United were beaten 1-0 by Bristol Rovers at Glanford Park on Saturday, with Jonson Clarke-Harris scoring the winner.
The Iron made three changes to the side that faced Oxford the week prior going into the game, with Harrison McGahey, Lee Novak and Olufela Olomola making way for Tony McMahon, Adam Hammill and Kevin van Veen.
There was a bright start from the Iron, who looked to come forward early. Tom Pearce delivered a throughball down the left channel, but it rolled out for a goal-kick on two minutes.
Then, three minutes later, Hammill worked some space to shoot on the edge of the area. He then cut it back onto his right foot and tried to curl his effort in the corner, but it was parried away by Bristol Rovers goalkeeper Jack Bonham. The rebound from Hammill’s shot then fell to McMahon. However, it hit his midriff and the ball went behind.
On nine minutes, there was a further Iron opening as McMahon got down the right flank and crossed the ball into the area, but it went over van Veen’s head. Nevertheless, it dropped to Hammill, who was lurking behind. He shot but his effort cleared the crossbar.
The away side’s first chance arrived in the 16th minute, as Rovers worked it well on the edge of the Iron box, before a cross was sent in from the right. Clarke-Harris challenged for it, but Rory McArdle stayed strong to clear. The ball then fell to Michael Kelly who shot over.
Two minutes after, McMahon swung in a corner and McArdle rose above his marker to meet it with his head. However, he couldn’t quite get a good enough connection and Bristol cleared.
As the game approached the 20-minute mark, there was more good pressure from the Iron and this time the chance fell to van Veen on the edge of the box. He picked up possession before driving towards goal, but his low effort was dragged wide of the post.
Hammill then won a corner on the left after he skilfully beat his man, before getting tackled. The set-piece came in, but it was defended at the near post. The next action of note came seven minutes later when he won another corner, but nothing came from it as Bonham gathered the cross from the ex-St Mirren winger.
In the 32nd minute, the away side came close to taking the lead as Liam Sercombe struck the post with a low effort from just inside the area. The ball then dropped to Ollie Clarke, who shoots over the crossbar.
On 36 minutes, Bristol took the lead through Clarke-Harris, after he turned in a low cross from the right.
With 38 minutes on the clock, the Iron looked to hit back immediately. They won a corner, which Hammill took, van Veen then went up for an aerial challenge with the goalkeeper but the referee blew for a free-kick against the striker.
There was a change at the break as Hammill was replaced by George Thomas.
After that, there was a promising start to the second half by the Iron. Van Veen held the ball up well, before turning and passing out wide to McMahon. The ball then fell to James Perch who shot on the volley, although it went wide.
In the 52nd minute, Levi Sutton floated in a cross from the right, which Cameron Burgess met. The defender headed it down for Funso Ojo, who was waiting in the six-yard box, but after a scramble in the area the goalkeeper claimed.
Soon after, van Veen found space in the attacking third, before releasing a pass to McMahon on the left. The full-back then looked to swing in a cross. However, nobody could get on the end of it.
In the 58th minute, Rovers broke through Clarke-Harris, who drove at the Iron defence. He then slid the ball through to Ollie Clarke, who shot first time from inside the area, but his effort went over Jak Alnwick’s goal.
Two minutes later, van Veen advanced forward from the halfway line, dribbling towards goal before unleashing a 25-yard drive which Bonham saved well.
With 62 minutes on the clock, Perch was next to come close for Scunthorpe as he connected with a McMahon corner but headed over from inside the area.
Then, United attacked down the left through Pearce, who sent in an inviting cross for van Veen, but he hooked the ball over the crossbar.
A further Scunthorpe change was made on 69 minutes when Novak replaced Kyle Wootton.
The hosts probed and Thomas was next to come close with a cross-come-shot that went across goal and wide of Bonham’s post. Shortly after, Pearce’s cross was claimed by the goalkeeper.
United were awarded a free-kick 25 yards out on 87 minutes but Pearce curled it over the crossbar. There were four minutes of added time allocated afterwards, but Scunthorpe couldn’t find the leveller, with van Veen curling a late strike from the left angle of the penalty area over the crossbar.
Scunthorpe United: Alnwick, McMahon, Ojo, van Veen, Perch (Olomola, 78), Pearce, Burgess, Sutton, McArdle, Wootton (Novak, 69), Hammill (Thomas, 45).
Substitutes not used: Flatt, Webster, Lewis, McGahey.
Bristol Rovers: Bonham, Lockyer, Craig, Upson, Sercombe (Sinclair, 78), O Clarke, Nichols (Jakubiak, 66), J Clarke, Clarke-Harris, Ogogo, Kelly.
Substitutes not used: Smith, Lines, Reilly, Matthews, Kilgour.
Referee: Trevor Kettle.
Iron Bar and sponsors man of the match: Tom Pearce.
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