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Under-18s end season with emphatic away win

2 May 2023


Under-18s end season with emphatic away win

2 May 2023

The Iron's Under-18s recorded a 4-1 win away at Rotherham United in the fourth and final of their set of fixtures in the Merit League.

Nat Wallace, returning from injury after a month on the sidelines with a broken foot, netted the opening goal, which was followed up by a hat-trick from Harrison Poulter as the United side made it seven points from their four-match extended season.

The Millers came into the game in a rich vein of form, so it was by no means an easy task to face the Yorkshire side, but it was the Iron that drew first blood.

Wallace pressed high up the pitch to force a mistake from the Rotherham United full-back, gaining possession before putting the ball into the back of the net on 25 minutes.

The lead didn't last long, however, as a minute later the hosts made tracks up the pitch before a long range effort beat shot stopper Ewan Oxborough.

Following an even first half, it was the Iron who came out of the blocks in the second. With a desire to get the ball down and play more football, it was a decision that reaped rewards almost instantaneously. Poulter grabbed the first of his three goals on 48 minutes when Ben Pike found the forward, who was able to get the ball out from under his feet before turning and firing into the net to give Scunthorpe the lead.

United then doubled their lead to 3-1 on 72 minutes from a set-piece, with Harry Lewis delivering for Poulter to flick the ball into the net.

The hat-trick goal, and the Iron's fourth, was a real team goal as the side played out from the back resulting in Josh Robertson latching onto the ball before putting it on a plate for Poulter to convert home on 80 minutes.

Professional Development Phase Coach Rob Watson said: "We came up against tough opposition, but we were delighted with the way that we played, getting the win and three points to finish the season.

"We've had a number of players make their debut for the first team, which has been great. We welcomed back Cribby into the team which was great and Josh Robertson has played a part in the last two games for the first team.

"Harrison Poulter has finished the season in fine form, adding another three goals, which I think takes him up to 24 for the season. It was a really good overall performance and there were some standout performances. Harry Elliott-Bell and Charley Strouther, who are both moving on, were really good.

"It's never nice that the squad doesn't stay together, but the second years move on and this is football. To get five professional deals offered out of the second years is absolutely brilliant, and for the three lads that we have let go, I'm sure they will go on to bigger and better things as well."

The Iron's results in the Merit League are added to their previous league tally, with the side finishing second of Group B (the bottom half of the table) with 33 points from 24 games, two points adrift of Mansfield Town who finished one place above followed by Huddersfield Town, Hartlepool United and Rotherham United.

IRON: Oxborough, Abraham, Cunningham, Pike, Wallace (Dickinson, 78), Elliott-Bell, Cribb, Robertson, Strouther (Burden-Whittleton, 88), Lewis, Poulter.

IRON UNUSED SUBS: Murtagh, Larkin.

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