistle on Saturday.
It was a cagey opening from both sides, with no clear-cut chances at either end during the first ten minutes.
Lincoln had the game’s first real opportunity, when their tricky winger cut the ball back onto his right-foot with 20 minutes on the clock. However, his effort from distance didn’t trouble Tom Collins in the Scunthorpe United goal, as it sailed over the top of the crossbar.
A couple of minutes later, it was the Iron’s turn to attack. A cross from Harry Baker down the right flank was dangerously whipped in, but unfortunately, it was just headed wide by Miracle Okafor.
Baker continued to cause the Lincoln defence problems, and he almost set-up another opportunity for the Iron to score shortly after. It came after a good passage of play by Scunthorpe, which allowed the winger to be set free down the right-hand side. He then crossed for Okafor again, who met it with his head, but the goalkeeper was alert to the shot and did well to hold on.
With the clock ticking towards the half-time interval, Lincoln nearly had their noses in front. A shot was rifled in from the edge of the Iron penalty area, but Collins was equal to the powerful effort and produced a fine save.
However, despite time running out in the first half, there was just enough of it left for Scunthorpe to charge forward again in the last attack before the referee blew his whistle for the break.
A good switch of play presented Aiden Train with a chance to cross down the left. He then delivered a ball into the box for Tom Pugh, who controlled it well, but then hit his shot into the side-netting, so it was goalless going into half-time.
As the game restarted for the second half, Lincoln came out on the front foot, as they tried to get a foothold in the match. On 48 minutes, Jack Harrison had to come up with a fantastic goal-line clearance to deny the visitors, after a corner was almost poked home.
However, the Iron were then able to hit Lincoln on the counter from the clearance. Pugh set off in his tracks, brilliantly beating four players down the right-hand side, before he whipped in a cross, but nobody could quite get on the end of the it.
Ten minutes later, the Imps failed to clear their lines and Harry Jessop headed the ball back, which evaded the Lincoln defence, allowing him to play wonderful pass to Louis Collins, putting him through on goal. However, as the attacker ran through one-on-one, he couldn’t keep his shot down and blazed over the bar.
With just over an hour played, the Iron were awarded a free-kick on the edge of the area. Pugh stepped up to take it from 20-yards and fired just wide of the target.
Just a few minutes later, Lincoln had a chance of their own. A cross from the left was met by a player running onto the ball, but again Tom Collins was there to prevent a goal, after he made another good save to deny the forward.
Then, with ten minutes to go, the Iron found themselves ahead. A well worked corner routine, found Jessop played short, he then crossed dangerously and floated the ball deep into the Imps' penalty area, which caused them all sorts of problems. The ball cannoned off a Lincoln defender and the resulting deflection took it past the goalkeeper and into the back of the net.
After going one nil behind, Lincoln threw everything forward in an attempt to get something out of the game, but the Iron produced a fantastic defensive display in the final ten minutes to limit them to only half chances, so they could see the match out and hold on for the win.
Scunthorpe United: T. Collins, Baker, Train, Harrison, Hill, Morfoot, Pugh, Dawson (Wilson, 81) Okafor, L. Collins, Jessop (Silva, 81).
Substitutes not used: Barks, Crocher, Wilkinson.