Jordan Hallam, John McAtee, Jack Lambert and George Hornshaw were on target as the Iron Under-23s romped to a 4-1 home win over Walsall reserves in their first game of the Central League season.
There was an early chance for the Iron as Hornshaw played the ball forward to Reon Potts, who cushioned the ball to the left channel. Lewis Butroid’s cross searched for Hallam but it ran through to Tom Pugh, who saw his half-volley go into the side-netting.
The fourth minute saw another chance for the Iron as McAtee and Hallam interchanged in midfield before the latter slotted in Mason O’Malley on the overlap down the left. He took one touch before firing a left-footed shot over.
Soon after, the Iron came forward again with further good link-up play involving Hallam. Play was shifted down the left to Potts, who cut onto his right foot and curled an effort across goal and narrowly wide from outside the box.
Then, Pugh won the ball inside his own half and charged down the right. He played a one-two with Hallam before his cross was cleared.
On 11 minutes, there was brilliant anticipation from Pugh as he stormed onto a loose ball. His first touch took him to the right side of the area, with his low cross well taken by the ‘keeper with Hallam poised to slot in.
Soon after, O’Malley overtook his marker and strided down the left. A good advantage was played by the referee, with the ball dropping to Butroid who saw his right-footed shot blocked.
With 18 minutes gone, Jacob Bedeau stepped in and intercepted before immediately stringing a ball through to Hallam. He broke the offside trap but saw the sting of his shot taken away following a block, with the ball running through to the ‘keeper.
Three minutes later, there was a good move again as Hallam spreaded the ball wide for Pugh. He teed up Jai Rowe for the cross, with Potts meeting the ball with a back header which went narrowly wide of the target.
On 24 minutes, Jordan Hallam stepped up to curl a free-kick from the edge of the box just around the post.
A minute later, McAtee stung the fingers of the visiting shotstopper with an effort from the edge of the box. It came following a couple of forward passes with Hallam again prominent throughout.
With half an hour gone, Butroid intercepted a throw and mounted an attack which resulted in Hallam feeding Butroid down the left. His low cross was teed up for Pugh in the middle of the goal, but he couldn’t quite get a connection on the ball.
The 34th minute saw more fantastic and patient build-up play as McAtee, Hallam, Pugh and Potts all got involved down the right. The cross came in, but it was just away from an Iron touch.
Scunthorpe did go ahead in the 39th minute though and Hallam got the goal, but it started with brilliant play from Rowe. His first touch took him into space before he sent Pugh away with a ball through the defender’s legs. Pugh’s persistence saw him find Hallam in space, with the goalscorer using his composure to slot home.
Three minutes later, United momentarily thought they’d got a second following a long-range strike which nestled in the goal. However, play was halted for Butroid, who stayed down with a head injury (but was okay to continue after treatment).
With 44 minutes gone, there was brilliant play from Butroid, as he won the ball back on halfway before surging forward. He slipped Potts in on the left, with the forward firing over the bar.
In the second minute of first-half stoppage time, the Saddlers had their first sight of goal, with a free-kick played into the area, and Callum Nimmo heading wide.
With 50 minutes gone, McAtee slammed the Iron into a 2-0 lead. Hallam’s corner saw the home ‘keeper make a fine save with his legs following a header. Rowe then saw his follow-up blocked before McAtee put the third attempt in.
A minute later, there was almost a third as Butroid controlled inside the box, and hit a volley on the turn but his effort went just wide.
On 58 minutes, there was brilliant play from Rowe again as he steams into the box with purpose, laying the ball off for Pugh, who sees his left-footed attempt blocked.
Meanwhile, moments after, there was patient play from the Iron again as Butroid held possession on the edge of the box. McAtee played into Hallam, who spun inside the area and saw a left-footed attempt go over.
With 61 minutes gone, substitute Lambert scored with his first involvement. Fellow sub Harry Jessop slotted the attacker in on the right, with Lambert taking one touch before striking low across goal. The ball hit the inside of the post and went in.
In the 64th minute, after receiving treatment, Butroid returned to the pitch and almost provided an immediate assist to McAtee. He picked up the ball at the second attempt before striking across goal and wide.
Seven minutes later, substitute George Dunkley got one back for the Saddlers with a hint of an offside shout as he went through and brilliantly found the roof of the net with a strike from outside the box.
The ball sat up nicely for Hornshaw on the edge of the box on 74 minutes for the half-volley. He hit his effort low into the ground with the ball just going wide of the post.
The 76th minute saw more good work from Rowe as he skipped past the full-back before cutting back. Wilson picked up possession with his back to goal and slotted back to Hornshaw who struck over the bar from 25-yards.
12 minutes from time, there was almost a fourth as Butroid seized on a loose ball to steam forward and put in a low cross for Lambert. He cut onto his left and saw his effort deflected just wide of the post.
Substitute Cameron Wilson did well inside the area to force the ball to Jo Cummings. The deep cross to McAtee then saw the forward flagged offside with the ‘keeper also taking the ball.
Scunthorpe added a fourth on 82 minutes as McAtee was denied by the goalkeeper from a free-kick, but he parries into Hornshaw, who slotted into an unguarded net.
Six minutes later, O’Malley found Butroid on the edge of the box, with his high effort stinging the fingers of the ‘keeper who tipped over.
IRON: Collins, Rowe, O’Malley, Hornshaw (Shrimpton, 86), Cummings (Barks, 86), Bedeau, Pugh (Lambert, 60), McAtee, Potts (Jessop, 45), Hallam (Wilson, 73), Butroid.