The Iron were beaten 3-2 by Doncaster Rovers in the challenging first friendly of the year and the first behind-closed-doors match since the return from Covid-19. Most importantly though, 22 players received 45 minutes of valuable game time for the first time since March.
Four minutes in, Andy Dales won the ball on the halfway line and slotted through to Kevin van Veen. He controlled it just outside the box before he drilled an effort goalwards, but it was saved by Jones.
Two minutes later, Jacob Bedeau got across to the right side to block a right-winged cross from a corner. Alex Gilliead won the first contact before Rory Watson gathered the ball.
Then, Lewis Butroid latched onto a cross-field ball to the left. His cross was turned for a corner but the Rovers’ goalkeeper collected it again.
Nine minutes in, Watson comfortably saved a header that was angled towards goal after a cross from the right.
With ten minutes gone, the Iron had their first chance. As Frank Vincent’s pass met van Veen’s run, his first time effort curled just wide of the post.
Moments later, Ryan Colclough was brought down and rewarded a free-kick 30-yards from the goal. This came after good work from Vincent. Van Veen took the kick; however, it was off target.
17 minutes in, the Iron made a run down the right, with Jai Rowe nearly the beneficiary of a fresh air clearance, but the ball ricocheted off him and a goal kick was given.
Two minutes later, the away side had their first real chance. A shot came from the edge of the area, but both Rowe and Bedeau were well-positioned with a block.
With 21 minutes gone, van Veen came close at the near post after Dales' ball. The goalkeeper made a good save though. Another quickfire attempt from the Iron saw Olufela Olomola head the rebound narrowly over the bar.
Then, Butroid crossed the ball into the path of Dales, who won the 50/50 and forced a corner which was headed clear.
After 26 minutes, van Veen volleyed the ball wide after a nice build-up which included a fine ball from Rowe.
28 minutes in, the Iron had a goal disallowed. George Hornshaw put a brilliant cross into the area from the right. It was then headed by van Veen at the far post but the effort was offside.
On 35 minutes, there was a fast-paced break from the Iron following an interception from Vincent. The play was switched to Dales on the left who saw his shot get a slight touch from the keeper for a corner.
With 38 minutes gone, Dales was slotted through. He went around the keeper but fired wide into the side netting.
Moments later, the visitors won a free-kick on the edge of the box. The shot cleared the wall but went just wide.
45 minutes in, a cross was squeezed in from the left. Van Veen reached the header, but the effort was saved by the goalkeeper.
In the 47th minute, Brad Halliday scored and fired the Rovers into an early second-half lead.
Then, the Iron got a corner as Devarn Green picked up the ball on the right and saw his cross get blocked. Alfie Beestin’s header went wide from Abo Eisa’s corner.
With 56 minutes gone, Green was slipped through on the left. He found Jordan Hallam who slotted the ball to Beestin. His effort was cleared to John McAtee, who had his shot blocked.
Five minutes later, the visitors sent a shot from the left side with the low strike saved by Tom Collins.
On 66 minutes, Beestin won the ball back and looked to find Hallam inside. However, the move was defended well.
A short time later, a long-range effort from the visitors went wayward.
After 68 minutes, Charlie Barks blocked one long-range effort from Rovers before the follow up was volleyed wide.
At 72 minutes, the Iron equalised through Eisa. Lewis Spence and Beestin won the ball back with Eisa’s first touch getting him into the box. He then rolled the ball home.
Three minutes later, Ben Whiteman restored Doncaster’s lead as he slotted the ball across the goal into the net.
On 83 minutes played, there were two cleared off the line when Green dinked the ball into the area. Eisa and Beestin both had their shots blocked for a corner.
In the 84th minute, the Iron equalised again as Barks headed Eisa’s corner into the net.
With 86 minutes gone, the Rovers hit the base of the post from a free-kick before Collins managed to push away the rebound. This resulted in a corner.
Tom Anderson met the corner to put the ball into the corner of the net. This meant that the Rovers went ahead again in this tough friendly.
IRON FIRST HALF: Watson, Bedeau, Colclough, Gilliead, van Veen, Butroid, Dales, Vincent, Olomola, Rowe, Hornshaw
IRON SECOND HALF: Collins, Eisa, Green, Hallam, Spence, Beestin, Pugh, Barks, Shrimpton, O’Malley, McAtee.
ROVERS FIRST HALF: Jones, Greaves, Wright, Horton, James, Trialist 1, Ravenhill, Hasani, Taylor, Lokilo, Coppinger
ROVERS SECOND HALF: Jones, Halliday, Anderson, Blythe, Amos, Whiteman, Hasani, Trialist 2, Trialist 3, Okenabirhie, Trialist 4.