Youth team player Harry Jessop netted as the Iron Under-23s suffered a 3-1 Central League Cup defeat against Port Vale on Tuesday.
With three minutes gone, the Iron had a penalty shout turned down as James Horsfield picked out Andy Dales with a crossfield ball. A touch back inside found Tom Pugh, who was pulled back as he entered the area. The hosts cleared though, with no foul given.
Two minutes later, there was good defending at the other end by Jo Cummings as he read a forward pass down the left channel. He shielded the ball out of play under pressure.
A minute later, there was a corner to the hosts as they advanced down the left. Rhys Browne skilled his way into the area before Cummings slid in and looked to be the beneficiary of a double ricochet, but the referee didn’t agree.
Pugh did well from the resultant corner to win a free-kick inside the area. Soon after, the hosts crashed an effort off the crossbar via the boot of Jordan Archer following good work from Maxwell Chimenes.
The 11th minute saw a chance for the Iron as Dales cut in from the right and played a neat one-two with Yasin Ben El-Mhanni. Space opened up on the left side where Lewis Butroid had made a great run. His powerful first-time effort was beaten away by home goalkeeper Jonny Maddison.
On 15 minutes, Alex Hurst did well to maintain possession for Vale after receiving the ball from a throw before skipping past challenges on the edge of the box. The Iron marshalled the danger well though, and soon won an attacking throw of their own.
Two minutes later, Yasin Ben El-Mhanni shrugged off his man on the left before delivering an inviting cross which searched for Dales. The hosts cleared well but the Iron maintained possession before Vale were awarded a free-kick.
The 21st minute saw a confident claim from Adam Kelsey as he emerged to gather a left-winged cross. Lewis Butroid stayed down following a collision just yards away, but he was okay to continue after treatment.
On 26 minutes, Lucas Green-Birch hooked a miscued half-volley wide of the post following good persistence down the left to keep the ball in play. The ball was checked back to Ryan Campbell-Gordon before the low cross found Vale's number 8.
Four minutes later, Cummings managed to get his head onto a scramble inside the Iron penalty area. The ball came out and was recycled by Vale before Kelsey’s handling was put to test following a long-range effort from Green-Birch.
The 32nd minute saw Reon Potts make a forward run in behind. Maddison raced out of his goal to get a palm on the ball as it came through, but the United striker was also flagged offside.
Just a minute later, the hosts won a corner on the far side with Butroid heading clear. The low cross came in, with Kieran Kennedy smashing home to put Vale ahead.
On 36 minutes, Green-Birch received possession on the edge of the box and initially hit fresh air with his first attempt. The ball, however, set up nicely for a second shot, which was dragged wide of the far post.
With five minutes of the opening half left, Archer controlled and turned under pressure from Horsfield before he curled a 25-yard effort over the bar.
Three minutes later, Ben El-Mhanni and Pugh combined down the left before Ben El-Mhanni’s cross was charged down. Pugh looked to pick up possession but was penalised for a foul.
The hosts scored a second two minutes into the second period as as Kenniel Barratt slotted the ball through for Jordan Archer, who broke the offside trap and coolly slotted into the net despite the best efforts of Kelsey, who got a touch.
The 54th minute saw good football from United as the ball was played on the edge of the area between George Hornshaw and Ben El-Mhanni. The latter took one defender out of the game before trying the return pass which was intercepted.
A minute later, the hosts got down the right before a cross was flashed across the face of goal. Vale kept the ball in play before Kelsey emerged to gather the cross.
Vale made it three in the 59th minute when Browne struck spectacularly, as he opened up onto his right foot before whipping a brilliant effort into the top right corner of the net, leaving Kelsey with no chance.
The 63rd minute saw Ben El-Mhanni stretch his legs in midfield before finding Butroid on the left. His cross was cleared to Ben El-Mhanni, who dinked the ball into the area, with Maddison gathering.
A minute later, second year scholar Jessop pulled one back after coming on as a substitute. The forward played a neat one-two, getting into the area, before taking a good first touch around the defender and slotting across the goal and into the far corner of the net.
In the 71st minute, Jacob Bedeau played a brilliant ball down the left channel for Butroid to run onto. His first-time cross searched for an Iron head, but it was well dealt with by the hosts.
The 76th minute saw Kelsey deal with a shot from the edge of the area, which took a wicked deflection, to concede a corner. There was good defending from the Iron from the resultant set-play, as the cross was hooked clear.
Two minutes later, Andy Butler found Dales will a brilliant cross field ball, but the winger was flagged offside despite looking as though he’d ran beyond the full-back before taking a good first touch.
With ten minutes left, Butroid stung the palms of Maddison following a shot from the left-wing. It came after a forward pass from substitute Mason O’Malley which then saw Jessop do well to spread play wide.
Two minutes later, Pugh did well in midfield to emerge with possession after coming out of a crowd of three Vale players. He unleashed Dales, who drove forward before the hosts snuffed out Ben El-Mhanni as he ran onto a pass.
On 86 minutes, good play down the left from the Iron saw Butroid surges clear. His cutback found Jessop, who saw his shot bobble towards Ben El-Mhanni, who touched over the bar from close range, with the offside flag also raised.
Soon after, Ben El-Mhanni got space on the edge of the area, opening onto his left foot and firing goalwards. However, Maddison plucked the ball out of the air to make a smart save.
IRON: Kelsey, Horsfield, Bedeau (O’Malley, 74), Hornshaw, Cummings (Rowe, 55), Butler, Butroid, Pugh, Potts (Jessop, 55), Ben El-Mhanni, Dales.
IRON SUBS NOT USED: Wilson, Collins.