The Reds fell to defeat at The Sands Venue Stadium this afternoon. Scunthorpe took the lead in the first half courtesy of an unfortunate own goal from George Francomb and added a second in the early stages of the second half through Jake Scrimshaw. Kwesi Appiah pulled one back in the 73rd minute, but the hosts held on to snatch a much-needed win.
Crawley kicked things off with a flurry of early corners, one of which resulted in Powell forcing a smart save from Rory Watson as the Crawley midfielder attempted a cheeky chip. Jake Scrimshaw then had a chance at the other end. The Iron’s midfielder blasted a shot wide of the target from the edge of the box.
Jack Payne forced Watson into another save shortly afterwards with a shot from range. Payne’s powerful effort was tipped over the bar by the goalkeeper. Watson was then forced to deny Joel Lynch with a brilliant save down to his left. Lynch rose highest from a corner and sent a powerful header towards the bottom corner, which Watson dealt with brilliantly.
Ryan Loft momentarily thought he had put the Iron ahead after his header snuck under Glenn Morris. The linesman, however, adjudged Loft to be in an offside position.
The Iron did find themselves ahead just moments later as George Francomb was very unfortunate to turn the ball into his own net. Ross Millen sent a low driven cross into the box, and after the slightest of touches from Loft, the ball collided with the Crawley skipper and fell into an empty net.
Crawley looked to bring things level in the early stages of the second half, and Kwesi Appiah had a chance to do so with a header from inside the box. The striker failed to connect cleanly with Powell’s cross and saw his effort fall wide of the target.
Scunthorpe then put together a series of very dangerous counter-attacks and doubled their advantage through Scrimshaw. The hosts mopped up a sloppy Crawley pass and quickly turned their attention to the Crawley goal. Scrimshaw was fed the ball neatly before the striker rounded Morris and tapped home.
Despite creating very few chances throughout the match, the Reds did pull one back through Appiah. Crawley’s top goalscorer found himself on the end of a brilliant ball from George Francomb to give Crawley a fighting chance in the tie.
Despite a real push from the Reds in the dying stages, the Iron held on to claim all three points at The Sands Venue Stadium. Crawley will return to action on Saturday 30th October as second-placed Port Vale travel down to The People’s Pension Stadium.
REDS XI: Morris, Francomb (Ferry 84’), Lynch, Craig, Tsaroulla, Powell, Hessenthaler, Payne, Bansal-McNulty (Ashford 60’), Appiah, Nichols (Rodari 60’).