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Academy

Report: United’s Under-18s safely see off Burton

22 February 2022

The Iron Under-18s were victorious earlier on Tuesday, winning 1-0 against Burton Albion with striker Harrison Poulter netting early on in the game from the penalty spot.

With the re-arranged league game taking place in Doncaster on the Eco-Power Stadium's 4G service as opposed to the normal home ground at Appleby Frodingham, the Iron battled well throughout the contest, ensuring they returned to winning ways in the EFL Youth Alliance League.

In what was windy conditions throughout the contest in South Yorkshire, Scunthorpe were awarded a penalty after just four minutes.

Oliver Lobley twisted and turned following a short corner before being brought down giving the referee no option but to point to the spot. Top scorer Poulter duly obliged from 12 yards to fire the Iron ahead.

Five minutes later, Burton came forward for the first time, with the number nine found unmarked in the area before being closed down well by on-rushing goalkeeper Owen Foster.

Some good work from goal scorer Poulter minutes later allowed Tyrell Sellars-Fleming through on goal, as the Iron forward unfortunately lingering just a fraction too long before being closed down by the Albion defence.

Josh Robertson then cleverly won the ball back down the left flank before driving past his man to get to the by-line, with his cross just a little too heavy for Poulter to get on the end of.

On 22 minutes the Brewers had a quick succession of corners which forced comfortable saves from Foster, with United happy to soak up a brief spell of pressure from the visiting side.

First-half substitute Nat Wallace then played a wonderful square ball to Sellars-Fleming to mark his first involvement in the game, as his shot was saved well by the Burton keeper.

The dangerous number 10 for the visitors then jinked well on the edge of the area to size up a left footed shot that flew over the bar, as the first half drew to a close.

Ben Pike was called into action a mere 30 seconds after the restart, superbly denying Albion an equaliser with a goal line clearance.

Sellars-Fleming then broke away from the subsequent counter attack, failing to generate enough power to lift his effort into the back of the net as the keeper easily collected.

Lobley then drove forward in a bid to find the Iron a crucial second goal, firing over from 25 yards out. Captain Jamie Moore was then called into action shortly after, timing his sliding challenge to perfection to deny the Brewers a breakaway chance.

Burton’s number 14 then tried his own luck from distance failing to trouble the comfortable looking Foster, with the game now teetering on a knife edge heading into the final 15 minutes.

Wallace did well to hold the ball up whenever Scunthorpe looked to break away on the counter, holding off his man and performing well in a striking position.

Ben Franklin then missed a chance to seal the victory with moments left to go, as his goal-bound effort sailed just inches wide.

Burton had the last chance of the game with a deep in-swinging free-kick but once again Foster collected well, as the Iron returned to winning ways with a spirited 90 minute performance.

Academy professional development phase coach Dale Tonge reflected on the victory, beginning: "It was a tough game against a good opposition who are performing well this season.

"I think from our point of view it’s a much needed win in terms of the boys' confidence but from a performance point of view I feel there are still some parts that we need to improve on."

Goalscorer Poulter was subsequently substituted following the game’s only goal, with Tonge having to reshape with limited numbers available for selection.

"Harrison of course is a key player for us and he’s doing well in terms of training with the first team every week," he added.

"He has some really good qualities and we started the game really brightly. He obviously got his goal and looks like he got injured from the goal.

"At the same time it then presented the opportunity for Nat [Wallace] to come into the game and he performed very well I thought in a position that’s not best suited to him."

United return to action on Saturday morning with an away trip to Bradford City in the EFL Youth Alliance League once more (11:00am KO).

IRON: Foster, Pike, Moore, Elliott-Bell, Strouther, Baker, Robertson, Lobley, Franklin, Poulter (Wallace, 20), Sellars-Fleming.

SUB NOT USED: Balme


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