The Iron Under-18’s valiantly bowed out of the FA Youth Cup on Monday evening, as they lost 4-2 to Manchester United at the Theatre of Dreams.
It was a night to remember for the young Scunthorpe academy side, backed by a strong away contingent too, as their team battled magnificently throughout the encounter.
With Harry Lewis and Josh Robertson both on target during the contest, United now return to EFL Youth Alliance league action again this weekend, playing host to rivals Lincoln City.
It was the home side who created the first real opening of the game, as Sam Mather’s dangerous delivery was met by defender Tyler Fredricson who flashed his effort wide of the post with just six minutes gone.
In a cagey opening 10 minutes that pursued, Reds midfielder Kobbie Mainoo took aim from 25 yards out, with his resulting effort sailing into the Stretford End.
But just seconds later it was the hosts who took the lead, as a perfectly timed through pass found its way through to Charlie McNeill, who did well to round Owen Foster before Sam Mather was on hand to tap into an empty net.
Lewis charged forward following the opening goal, with the full back skipping past two challenges along the way before seeing his effort blocked and roll-out for a resulting thrown in.
On 20 minutes however, the 10 time cup winners doubled their advantage thanks to an individual piece of brilliance from Alejandro Garnacho. The Spaniard took one touch as he controlled McNeill’s pass, before acrobatically finishing into the roof of the net for 2-0.
The Iron then enjoyed a good spell, as Tony Daws and Dale Tonge’s side began to take the cup tie to the home side, under torrential rain in the North West.
Just 18 minutes later, United got their just rewards and pulled a goal back after a wonderfully worked team effort. Jack Moore-Billam found Harrison Poulter out on the left hand side, as his low cross was eventually bundled home by full back Lewis, much to the jubilation of the travelling Scunthorpe supporters.
There was to be one last chance for the Reds just moments before half-time, as McNeill broke the offside trap to find himself one-on-one with Foster, with the Iron’s keeper saving well to his right as Garnacho scuffed the rebound wide with the goal gaping.
As the second half began, an unfortunate hammer blow was dealt for the Iron, as Maxi Oyedele restored the home side's two goal advantage, latching onto a stray pass from Scunthorpe’s backline.
The ever busy McNeill then added Manchester United’s fourth goal of the night, as Mather unselfishly squared for the striker, after a superb long pass from Jurado was played over the academy side’s backline to carve open the opportunity.
McNeill also received the game’s first caution after celebrating in front of the travelling supporters.
The Iron then produced the goal of the evening at Old Trafford, as Josh Robertson wonderfully completed a fine Scunthorpe free-kick that involved four United players before the No 8 tapped home in the six yard area.
There were late chances for both Dan Gore and Manni Norkett with Foster called into action, but with game ending 4-2, Scunthorpe’s Under 18 side could leave one of football’s great sporting arena’s with their heads held firmly high.
Next up as mentioned is a return to EFL Youth Alliance action, as we host Lincoln City on Saturday morning, in a 11am kick off at Appleby Frodingham.
MANCHESTER UNITED: Vitek; Jurado, Murray, Fredricson, Jackson; Oyedele (Gore, 65), Garnacho (Ennis, 76), Mainoo, Hansen; McNeill (Norkett, 82), Mather.
MANCHESTER UNITED SUBS NOT USED: Wooster, Kambwala, Pye.
IRON: Foster; Wallace, Young (Elliott-Bell, 87), Moore, Lewis; Cribb (Franklin, 73), Robertson, Moore-Billam, Lobley; Poulter, Sellars-Fleming (Burden, 74).
IRON SUBS NOT USED: Balme, Strouther, Pike, Abraham.