Town 0 Scunthorpe United 1
Town: Chris Weale, Rob Purdie (Aaron Wildig, 67), Darren Jones, Luke Summerfield, Mark Wright (Ryan Doble, 87), Jermaine Grandison, Michael Hector, Matt Richards, Tom Bradshaw (Asa Hall, 67), Marvin Morgan, Paul Parry.
Subs: Joe Anyon, Joe Jacobson, Asa Hall, Ryan Doble, Aaron Wildig, Michael Hector, Terry Gornell.
Scunthorpe United: Sam Slocombe, Christian Ribeiro, Josh Walker, Dave Mirfin, Jimmy Ryan (Chris Sedgwick, 90), Leon Clarke, Niall Canavan, Mark Duffy, Tom Newey, Karl Hawley (Connor Jennings, 87), David Prutton.
Subs: Mike Grella, Andy Barcham, Connor Jennings, James Severn, Robbie Gibbons, Jordan Keegan, Chris Sedgwick.
Goals: Clarke, 5.
Referee: Mr. G. Salisbury.
Assistants: Mr. D. Gratton & Mr. N. Smith.
Fourth Official: Mr. N. Radford.
Attendance: 5,623 (278)
Matt Johnson reports from the Greenhous Meadow
Graham Turner makes one change from last weekend’s defeat at Notts County as Tom Bradshaw comes in for his first start of the season in place of Terry Gornell.
The visitors come into this one in miserable form after losing four of their first five League One fixtures. But after drawing with much fancied Sheffield United last weekend thanks to a debut goal from substitute Leon Clarke, The Iron are looking to kick-start their season with Clarke and fellow newcomer Karl Hawley starting in the forward positions today.
Scunthorpe raced out of the blocks and caught Town cold with their first meaningful attack to take the lead on five minutes. Hawley beat Reuben Hazell down the right and floated a delicate cross for Clarke to steer a pinpoint header past Chris Weale as the new Iron strike partnership immediately repaid the faith in Alan Knill for their selection.
The visitors continued to press and pump crosses into the box as Shrewsbury struggled to deal with the aerial presence of Hawley and Clarke, but it was Town who almost levelled on 24 minutes when Bradshaw raced unopposed into the 18-yard box, only to drag his shot wide of the upright as the angle tightened.
A minute later, Bradshaw looked to have shaken his marker to run clear from the half-way line, but a clear block from Scunthorpe’s Niall Canavan halted his progress and resulted in a yellow card for the defender.
In a frantic spell, Mark Duffy almost doubled The Iron’s lead on 27 minutes when he cut in from the right flank but he snatched at his effort and it veered well wide. That same player had a guilt edge chance again just three minutes later when a neat move and cut back from Hawley found Duffy who steered his shot goalwards, but it was too close to Weale who saved well with his legs as Town were let off the hook once again.
Half-time: Town 0-1 Scunthorpe
The Shrews started a lot brighter in the second 45 after what must have been a kick up the backside from Graham Turner at half-time and Jermaine Grandison’s low snap-shot forced Sam Slocombe into his first piece of action on 50 minutes.
The away side thought they had won a penalty a minute later when Christian Ribeiro went down in the box under Hazell’s challenge, but referee Graham Salisbury instead booked the full-back for diving.
Town continued to improve and Mark Wright was a whisker away from finding a leveller on 56 minutes when he cut in from the left and his right-footer curled agonisingly wide of the post. But The Iron went straight up the other end and would’ve scored a second had it not been for Rob Purdie’s goal-line intervention after Clarke had waltzed past the challenge of Darren Jones and fired his shot past Weale.
The end-to-end tempo continued and the hard-working Jimmy Ryan went close on 64 minutes for Scunthorpe when he found an inch of space on the edge of the box, but his hammered effort flew fractionally wide.
Turner shuffled his pack when he replaced Rob Purdie and Tom Bradshaw with Asa Hall and Aaron Wildig after 67 minutes and Mark Wright with Ryan Doble on 87. It seemed to have little effect on the flow of the game with the Iron content to hold firm and protect their lead as Shrewsbury’s long-standing unbeaten home run ebbed away without Slocombe having to make so much as a save.
Full-time: Town 0-1 Scunthorpe