Venue: Huish Park
Saturday 10th December, 3pm kick-off
Conditions: Sunny but cold
Pitch: Icy – in particular in the shade of the Thatcher’s Stand – and got slippier as the game progressed
Attendance: 2,744 (78 away supporters)
Yeovil Town: None
Scunthorpe United: Colin Daniel 55, Marcus Carver 55
Referee: Elliott Swallow
Yeovil Town (5-3-2)
Substitutes: Andrew Oluwabori (for Ewan Clark, 68), Malachi Linton (for Charlie Wakefield, 72), Will Buse.
Scunthorpe United: Foster, Ogle, Boyce, Beestin, Carver, Lavery, Taft, Shrimpton, Daniel, Apter, Pugh. Substitues: Dewhurst, O’Malley, Rowe, Butterfield, Wilson.
Yeovil Town’s struggle in front of goal continued as they failed to break down a battling Scunthorpe United side who took a point from a freezing Huish Park.
The Glovers failed to muster a meaningful effort on goal with a first half header over the bench from Alex Fisher and late clearance off the line from Josh Staunton as near as they got to finding a breakthrough.
Indeed, it was the visitors, who arrived on the back of six straight defeats, who created the clearer chances and will feel harder done by to finish the game with just one point.
Manager Mark Cooper named just three substitutes, with only two of them were outfield players in Malachi Linton and Andrew Oluwabori, having lost defenders Jamie Reckord and Morgan Williams through injury and illness ahead of the match.
They were already without the suspended Matt Worthington, centre half Ben Richards-Everton still missing through injury, and Anthony Georgiou missing…..for some reason as well. Jamie Scrimshaw, who played on loan at Scunthorpe last season, who knows?!
Louis Britton put an early chance over and on seven minutes his strike partner, top-scorer Alex Fisher, headed Jamie Andrews’ right wing cross just over the bar.
Despite the better chances going Yeovil’s way, Scunthorpe looked bright going forward with defender Reagen Ogle causing problems going forward down the right, but the visitors failed to force Grant Smith in to action defending in the shadow of the Thatcher’s Stand end which was very icy.
There was a nervous moment on 20 minutes when a lapse in the home defence gave Scunthorpe an opportunity to get a strike in, but the chance was well blocked by Max Hunt.
Two minutes later, a great turn by Ewan Clark saw him burst in to a pocket of space inside the box but his effort was well blocked by teenage goalkeeper Owen Foster. Then, on 25 minutes, a good break forward from Scunthorpe saw striker Marcus Carver inside the box but he turned his effort wide.
As the game progressed towards half-time, it began to got scrappy with both sides struggling to break the other down. The visitors, who had lost their previous six matches, were trying to hit their hosts on the break, whilst Yeovil tried to get Wakefield and Clark on the ball.
Charlie Wakefield showed a good touch having been found in acres of space down the right by Fisher’s ball, but his effort was well held by Foster.
Not much to warm your spirits in that first half, but enough to think that a little bit more attacking intent from Yeovil could unlock the Scunthorpe defence.
Half time: Yeovil Town 0 Scunthorpe United 0
Cooper made a tactical switch to a 4-4-2 formation after the interval with Wakefield pushed forward in to the right wing with Clark on the left side with Chiori Johnson dropping back to left back and Bevan slotting in on the right.
On 52 minutes, great play by Clark found Wakefield on the right, but the winger wasted his opportunity putting an effort high, wide and not so handsome.
With ten minutes of the half game, Colin Daniel went in for a forceful tackle which earned him a booking – which seemed a little harsh – but in the ‘afters’ which followed Marcus Carver appeared to strike Clark in the face. The Bristol City youngster went down clutching his face but referee Elliott Swallow was unmoved – if he’d seen the replay those watching on the stream saw, he may have had a different view.
Despite not creating a great deal, Scunthorpe created the best chance of the match on 64 minutes when a high ball from the right was met by the head of Carver whose effort came off the post and away to safety.
Four minutes later, an even more gilt-edged chance fell to Tom Pugh who appeared to slip and fluffed his lines and then Carver sent his effort over the bar. The visitors had their tails up and were looking the more likely to score, if anyone thought the bottom club would be a push over, they were mistaken.
On 73 minutes, another chance fell to the visitors with Boyce’s effort being blocked triggering a scramble where Daniel’s effort was landed on by the grateful Smith.
Andrew Oluwabori, who replaced Clark after 68 minutes, made some blistering runs down the right side but without creating much in the way of attacking opportunities. He cut
Two minutes from time, a free-kick in to the box was cleared as far as Staunton whose effort was headed off the line by Scunthorpe, although Foster in goal probably had it covered. Aside from Fisher’s effort in the first half, that was about as near to a scoring opportunity as it got for Yeovil.
To look it glass half full, it was another game unbeaten and another clean sheet – but half empty, it was the visitors’ first clean sheet of the season and they broke a run of six straight defeats.
On the face of it, the Iron will feel harder done by to not win the match.