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Match Reports

Report: South Shields 2-1 Iron

20 February 2024

Match Reports

Report: South Shields 2-1 Iron

20 February 2024

Scunthorpe fell to a 2-1 defeat as a result of a late winner from Newcastle United loanee Dylan Stephenson.

The Iron were in away action for the second consecutive game in the Vanarama National League North, with all arrows pointing toward a competitive Tuesday night fixture against play-off hopefuls South Shields.

In terms of team news, first team manager Jimmy Dean made two alterations to the side that settled for a 0-0 stalemate on the coast against Scarborough the previous weekend. Firstly, frontman Danny Elliott found himself inducted into the starting XI to replace United’s top goal scorer Danny Whitehall who dropped to the bench. Elsewhere relentless midfielder Tom Pugh was brought in to replace experienced creator Jacob Butterfield who dropped to the alternates. Lastly, a mention for centre-back Andrew Boyce who kept his place in the team in order to make his 100th appearance in Scunthorpe colours.

As the game got itself underway at the 1st Cloud Arena the hosts found themselves under a constant wave of early Iron pressure, with Dean’s side appearing keen to right the wrongs of previous weeks with a fast paced, energetic start.

The first noteworthy chance of the encounter was a glorious one for United, from which the marauding run of left-back Tyler Denton resulted in him forcing goalkeeper Myles Boney to crucially palm the ball back into the danger area as he frantically attempted to deal with Denton’s low drive. The rebound fell kindly to Pugh who could only bring out another inspired save from Boney.

Within the minutes that followed, Denton continued to cause further problems for the Mariners back-line as he latched onto a through ball on the edge of the area and stung a swerving effort that drifted just wide of the relieved Boney’s near post.

The hosts had been short of chances until the point of the 25th minute in the game. This was when Shields skipper Robert Briggs strode inside from the left-flank and curled a sublime effort goalward that fortunately for the Iron dropped inches wide of the far post.

Scunthorpe seemed to remain calm despite South Shield’s first sight of goal, but as the half-progressed tonight’s side in claret and blue began to gradually make more inroads into the Iron half. At one stage National League North top goal scorer Paul Blackett managed to converge onto a loose back pass sending him clear on goal. As Blackett bared down on goalkeeper Ross Fitzsimons, the experienced shot stopper did just enough to force the striker wide of goal as he sent the shot flying into the side netting.

As the half came to its abrupt close, the Iron would have been more than happy with their first half display, as they’d managed to attack the Mariners defensive line with purpose but only lacking the required conviction within the final third.

The sides re-emerged from the tunnel for the second period looking to add the goals that were to be desired after the first half’s affairs.

It didn’t take long at all for the opening goal of the tie to be uncovered as within the first 15 seconds of action the hosts fired themselves into the lead. A long-lofted ball was left unchallenged on the edge of the area which allowed Broadbent to clinically lift the ball over the head of Fitzsimons and into the far corner.

The Iron - still shellshocked - sprung back into life following the goal but still managed to leave themselves exposed at the back and vulnerable to a swift Shields counterattack as Blackett was delicately slipped through on goal, but this time Fitzsimons was equal to the effort as he turned the ball away.

With plenty of time remaining Scunthorpe still appeared confident in their ability to grab an equaliser and if not for the excellent intervention of Boney it would’ve been found quickly. A deep but pinpoint cross from winger Liam McAlinden found the diving head of Boyce whose effort seemed to be coasting into the back of the net, but it was kept out incredibly by the acrobatic Boney.

With 20 minutes remaining, the Iron were in desperate need of a well-deserved equaliser and at the most important moment it was finally found. A deep cross into the area again from the trusted left-boot of McAlinden tracked the run delayed run of Dion Sembie-Ferris who was never in doubt when heading the ball gracefully into the bottom corner to draw the Iron level.

As United began to push on for the goal that would put them ahead in the game, they were again caught on the break by the relentless Mariners. Blackett was released in behind and although despite appearing that he committed a foul on the backtracking Scales play continued with Blackett teeing the ball up for Broadbent again, who drilled the ball home to regain the lead.

With time running out Scunthorpe believed they’d salvaged a valuable point with little time to spare. Another lofted cross, this time from the right-flank found the untracked run of Denton who lurked in the area and placed a header into the bottom corner, only for the celebrations to be quickly ended by the raised flag of the assistant referee.

It wasn’t to be for the Iron on the fay as they were defeated in the north-east despite a valiant performance.

IRON: Fitzsimons, Ogle, Evans, Boyce, Clunan (Clarke, 84), Elliott, McAlinden (Whitehall, 84), Pugh (Butterfield, 72), Scales, Sembie-Ferris, Denton.

IRON SUBS: Kelly, Kouogun.

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