Goals from George Miller and Kelvin Etuhu were not enough to claim a share of the spoils as Scunthorpe United claimed all three points thanks to a dominant first half performance from The Iron.
With the Shakers handing a debut to Taylor Moore and a second debut to Reece Brown, in a side that saw all four youngsters retain their starting positions, it was the home side that should have taken the lead within the first 30 seconds of the game starting.
From the Shakers kick off, possession was quickly lost when Antony Kay
knocked a loose ball forward that saw United centre half Wallace quickly control to find former Shaker Stephen Dawson. With just one touch of the ball, Dawson laid through a defence splitting ball that ripped through the heart Shakers defence allowing Kevin van Veen to burst through into the Shakers box. He switched the ball to his left foot and drove his effort in on target that, thankfully, Rob Lainton was quick to react to and pushed the ball out of play for a corner.
It took the Shakers a further four minutes to work the ball into the Iron box when new addition Taylor Moore, playing right-back, took a throw that brought a header forward from Reece Brown, the ball fell to George Miller
, who hit a fine effort goal wards, but a glancing touch from Charlie Goode saw the ball pushed away for a corner. The delivery from Callum Styles brought a quick and powerful header from Scunthorpe’s Sam Mantom to push the ball out for a second corner. The second corner from the opposite side, from Scott Burgess
, was quickly dealt with by the home defence and cleared up the field.
The game was a mere eight minutes old when the home side took the lead. A corner was delivered into the Shakers box where Tom Pope
rose above everyone to powerfully head clear, the ball falling to Harry Toffolo around 25 yards out. Toffolo, under pressure from a Burgess challenge, swung his foot through the ball and watched as his effort deflected off both Pope and Vaughan, deceiving Rob Lainton completely, and it rolled into his opposite corner of the goal.
GOAL: Scunthorpe United 1 Bury 0 (Toffolo 8)
The Iron doubled their advantage some eleven minutes later. A clearance form the back saw Wallace feed the ball towards van Veen on the half way line, his audacious control and flick on the ball released Stephen Dawson to race towards the Shakers box from the halfway line. Dawson took the ball to the edge of the Bury box and fired a low shot across Rob Lainton to find the inside of the goal at the far post.
GOAL: Scunthorpe United 2 Bury 0 (Dawson 19)
Scunthorpe should have increased their lead three minutes later when Wallace got on the end of a Charlie Goode cross into the box where his cushioned header fell nicely for Neal Bishop who, using his head, saw his effort crash back into play off the crossbar.
A 31st minute free kick, following a Callum Style foul, saw the ball delivered into the area from Morris where another former Shaker, Tom Hopper, with his back to goal, managed to connect with his head and looped the ball towards the top corner. Rob Lainton saw the effort late and just managed to get a palm to the ball to push it away for another home corner.
The Shakers finally got back into the game on 41 minutes when some persistence from James Vaughan, on the halfway line, saw him hold the ball before playing a crisp pass forward and wide towards Tom Pope
. With George Miller
cutting inside and making the run into the box, Pope played the ball into Miller’s feet. He took one touch to control and shoot but he scuffed the effort onto a defender and into the back of the net, sending keeper Luke Daniels completely the wrong way.
GOAL: Scunthorpe United 2 Bury 1 (G Miller 41)
With half time approaching, a long high ball from the Iron defence flew the length of the field. The ball bounced on the right hand edge of the area with Hopper getting a touch before going to ground under pressure from Jacob Bedeau. Referee Eddie Ilderton immediately blew for a foul. From the resulting free kick, Morris got the ball into the back of the net, with his crisp shot, across the box, deceiving everyone. However, as the home players and fans celebrated, the referee’s assistant stood ramrod straight with flag raised for an offside. Even the protest from Dawson saw the assistant un-waivered. Mr Ilderton went to talk to the linesman and, after some conversation, the flag was lowered and the goal given. It was a decision that brought much ire and annoyance to the Bury players and, in particular, Head Coach Chris Brass.
GOAL: Scunthorpe United 3 Bury 1 (Morris 44)
Half time: Scunthorpe United 3 Bury 1
Chris Brass made two changes at the break with both Callum Styles and Scott Burgess
replaced by Kelvin Etuhu
and Jack Mackreth respectively.
With ten minutes of the second period played, Bury got the ball forward with a Rob Lainton goal kick, Tom Pope
won the header to flick the ball on and laid a stunning ball off to Vaughan beyond the Iron’s back four but, with only ‘keeper Daniels to beat, Vaughan blasted a fierce drive at goal from the edge of the box that the ‘keeper managed to beat away with his hands.
Four minutes later and the Shakers had another half chance with Vaughan finding George Miller
on the edge of the box. After a couple of touches from the Shakers youngster, he fired a low shot on goal that flew across Daniels but, unfortunately, just wide of the target and away for a goal kick.
A 66th minute free kick for the Shakers saw Reece Brown float the ball into the Scunthorpe box. The ball was half cleared by the Iron defence but it fell nicely to George Miller
and his touch took the pace off the ball and allowed it to drop for Kelvin Etuhu
who picked his spot and placed the ball exactly where he wanted it to go with a low, measured, shot from the edge of the area into the bottom corner of the Scunthorpe goal.
GOAL: Scunthorpe United 3 Bury 2 (Etuhu 67)
The home side then turned the screw with some great possession play and sprayed the ball around the park and, with the Bury players seemingly unable to get their feet on the ball, van Veen suddenly produced the pass of the game to lay the ball into the path of a charging Jordan Clarke. His drive at goal, from an acute angle, was no match for Rob Lainton who managed to get the ball clear with an excellent block and the rebound fell to Mantom who also drove the ball at goal but, again, Lainton was more than equal to the shot and he made a second superb save in as many seconds.
With time running out and the home side keeping hold of the ball, Bury suddenly broke with Vaughan. His cross, into the box, found George Miller
on the edge of the six-yard area, but the Shakers youngster fired his low shot straight at Iron ‘keeper Daniels who, again, beat the effort away with the palms of his hands.
Final Score: Scunthorpe United 3 Bury 2
Rob Lainton, Greg Leigh
, Antony Kay
(C), Tom Pope
(I Miller 77), James Vaughan, Scott Burgess
(Mackreth 45), Taylor Moore, George Miller
, Jacob Bedeau, Reece Brown, Callum Styles (Etuhu 45)
Scunthorpe United: Luke Daniels, Murray Wallace, Stephen Dawson (C), Kevin van Veen (Holmes 88), Josh Morris, Neal Bishop, Tom Hopper (Davies 71), Harry Toffolo, Sam Mantom (Smallwood 88), Charlie Goode, Jordan Clarke
Subs: Joe Anyon, Scott Wiseman, Luke Williams, Richie Smallwood, Duane Holmes, Jonathan Margetts, Craig Davies
Referee: Eddie Ilderton