SUFC U18s 0-2 Rotherham United U18s
By Jeff Daws
The Iron’s Under-18’s side fell to a 2-0 defeat against their Rotherham counterparts at Brumby Hall in the Youth Alliance League on Saturday morning, as two second half goals secured the win for the Yorkshire side.
However, despite the result, the Iron put up a great fight, and even had chances to take the lead themselves in the first half, but good defending by Rotherham and two well taken goals proved to be the difference in the game.
Scunthorpe started the brighter of the two teams, and had the first opportunity of the match after just two minutes. Miracle Okafor was played through on goal, after a lovely pass found him on the run. However, the striker was closed down by a brilliant recovery run from the Rotherham defender, who managed to make him mistime his shot.
Just seconds later, Okafor was presented with another chance, but this time he couldn’t direct his shot on target, allowing Rotherham to clear. From the clearance, the Millers then countered through their target man up front. He appeared to be closing down on goal, however Tom Collins was alert and took the ball of the striker to gain back possession for the Iron.
On eight minutes, Harry Jessop held the play up well on the edge of the penalty area, which led to him drawing the foul from his marker. Tom Pugh stood over the free-kick, but fired his effort over the crossbar.
With a quarter of an hour played, Rotherham began to make their stamp on the game, following an opening period which was dominated by the Iron.
Their striker once again looked the threaten in behind the Scunthorpe backline, but Collins in the Iron goal was equal to his shot, keeping the scores level.
After 24 minutes, Rotherham surged forward in a dangerous looking counter attack, although thee Iron were able to snuff out the danger and clear the ball. However, during that piece of play, Aiden Train fell awkwardly and went down with a serious looking knee injury and had to be replaced by Charlie Barks.
A few minutes later, Collins came up with another fantastic save to deny the Millers’ attacker, after producing a fine stop which was rocketed in from the edge of the area.
From the resulting corner, a well worked set-piece routine found the Rotherham central midfielder lurking outside the penalty box. He controlled the ball well, before lining up the shot, which was charged down, but ricochet back to him again, allowing him to shoot again, however, another excellent block allowed the Iron to clear their lines.
With the clock ticking towards the half-time interval, Scunthorpe had a good corner routine of their own. A great delivery from Jessop found Barks deep at the back post, who connected with the ball, but his header narrowly went over the bar, meaning the scoreline at the break was 0-0.
As the match then restarted or the second half, the Iron once again started well, carrying on from where they left off. On 50 minutes, a brilliant through ball over the top found Louis Collins down the middle, but the Rotherham goalkeeper parried his effort away.
Shortly after, the Millers came forward and a cross into the box found the Rotherham number three, who fired his header over.
Then, a quick counter by the Iron on 54 minutes, set Okafor free, however as the striker bared down on goal, he couldn’t direct the ball on target.
On the hour mark, the Iron thought they had gone ahead, when Jessop struck the far post. He whipped a dangerous ball across the six-yard-box and his cross come shot cannoned back off the upright, but on the rebound the Rotherham defence reacted first to clear.
Just as the Iron appeared to be getting a foothold in the game, the Millers’ took the lead after 68 minutes. The striker picked up possession on the edge of the box, controlled it well, before curling the ball into the corner of the net, leaving Tom Collins with no chance.
Ten minutes later, Rotherham doubled their advantage when a quick turn of play from back to front saw the Millers’ break free to score again. After that, the game petered out and Rotherham were able to hold on to get the three points.
The Iron’s under-18 side are back in action in the Youth Alliance Cup Semi-Final against Wigan Athletic next Saturday lunchtime at Brumby Hall.
Scunthorpe United: T. Collins, Baker, Train (Barks, 24), Dawson, Trialist (Busby, 53), Harrison, Gallimore, Jessop (Silva, 75), Okafor (Wilkinson, 75), L. Collins, Pugh.
Substitutes not used: Crosher.