Scunthorpe made one change to their side that drew with Newport County last week, as Kenan Dunnwald-Turan came in for Abo Eisa, while John Yems gave first competitive starts to Tom Nichols and Sam Matthews ahead of the Reds’ first home league game of the 2020/21 season.
Scunthorpe started the game strongly and had the first chance of the game when George Francomb’s mistimed header looped up into the path of Ryan Loft, who could only head wide of the goal from close range.
Crawley eventually grew into the game and got the breakthrough with an excellent passage of play when Nathan Ferguson slid in Tyler Frost with a great pass, who in turn squared across to Tom Nichols, who tucked the ball home from close range to open his account for the season and give Crawley the lead on the 15th minute.
The Iron tried to find a reply when Alex Gilliead drove through the Crawley defence, before Loft’s shot was blocked in the box, while up the other end Frost cut inside well but fired over.
Frank Vincent fired over from the edge of the box following some great skill by Myles Hippolyte, before Jacob Bedeau found Kenan Dunnwald-Turan on the counter-attack but he handled the ball before Glenn Morris saved his effort.
Scunthorpe enjoyed a good chance to level early in the second half when substitute Mason O’Malley was played in, but his low cross-shot was asking too much of Loft.
Soon after the Iron came so close to a stunning equaliser when Hippolyte picked the ball up from long range and sent a powerful effort towards goal which clipped the outside of the post, as Scunthorpe began to apply pressure.
Crawley were denied a second goal moments later when a corner was cleared as far as George Francomb on the edge of the box, who rifled his first-time effort towards the top corner, but was denied by a strong save from Rory Watson.
Scunthorpe continued to press as Dunnwald-Turan was played in on goal, but his low shot was blocked at close range, before Vincent fired down the throat of Morris from the edge of the box, as Crawley defended resolutely to see out their first win of the new season.
Crawley Town: Morris, Francomb, Tunnicliffe, Craig, Doherty, Ferguson, Bulman, Nichols (McNerney 88), Matthews (Hessenthaler 76’) , Frost, German (Allarakhia 68’)
Scunthorpe United: Watson, Bedeau, McGahey (O’Malley 45’), Gilliead, Loft (Eisa 70’), Hippolyte (Hallam 80’), Spence, Vincent, Cordner, Dunnwald-Turran, Hornshaw
Report by Coren Blackburn