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Match Reports

Report: Port Vale 2-2 Iron

29 February 2020

Alex Gilliead and George Miller both scored equalisers to seal a 2-2 draw for United at promotion-chasing Port Vale.

There were early advances for the Iron as Abo Eisa chested down a throughball before finding John McAtee. He rolled it back to James Perch who found Lewis Butroid down the left. The ball was cleared but Eisa chased soon after to win the first corner.

Kevin van Veen went near post with the corner, and it took a touch from the crowd of players to send the ball goalwards. It hit the side-netting, with Antony Coggins, the referee giving a goal kick.

The hosts came forward on four minutes, with David Amoo cutting onto his left foot and angling a shot across goal, which got a slight touch and went out for a Vale corner.

The set-piece was played short with Scott Burgess and David Worrall both involved before the deep cross into the area is gathered by Rory Watson.

With seven minutes gone, Burgess curled an effort from outside the box over the bar after play was spread left to Worrall before being cut back with a pass to the edge.

Two minutes later, Leon Legge’s back-header was seized upon by Eisa, who played a one-two with Perch before winning a corner from the Vale defender who originally made the mistake.

Soon after, Jordan Gabriel got his foot caught in the ground, but showed tenacity to chase down the ball to gain back possession, sliding in before finding Eisa who shot wide from 30 yards.

The hosts took the lead on 17 minutes, with Mark Cullen deflecting a shot into the corner of the net following a low cross from the right which was cleared. The offside decision looked tight, but there was no flag.

Soon after, there was good defending from Gabriel as he stooped low with a diving header to clear the ball following a right-winged cross.

Cristian Montano and Worrall then combined down the left, with the attempted cross turned behind by McArdle who got tight and slid in to block. Nothing came from the corner.

The Iron won a succession of throws down the right channel shortly after, with Vale doing well to defend as United looked for pockets of space. The eventual cross was deflected into the path of Scott Brown in goal.

The 31st minute saw an opening for Scunthorpe as Gilliead and Eisa worked hard to win the ball back in midfield. Van Veen played a quick one-two with Gilliead before he drove forward. Eisa beat his man on the right channel, but his low cross flashed across the face of goal.

United then went forward again with van Veen, Eisa and McAtee involved, but the hosts came in with a timely intervention to clear for a throw.

Soon after, Amoo drove forward down the right shortly after Eisa had done the same for the Iron - his killer pass intercepted. Amoo’s cross was deflected goalwards with Watson down to his right to save.

In the 37th minute, Legge got in a vital block as the Iron pressured from a Vale defensive throw. Gabriel had overlapped, but Eisa went alone as he got into the area and tried to place in the corner.

Then, Montano looked to flick the ball goalwards as Amoo fizzed in a low cross from the right, but the ball was diverted away.

With 40 minutes gone, the Iron drove forward following that Vale chance, with Gilliead bringing the ball towards the edge of the area. He teed up van Veen, but his shot from the edge of the box was saved.

Soon after, Eisa pulled up with an injury after chasing the ball down the right channel and was replaced by Devarn Green.

Cullen was then denied a second close range goal following a low cross from the right as this time the assistant referee’s flag was raised for offside.

During first half stoppage time, there was patient build-up from the Iron involving Gilliead before McAtee squared for Perch to the edge of the area. His low shot deflected just wide for a corner, but that came to nothing.

The hosts pressed at the start of the second period, but couldn’t really create any chances of note during that spell. There was a second Scunthorpe substitution soon after half-time, as van Veen was replaced by George Miller.

With 63 minutes played, Miller looked to steal in as he made himself a menace to the two central defenders, getting in between them, but the ball got a slight touch on it, allowing Brown to then gather.

Green charged down the Iron right shortly after before squeezing in a cross. It was behind Miller, so he tried acrobatics, but the ball went off target - although the Barnsley loanee wanted a corner.

On 67 minutes, Green got the ball on the right side of the area and struck a low effort just wide of the Valiants’ goalkeeper’s near post.

Soon after that chance, Butroid was replaced by Ben Liddle for the final Scunthorpe change of the afternoon.

With 71 minutes played, Scunthorpe got the leveller. It was Green’s precise throughball, matched with a superb first touch from Gilliead, who rounded the ‘keeper before slotting home his sixth goal of the season.

Soon after, Liddle did well on the nearside touchline with Miller winning a flick-on for McAtee. Miller advanced and nearly played the killer pass for Green but was thwarted by good last ditch defending.

However, the hosts were soon back ahead as Nathan Smith bundled the ball home from a left-wing corner.

With 83 minutes gone, Miller won a corner on the left side as he drove forward.The resultant corner flashed across the six-yard box, taking a slight deflection, before Gabriel controlled the loose ball and sent a shot over the bar

Miller had a chance to level four minutes later, after good build-up play but he curled just over the crossbar.

Then, as the Iron pressed for a leveler, McArdle received the ball on the right flank and sent a cross in that just evaded his team-mates and went out for a corner, which was cleared.

McAtee received the ball on the left flank and crossed for Miller, who glanced a header into the net for his first goal in Scunthorpe colours and earned the Iron a point.

PORT VALE: Brown, Gibbons, Smith, Legge, Montano, Burgess, Joyce, Conlon (Pope, 77), Amoo, Cullen (Oyeleke, 82), Worrall.

PORT VALE SUBS NOT USED: Crookes, Taylor, Brown, Bennett, Maddison.

IRON: Watson, Butler, van Veen (Miller, 52), Perch, Gabriel, Butroid (Liddle, 70), Gilliead, McArdle, Eisa (Green, 43), Bedeau, McAtee.

IRON SUBS NOT USED: Lawlor, Songo’o, Rowe, Pugh.

ATTENDANCE: 5,121 (275 away).

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