United grabbed all three points in an away trip to Halifax on Wednesday night, as Cameron Wilson scored the decisive goal.
Michael Nelson made two changes from the team that faced Woking over a week ago. Elliott Whitehouse and Mason O’Malley both came into the side. Jordan Hallam made his first appearance in a league squad this season; he started on the bench. Halifax came into the game sitting in 16th place but their home form told a different story. They had won six of their past seven home games. Both teams were desperate to grab the three points on offer.
Halifax got this crucial game underway and immediately they lofted a ball forward to try and test the Iron defence. United were alive to the danger and they dealt with the ball immediately.
The Iron tried to establish themselves in the game early on. It was clear United were attempting to play a possession based game and dominate Halifax.
The first chance of the game went the way of the Iron; Alfie Beestin found himself with space and time in the middle of the park. He had the chance to take on a shot from around 30-yards-out from goal and he took that opportunity. He struck a right-footed shot with power and it was heading for the bottom-left corner. Sam Johnson was caught off guard by the shot but Beestin’s shot went just wide of the post and it didn’t trouble the Halifax goalkeeper. Scunthorpe started off the brighter of the two teams.
Halifax responded and created a chance of their own. They got themselves a corner after a brilliant sliding tackle from Reagan Ogle. It was a deep cross into the area and the ball went all the way to the back post and a Halifax head got their first. The header was directed poorly and it flew miles wide of the target and went out for a goal kick.
In the 13th minute, United took the lead in the game. Cameron Wilson grabbed another goal in Scunthorpe colours. Andrew Boyce sent a long ball forward and it looked to be an easy one to deal with for the Halifax defence. Festus Arthur got his head to the ball but his header was poor and it fell to Wilson. Wilson had space within the home side’s penalty area and he spotted Johnson off his line. The angle was tight and therefore he had to lift the ball over the Halifax goalkeeper. That is exactly what he did and the ball nestled in the far corner. It was a deserved goal for the Iron as they had started the brightest of the two teams.
Angello Cappello almost grabbed an equaliser in the 24th minute. He received the ball on the edge of the Iron area after a good bit of play from the home side. Cappello took on the shot from distance and Owen Foster was called into action. The United keeper had to quickly get down to his left to make a smart save and deny Halifax an equaliser.
The away side should have taken a two goal lead after Wilson capitalised on another mistake from Arthur. The United striker drove forward and was in a one-on-one situation with Johnson. Johnson got down quick and made the save but the ball fell to Beestin and he had an open goal to aim at. He tried to slot the ball into the middle of the goal but a recovering Arthur got back and managed to block the shot and clear his lines.
Minutes later, Foster was called into action again. He was in a one-on-one situation with Rob Harker and he was the one to come out on top. He rushed off his line and made himself big to block the shot. It was another important save to deny a Halifax equaliser.
There was a lot of pressure from the home side towards the end of the half. They pinned the Iron back in their own half for a long period of time but couldn’t find a way through.
Wilson got the second half underway. It was an important 45 minutes for the Iron.
Jack Senior tested his luck early in the half with a volley from 20-yards-out. He caught it well and his strike was heading into the bottom-right-corner. It had power and precision but Foster read it well and got down to his left and beat the ball away from danger.
The Iron had a penalty shout after a corner was whipped in by Jacob Butterfield and a Halifax player appeared to handle the ball. There were several shouts from United players but the referee waved play on and nothing was given.
Yamen Osawe almost put Halifax level in the 63rd minute of the game. He found himself on the left-hand flank and he cut back on his right foot and whipped a dangerous cross into the penalty area. His cross was overhit but it looked to be heading into the far corner. Foster was concerned by the cross and he had to get a hand to it to turn it over the bar and out for a corner. It was a huge chance to get back on level terms.
United created another chance after a long passage of the possession. A couple of neat passes set Beestin free in the middle of the park and he was able to drive at the heart of the Shaymen defence. Wilson made a run and was spotted by Beestin who slotted the ball through to the Iron striker. United’s number 20 took the ball into his stride and almost had a chance to get a shot away. However, he was closed down very quickly by two defenders and the ball was taken from him.
Scunthorpe continued to press on to try and grab a second goal of the game. A second goal would give them a bit of breathing space in the game.
Halifax tried to break the Iron down but the away side defended well and put up a lot of resistance to keep the one goal lead. Jai Rowe drew a foul which slowed the game even more for United. The Halifax frustration could now be seen.
In the 91st minute, Tom Pugh had a penalty shout. He drove into the penalty area and managed to get past his man but as he beat his man he was brought down in the area. The referee had a clear view of the incident and he waved play on once more.
The home side had a freekick just inside the Scunthorpe half in the final minute of the game. The ball was curled into the area but United got to the ball first and headed away the danger. That concluded the game and the away side took away a huge three points.
HALIFAX: Johnson, Golden, Debrah, Arthur, J.Senior, Keane, Gilmour, Cappello (89’ White), Slew (56’ Osawe), Cooke, Harker (71’ Dieseruvwe).
HALIFAX SUBS NOT USED: A.Senior, Hunter.
IRON: Foster, Ogle (85’ Rowe), O’Malley, Whitehouse, Boyce, Beestin, Taft, Butterfield (81 Hallam), Wilson (75’ Sellars-Fleming), Daniel, Pugh.
IRON SUBS NOT USED: Gallimore, Poulter.
ATTENDANCE: 1,786 (330 Iron fans).