Scunthorpe United are currently managed by Neil Cox A man who in his playing days was a defender capable of playing at centre or right-back, he made over 500 appearances in the EFL during his career and was capped by England at U21 level.
The Iron have started this campaign poorly, only picking up eight points from thirteen league games, scoring eight times and conceding on twenty-six occasions, with an average of 2 goals conceded per game. Scunthorpe unsurprisingly sit bottom of the table, three points behind Carlisle, Oldham and Mansfield.
Cox’s side are currently winless in eight in the league, picking up just two points since their home victory over Tranmere Rovers nearly two months ago. This was their only win of the season so far, and despite having only 27% possession of the ball, the Iron recorded six shots on target, against Tranmere’s nil.
ONES TO WATCH
Ryan Loft spent the beginning of the season in decent form before picking up an injury during the Iron’s third league game away to Rochdale. The injury kept him out for eight competitive matches before he made his return earlier this month. The 6”3’ forward will likely pose an aerial threat with his two goals this season coming against Swindon in their season opener, and a 1-4 away loss to Rotherham United. 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.
Manny Onariase sits at the heart of Scunthorpe’s usual three-man defence. The 6’3 player is a strong-tackling, ball-playing centre-back who started his career as a trainee with West Ham United.
He went on to sign for Brentford, where he impressed on loan in League Two with Cheltenham Town over two spells. Onariase then joined Rotherham United before signing for Dagenham where he initially excelled on loan before signing permanently, making 63 appearances in the National League and scoring twice.
While there he earned an England C call-up and was named in the Vanarama National League team of the week three times.
The 2020-21 season saw him play 28 times and score on two occasions. This year he has again been essential for Scunny, starting every league game he has been eligible for, scoring once in a 2-2 draw away at Carlisle United.
Last 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 well to keep a clean sheet and pick up three points.
We then travelled to North Lincolnshire in April where we saw out a stalemate draw. The game saw only two shots on target which both came from the Reds, as despite sharing slightly less possession, looked the side who could potentially put one in the back of the net.
In the season previous, we faced the Irons on three occasions, with over three goals being scored in each game. In August of 2019, 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 Manager 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.
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