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Match Reports

Report: Iron 2-0 Banbury United

16 March 2024

Match Reports

Report: Iron 2-0 Banbury United

16 March 2024

Scunthorpe were able to run out resounding winners over Banbury, goals from Danny Whitehall and Danny Elliott saw off the Puritans despite a Will Evans red card.

The Iron were back in National League North action following their midweek tie at Spennymoor that was postponed on arrival. Today’s opponents were to be lower table languishers Banbury United who came to the Attis Arena looking to amend a recent losing streak of six consecutive fixtures.

Iron first team manager Jimmy Dean made one alteration to the side that was scheduled to play Spennymoor on Tuesday night, that side was also the team that thrashed Bishop’s Stortford 5-0 the week prior. The change came in the form of Kian Scales being reintroduced to the centre of midfield to replace skipper Michael Clunan who missed the counter with a suspected hamstring injury.

The Iron got the game underway following a Banbury co-ordinated change of ends. Scunthorpe’s desire to continue their form from the previous weekend became immediately apparent during the game’s early stages.

United were threatening from set pieces early on and when a superb standing cross from Jacob Butterfield found the late run into the area of towering centre-half Will Evans. It appeared that the game’s opening goal was destined to be found, however the defensive heroics of defender Charlie Wise prevented the goal as he chucked himself in front of the header.

The continued persistent Iron pressure appeared never ending in the opening 20 minutes. This time Scunthorpe managed to forge an opening from open play as patient build-up play reached the feet of Tom Pugh on the edge of the area. Pugh took one touch to set himself and stung a volley towards Puritans keeper Jack Harding who bailed his side out of going behind by getting a powerful low hand to the ball turning it behind for a corner.

The Iron’s opening goal seemed to be only a matter of time away and when the bewitching feet of Butterfield on the area appeared to discombobulate the Banbury defence. The veteran midfielder cut inside and unleashed a pinpoint strike past Harding that was somehow swept off the line by the recovering Luca Woodhouse.

After the constant onslaught on the Banbury goal that had continued throughout the first period, the game's deadlock was finally broken on the 30th minute courtesy of a stunning team goal. The partnership of Danny Whitehall and Alfie Beestin from the left-flank had bared fruit for Scunthorpe in recent weeks, and when the latter played a scintillating through ball to the feet of Whitehall the Iron’s top scorer made no mistake when slotting the ball beneath Harding to make it 1-0 In the half’s last notable action.

Scunthorpe started the second period by continuing the first half theme as they started the brighter of the two sides. The first action of proceedings was again created by a long-ranged drive from Pugh as the academy graduate swivelled on the edge of the area and sent a direct rising effort towards Harding that went just wide and nestled behind the goal.

The Iron were clearly going in search of the all-important second goal and mere minutes after the restart it was nearly found in emphatic fashion through Beestin. A long ball forward from goalkeeper Ross Fitzsimons bounced high up into the air and over the Puritans defence, Beestin retrieved the ball and was sent steaming into the open space and was left one on one with Harding. The delicate lob from the forward was chipped over the head of the back-pedalling Harding and much to the keepers relief stung the crossbar and was soon smothered.

With half an hour remaining United were dealt a serious blow in their hopes of maintaining their control of the fixture as after an altercation in the Puritans penalty area Will Evans was shown a straight red card for an on-the-floor scuffle with a Banbury player.

For the next half an hour the game was locked in a hard fought, yet scrappy encounter, as Scunthorpe were intent on not allowing their lead to slip on home soil.

The supporters in the Attis Arena were made to wait for another chance as with only a few minutes remaining of the seven added United were finally able to confirm the win as they ironed over the Puritans. The hard work and determination of Dion Sembie-Ferris allowed him to win the ball back from deep and carry possession all the way up the right-flank and swing a cunning ball across the front of the goal and into the feet of substitute Danny Elliott who steam rolled the ball into the empty goal to seal the points.

With the referee’s whistle sounding to put an end to the afternoon’s proceedings. The Iron were able to celebrate a second consecutive league win in which they’ve been resounding victors scoring a total of seven goals across the two fixtures.

IRON: Fitzsimons, Ogle, Kouogun, Evans, Beestin, Pugh, Butterfield (Clarke, 90+3), Scales, Sembie-Ferris, Denton (Kelly, 45), Whitehall (Elliott, 86).

IRON SUBS: Campbell, Corbett.

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