The Iron’s Under-18 side fell to a narrow 3-2 defeat against their Bradford City counterparts at Brumby Hall in the Youth Alliance League on Saturday morning.
Goals from Harry Jessop and Finley Shrimpton in the second half set up an entertaining finish to the match after Bradford raced into an early lead, but the Bantams did just enough to hold out for the win against a youthful Iron side.
Both teams looked to play attacking football from the off, but it was City who started the slightly brighter of the two sides.
A good passage of play by the Bantams saw them move the ball from back to front quickly in the 15th minute which led to the first goal of the game.
The Iron tried to press Bradford high up the pitch, however, the Bantams swiftly shifted possession to their frontman, who got in behind the Scunthorpe backline and made no mistake with the finish to put them 1-0 up.
After falling behind, United looked to get back on level terms straight away. Firstly, Jessop saw his shot from distance get blocked away, before Shrimpton then tried his luck, but his effort was also cleared by the Bradford defence.
Then, midway through the first-half, Joey Dawson produced a good piece of footwork on the edge of the area. He turned neatly past his man which opened up an opportunity for him to shoot, however as he tried to curl his effort into the corner, the goalkeeper dived to parry the shot away.
Five minutes later, Bradford doubled their lead. Tom Collins in the Scunthorpe goal initially did well to save the first shot on target, before a Bantams attacker followed the ball in and slotted home.
The Iron tried to pull a goal back before the break, but they struggled to create any clear-cut chances and Bradford went into the interval preserving their two-goal advantage.
As the game got underway for the second half, it was United who got off to a fast start as they tried to close Bradford down quickly in the defensive positions.
The high-pressure approach from the Iron limited the Bantams' chances of playing out from the back, as they struggled to get any sort of passing game going in the second period.
This tactic eventually paid off for Scunthorpe, who were rewarded with their team efforts after 70 minutes when Jessop blasted the ball into the back of the net following a cut-back from Luca Chadli.
However, straight after the restart, Bradford immediately restored their two-goal lead. A counter attack saw them race up the other end and score past Collins to make it 3-1.
The Iron hadn’t given up just yet. Shrimpton set up an exciting finish to the match as he nodded the ball past the Bradford ‘keeper in the 90th minute.
It was nervy ending for the Bantams, as the Iron threw everything forward in added time, but they fell just short and Bradford held to all three points.
However, despite the result, the game proved to be a key learning curve for the young Iron side who were able to develop as a team and individuals both technically and tactically.
The Iron Under-18’s are back in action next week against Huddersfield Town at Brumby Hall.
Scunthorpe United: Collins, Baker, Lobley, Claxton, Barks, Harrison, Shrimpton, Gallimore, (Kemp, 85), Dawson, Jessop, Chadli (Wilkinson, 75).
Substitutes not used: Crosher, Wilson.