The Reds will make another long trip up north today after only returning from Carlisle United yesterday morning to face Neil Cox’s Scunthorpe United in North Lincolnshire.
Since wins against tough opposition like Tranmere Rovers, Salford City and Mansfield Town in March, the Reds have struggled as of late with only a point taken from a possible twelve in our most recent fixtures against Walsall, Barrow, Port Vale and Carlisle United.
On Tuesday we travelled to Carlisle who had experienced a drop-off in form after a tough spell without games. Reds started competitively but Joe Riley’s effort from distance took a major deflection off of the rough of the turf sending a helpless Glenn Morris the wrong way.
Carlisle doubled their lead not long after as Omari Patrick stormed forwards with the ball without being closed down before firing past Morris with venom from outside the box. Crawley played much better in the second-half especially towards the final whistle but it wasn’t enough to draw anything back from the game.
Tomorrow’s opposition looked like relegation favourites earlier on in the season, but a huge uplift in form and some impressive results in recent months have lifted them up to 16th place, only six points behind the Reds.
Scunthorpe are unbeaten in four in the lead up to tomorrow’s game. After three consecutive 1-1 draws against Leyton Orient, Oldham and Southend, The Iron defeated Bradford City at The Sands Venue Stadium, 2-0. Attackers Abo Eisa and Devarn Green were the scorers as Scunthorpe kept a clean sheet against a side who have failed to score only once in their previous twelve games.
Earlier in the campaign, in our first home fixture of the season, Crawley were 1-0 victors over the Iron thanks to a goal from Tom Nichols. Scunthorpe shared 62% of possession and had double the efforts on goal but Crawley defended strongly to keep a clean sheet and pick up the three points after our loss to Port Vale on the opening day.
Last season, we faced the Irons on three occasions, with over 3 goals being scored in each game. In August, we travelled to the Sands Venue Stadium, picking up a 2-2 draw which saw the Reds score 2 equalising goals, through Bez Lubala and Nathan Ferguson, with Josh Dacres-Cogley the provider for both.
The Irons later travelled to The People’s Pension Stadium in November, in the first round of the FA Cup. Going into the final 10 minutes, it was all square at 1-1, with Ashley Nadesan’s first half goal being cancelled out by a Ryan Colclough effort. But two emphatic strikes from Reece Grego-Cox and a goal from Ashley Nathaniel George, saw the Reds run out 4-1 victors and through to the second round.
On the first day of February we took Scunthorpe on for the third time, and on this occasion under current Head Coach John Yems. 3-1 was the final score with first half goals from Jordan
Tunnicliffe, Reece Grego-Cox and Ollie Palmer, meaning we had netted 9 past the Irons within three competitive games.
Jem Karacan is a newly-signed recognisable figure in the Iron team. The Ex-Galatasaray, Reading and Bolton midfielder joined the club in January after his release from Central Coast Mariners in July 2019. Jem has a UEFA Champions League appearance for the Turkish giants as well as over 150 appearances in the Championship with Reading, Millwall and Bolton Wanderers.
Abo Eisa will likely be the man to lead the line on Friday after playing 90 minutes against Bradford City in a 2-0 victory last Tuesday, 10 days ago. Eisa was the scorer of the Iron’s first goal and will look to use his pace and agility to build on his league tally of 8 goals for the remainder of the season.
Ryan Loft is also sitting on eight league goals this campaign. The 6”3’ forward will pose an aerial threat with recent goals against Leyton Orient and Harrogate Town. Loft was a graduate of the Tottenham Hotspur youth system and made many appearances for the Under-21s before loans at Braintree, Stevenage and Exeter before being transferred to Leicester who also loaned him out before his release and consequent move to Scunthorpe.
Reece Grego-Cox, Tyler Frost and Tom Dallison remain unavailable. Henry Burnett, Jordan Tunnicliffe and Davide Rodari are doubts. Jake Hesketh has suffered a long-term injury and will be absent after returning to Southampton.
HOW THEY BET*
Scunthorpe United 8/5
Crawley Town 9/5
*Odds correct with EFL partners Sky Bet at the time of writing. Please gamble responsibly.
You can watch the match live on iFollow from 12:55 with commentary from Gary Smith and Ken Blackmore.
You can purchase a match pass for £10 by clicking here.