Devarn Green scored his first goal in Iron colours on his first appearance for the club, while George Miller added his fourth goal in this season’s competition, but the side were twice pegged back before suffering defeat late against Hull City’s Under-23s in the Premier League Cup.
United were last in action in this competition back in November when the side came from 3-1 down to draw 3-3 to take their first point. All three goals came via Miller on the night.
It was also a first return to the opposition dugout for former first team coach Andy Dawson, who brought the Tigers to the Sands Venue Stadium alongside Academy Manager Jon Beale, after departing the club in September.
Scunthorpe started the game brightly with an exchange of passes before the visitors came forward to win the first corner. Dan Batty swung the ball into the area, but the cross was overhit and curled out of play for a goal kick.
The Iron’s first advances of the game came with eight minutes on the clock. Miller and Alfie Beestin both linked up well to create the chance which ended up with the latter lashing a volley wide of Ingram’s left-hand post. That put United’s tails up, with Green seeing a long range effort blocked.
Beestin was in the thick of the early action, looping another effort agonisingly wide of the goal following a long ball forward by Jo Cummings.
Scunthorpe continued to have the better of the play, with Colclough dancing his way around a number of tackles before catching Ingram out with a dinked effort which dropped just wide of the goal on 18 minutes.
Two minutes later, Pugh hit a nice volley from the edge of the area following Jai Rowe’s cross from the right, but the effort was well saved by the Tiger’s goalkeeper.
The lead the Iron deserved did come on 24 minutes, with Green notching his first goal for the club. Yann Songo’o had made advances forward down the right and was felled for a free-kick, with Colclough playing the square ball to the edge of the area where Green found the corner of the net with a left-footed prodded effort.
Hull’s response saw them register and attack of their own a minute later, with skipper Mason O’Malley blocking a goal bound effort from James Berry after being picked out from the left by Callum Jones. The rebound fell to Dan Batty, but he cleared the Britcon Stand with his long range shot.
The visitors were finding their feet as the game ticked beyond the half hour, with the Iron doing well to clear after a couple of loose balls inside the penalty area; Green showing the defensive side of his game after breaking the deadlock. The move from Hull continued though, with a couple of ricochets falling to Berry from range, but his strike was high and wide.
On 36 minutes, the Tigers broke after a foul to the Iron was denied. Norbert Balogh came steaming forward and looked to have found space for a shot from 18-yards, but instead he checked back and played the ball to Elliot Bonds, who skied his attempt at goal.
Five minutes before the break, it should have been 2-0 as O’Malley surged down the left side and played a low cross into the area. Miller dummied the ball, allowing it to run through to Green. His first-time left footed effort was blocked by a Hull defender’s out-stretched arm as he slid in for the challenge, but the handball claims were dismissed by referee David Richardson.
Inside the two additional minutes at the end of the half, Colclough unleashed Green down the right, with the forward biding his time before sending a right-footed effort across goal and wide.
On 49 minutes, into the second half, both sides had a chance in a matter of moments. First Balogh got on the end of a Batty cross, with Kelsey collecting the ball, before a long kick forward from the Iron shot stopper seeing Beestin pick up the second ball, chesting down from 25-yards and crashing a left-footed half-volley just over the bar.
James Berry had two attempts in as many minutes for the visitors soon after. The first was a fresh air shot, before pace took the Tigers into space with Berry unleashing a powerful drive, which was straight down the throat of Kelsey.
United created a neat passing move on 53 minutes which involved more than half of the team. Slick one touch passing involved Beestin, Songo’o, Colclough and more before Pugh found Rowe in space on the right channel. He drove past Jacob, despite being pulled back, before his powerful shot was well held by Ingram.
Five minutes later, Hull came within a hair’s length of drawing level as Bonds dropped his shoulder and found space for a shot, with his powerful effort getting the better of Kelsey, but shaving the top of the crossbar on the way out of play.
The hosts deservedly drew level just before the hour mark after a precise pass into Batty was cushioned across the edge of the area for Balogh, who saw his first time shot nestle into the bottom corner of the net. Before play restarted, Songo’o was withdrawn for second year scholar Harry Jessop, with the former Plymouth player completing a vital hour on his return from injury.
61 minutes in, the Iron could have retaken the lead. Miller chased down the left channel to then find Tom Pugh, who turned neatly before Beestin took possession. The eventual ball into the box was flicked on by Pugh, with Miller guiding a header just wide of the right-hand post.
Ten minutes later the visitors lashed a left-footed effort across goal and wide, with the previous ten minutes seeing no real goal mouth action as Hull used all three of their substitutes.
On 74 minutes, United regained the lead. Pugh’s tenacity won the side a free-kick just inside the attacking half, which Colclough floated into the penalty area. Jo Cummings won the knock down, where Miller was lurking, with the Barnsley loanee sending a first-time effort across goal and into the net off the post.
The Tigers responded shortly after with a lashed effort from Robbie McKenzie which almost cleared the stadium, before Joey Dawson came on to compete against his dad, replacing the lively Beestin.
Hull pushed for an equaliser with pressure down the left, but Cummings was alert to the danger to clear before another long range effort came in, this time taking a deflection and going just wide of Kelsey’s right-hand post for a corner.
With nine minutes to go, Hull did draw themselves level through substitute Billy Chadwick. He prodded the ball into the net from close range. Six minutes later and the result was turned on it’s head. A brilliant ball in from the right was met with an emphatic header from Bonds which Kelsey tipped onto the bar. The rebound, however, was smashed into an unguarded net by Callum Jones.
The referee’s notebook came out in the final minute, as he cautioned Hull substitute Jordan Hickey for a reckless tackle on Pugh. The ball into the box searched for Cummings once more, but Ingram came to collect.
Two minutes into added time, Hull could've added a fourth to the scoreline when a free-kick cannoned off the bar and out for a goal kick, while there was a lengthy delay moments later as Tigers goalkeeper and defender Ingram and Andy Smith collided while defending, with the latter staying down. When play resumed, there was barely a minute of play remaining as City held on for their first win of this season's competition.
IRON U23s: Kelsey, Rowe, O'Malley, Pugh, Barks, Cummings, Colclough (Ben El-Mhanni, 86), Songo'o (Jessop, 59), Miller, Beestin (Dawson, 76), Green.
IRON U23s SUBS UNUSED: Collins, Wilson.
HULL CITY U23s: Ingram, McKenzie, Jacob, Bonds, Smith, Ritson, Berry, Batty (Hickey, 64), Balogh (Chadwick, 71), Jones, Maddison (Salam, 62).
HULL CITY U23s SUBS UNUSED: Cartwright, Leake.