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Match Reports

Report: Iron 1-0 Alfreton Town

24 February 2024

Match Reports

Report: Iron 1-0 Alfreton Town

24 February 2024

Scunthorpe struck late to claim a crucial three points against an in-form Alfreton outfit courtesy of a Will Evans header.

The Iron were back on the Attis Arena turf looking to make amends for Tuesday night's disappointing defeat at South Shields. United’s opponents for the day were in-form promotion chasers Alfreton Town, who were looking to topple Scunthorpe’s promotion hopes.

First team manager Jimmy Dean made just one change to the side that fell to the defeat in midweek, with midfielder orchestrator Jacob Butterfield being brought into the side while looking to use his experience to make an immediate impact. In order to allow Butterfield’s inclusion, midfielder Tom Pugh dropped to the bench for the fixture.

The visiting Reds, filled with former Scunthorpe talents, got the game underway with hopes of building upon their recent successful run of three successive wins on the bounce.

Throughout the opening 10 minutes of action the sides respective league positions were being transferred to the pitch as both sides were locked in intense combat, in which they were matching one another stride for stride.

The first notable opportunity of proceedings spent a long time in the making as it took until the 25th minute for either side to threaten the other's goalkeeper. In recent weeks, United had found joy from down the left-flank especially since the recent acquisition of winger Liam McAlinden, who continued his impressive start to life in claret and blue, when he linked up excellently with Kian Scales just inside the area. However Scales’ low driven cross managed to evade the multiple Iron bodies in the area.

The next opportunity was to be the Reds' first of the encounter with 10 minutes of first half action remaining. A weakly awarded free kick was swung into the area by former Gainsborough Trinity creator Liam Waldock who managed to pick out an Alfreton player at the back post who sent his header looping into Ross Fitzsimons’ side-netting.

This was to be the end of the first half, with both sides returning to field of play for the second period with hopes of taking the game by the scruff of the neck while attacking towards each side's own respective supporters.

The early stages of the second half were those of real quality, as both sides continued to make offensive inroads into their opponents final third. The first opportunity was awarded to the Iron as a sudden lift around the Attis Arena was almost rewarded with a sublime wonder goal from Butterfield as his long-ranged effort stung the woodwork before rebounding out of play.

Despite some entertaining time-wasting from the visitors, Scunthorpe had really begun to take hold of proceedings and came inches away from claiming the opening goal as a scintillating lofted ball found the defence breaking run of Dion Sembie-Ferris who took the ball into his stride before seeing his low driven effort stopped by goalkeeper George Willis.

As the game entered its closing stages United continued to make advances toward the games opening goal, however the continuous stoppages of play were making it next to impossible for the game to maintain the free-flowing style in which it had seen up to that point.

Deep into additional time, Scunthorpe’s hopes of a late winner seemed to be gradually slipping away as a seemingly blatant handball offence within the penalty area following a goal bound effort from Andrew Boyce was waved away. This didn’t live long in the memory, as from the resulting corner a deep McAlinden cross found the outstretched head of unlikely goal scorer Will Evans, who tipped the ball over Willis in order to kickstart the emphatic Iron celebrations.

This was to be the last action of the game as Scunthorpe overcame the endless timewasting to take all three points right at the end, in what might turn out to be a vital win in the hunt for National league North promotion.

IRON: Fitzsimons, Ogle (Pugh, 80), Evans, Boyce, Clunan (Beestin, 66), Elliott (Whitehall, 45), McAlinden, Butterfield, Scales, Sembie-Ferris, Denton.

IRON SUBS: Kelly, Barrows.

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