Marcus Braddock looks ahead to the Emirates FA Cup tie with Scunthorpe U
This weekend sees Shrewsbury Town in Emirates F.A. Cup action and as with our first round, we play our home leg on a Sunday. Our 2nd round opponents Scunthorpe are currently hovering above the drop zone in 20th place but they do have a four point gap between them and Bristol Rovers in 21st position. As their position suggests, they've not had the sort of season they would have hoped with just five league wins and six draws from their 20 games so far. They won their way into the second round by beating Burton Albion 2-1 at home with first half goals from James Perch and Lee Novak. Liam Boyce grabbed a consolation goal but Scunthorpe held out ensuring their ball went into the 2nd round draw.
Wearing the number 17 shirt, Lee Novak tops the Iron's goal scoring chart with seven in the league including the only goal in their Skybet League One win at home to us. The 30-year ex Birmingham, Huddersfield and Chesterfield striker arrived at Glandford Park just before last season and has scored 14 times in over fifty games for The Iron.
In just 13 league games this season, Josh Morris has five assists under his belt for Scunthorpe. The ex-Blackburn trainee has also scored four times, making him a man to keep under close observation.
One from a 0-0 draw at Burton in late September and one at home from a 1-0 home victory against us in the next game on October 2nd.
Scunthorpe have scored first in 9 out of their 20 games and conceded first in 10 out of 20.
They've scored 12 away goals, with 50% scored in each half.
In 10 away games this season, the Iron has scored equalizing goals twice and conceding three.
They've also taken the lead six times but have seen opponents take a lead seven times.
Referee - Neil Hair from Huntingdon. Games this season: 14: Yellow cards: 44. Red cards: 2.
Assistants: Anthony Da Costa & Abbas Khan
Fourth Official: Scott Simpson
Striker Ryan Colclough, Goalkeeper Matt Gilks, defenders Rory Watson and Jordan Clarke will all sit this one out because of injury.
Town have no new injury worries.
As has been mentioned above, it's not been a classic season for the Iron who have struggled after a decent finish last season. Sometimes a cup game is a nice distraction for fans and players to take a break from the long slog of league football so Scunthorpe may not play to their current form. It's likely that they'll provide a difficult opponent as they have plenty of ability who may well shine without the pressure of Skybet League One upon them.
We go into the game with a spring in our step after winning four out of our last five games. Hopefully we'll see another hard-working display of pressing and passing that's been so prevalent in the last couple of weeks. If we can reproduce that then we've every chance of making the third round draw.