Scunthorpe United 1 Grimsby Town 1
GRIMSBY Town’s reserve side had to settle for a share of the spoils against rivals Scunthorpe United, despite dominating the majority of the game at the Hawthorns, home of Brigg Town.
Chris Doig was able to include first-teamers Danny East, Conor Henderson, Anthony Straker and Omar Bogle for the clash, with young professionals Josh Venney, Josh Sunter and Harry Clifton also included alongside goalkeeping coach Andy Warrington.
The Iron included experienced defender Scott Laird, former Mariners’ target Dominic Vose in midfield and highly-rated young forward Hakeeb Adelakun, as well as trialist Ellis Plummer at centre-half.
Town made the most of the opening exchanges with Clifton winning the ball after a crunching tackle in the centre of the park before releasing Straker, who was crowded out as he looked to cut in from the left and shoot.
Scunthorpe responded well and a long ball over the top found Noel Burdett running the right channel and he fired a shot across the face of goal and out of play on six minutes.
There was a good chance for Clifton to open the scoring on ten minutes. It was made by Straker, who burst past his marker on the left but saw his cross parried by Iron stopper Joe Anyon. It fell for Clifton but, at an awkward angle, he could only direct his effort off target.
Adelakun was the next to try his luck for the hosts, wriggling free of two challenges and then sending a crashing effort over the crossbar from just inside the area.
Clifton was causing the Iron problems in the hole just behind frontman Bogle and the pair combined for a great chance on 14 minutes. The young midfielder again won a loose ball in the centre and advanced into the area, he was crowded out but the ball ran kindly for Bogle, who steadied himself before angling his drive inches wide of the near post from 12 yards.
Anyon was called into action on the quarter-hour to claim a fizzing, low drive from Henderson before a real talking point took place on 20 minutes.
Plummer picked up a throw-out from Anyon and looked to clear the ball up-field, under pressure from Bogle. The Town striker was only marginally late with his challenge and not particularly high but the defender went down in a heap and, after a lengthy stoppage for treatment, was stretchered off the field to be replaced by youngster Lewis Butroid.
Town continued to hold the ascendency and Anyon was called into action again to keep out Bogle’s clever flicked effort after good link-up play on the right between Clifton and Max Wright.
Clifton was again the supply line for Bogle just after the half hour, threading a ball through midfield that the striker latched onto before sending a curling 18-yard effort just wide on his left foot.
Young midfielder Clifton then went on a run of his own down the left channel but Charlie Goode was across well to block twice for the Iron and the ball ricocheted off the Town man for goal kick.
On 40 minutes the Iron had the woodwork to thank for keeping the scores level. A Henderson free kick from the right was only partially cleared and that allowed Bogle to loop an effort towards goal and he was so unfortunate to see it clip off the top of the crossbar and out of play for a goal kick.
Venney was next to try his luck, picking the ball up in midfield and driving towards goal before forcing Anyon into a flying save to his right with a powerful left-footed drive from 25 yards.
And Venney had another chance a minute before the interval, sending a left-footed effort just wide from 15 yards after a great run and pull-back from Wright on the right wing.
There were four minutes of injury time played in the first period and that allowed the Iron to come forward on a rare attack to forge the last opening of the half, Burdett seeing a corner come to his feet 12 yards out but firing well over.
Adelakun showed his pace and quality ten minutes into the second half, beating three men as he cut in from the left but Warrington stood up well in the goal to keep the ball out.
At the other end, Anyon got into a mix-up with Butroid and that presented Bogle with a great opportunity to open the scoring but the Iron stopper got back well to keep out the shot and Clifton was ruled offside on the follow-up.
Straker then sent in a cross from the left, which was half-cleared to Wright, who sent a 15-yard left-foot volley flying wide of the far post.
Wright tried his luck again just after the hour, angling a thumping volley wide after a raking cross-field ball from left-back Adam Lawis.
On 66 minutes Bogle burst down the right channel and shrugged off two challenges to tee up Henderson, who sent his shot over the bar from 20 yards.
But three minutes later the Mariners did take the lead. Henderson’s corner from the right was not dealt with and SUNTER was on hand to poke the loose ball home.
The Iron responded well though and were level within four minutes. A long ball from Goode found Dyche ghosting in between the Town back-line and he notched from ten yards.
And the home side should have taken the lead on 76 minutes when Vose showed why he had been on the Mariners’ radar with a slaloming run past three defenders, only to send a curling right-foot effort wide with Warrington beaten.
Doig made a double switch a minute later with Callum Jennings and Ben Sibbick replacing Bogle and East and the former forced a good save out of Anyon on 81 minutes after being teed up by Clifton.
Tom Sawyer came on for Wright with seven minutes remaining to mark the Mariners’ final change but it was the Iron who should have gone in front just a minute later.
Town were caught short at the back and that allowed Dyche a one-on-one with Warrington, who saved superbly with his feet. The veteran stopper was quickly up to keep out the rebound from Burdett, also with his feet, before Adelakun inexplicably fired over the bar from eight yards with the goal gaping.
Iron: Anyon; McMichael, Goode, Plummer (Butroid 24), Laird; Dean-Atkinson, Sutton, Vose; Adelakun, Dyche, Burdett. Subs not used: Cleminshaw, Ledger, Shilling, Sackey
Mariners: Warrington; East (Sibbick 77), Sunter, Hough, Lawis; Wright (Sawyer 83), Venney, Henderson, Straker; Bogle (Jennings 77), Clifton. Subs not used: Keeble, Heath-Drury