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Match Reports

MATCH REPORT: SCUNTHORPE UNITED

10 November 2018

LIAM Boyce's eighth goal of the season was not enough to keep the Brewers in this season's Emirates FA Cup as two first half goals saw Scunthorpe United into the second round draw.

It was another frustrating afternoon for the Brewers in the Cup as they allowed Scunthorpe to score with their first real effort after Albion had dominated the opening quarter of an hour.

James Perch's first goal for Scunthorpe had an element of fortune about it as he headed in after Brad Collins had managed to adjust and made a good save from George Thomas' free kick but Albion were left with a mountain to climb when Lee Novak nipped in to cut out a ball intended for Collins to calmly double the home side's lead and put them in control.

Despite Albion dominating large spells of the second half they could not add to Boyce's 79th minute finish and finish the game still searching for a first FA Cup victory since 2013.

After the win at Walsall in the league last weekend Brewers boss Nigel Clough opted for the same again as Albion took their bow in this season's FA Cup. Having made no fewer than ten changes for the Checkatrade Trophy game in midweek everyone was well rested and raring to go looking to end a run of four seasons without a win in the world's oldest cup competition.

Scunthorpe, as when the last time the two sides met at the end of September, named former Albion midfielder Matty Lund in their ranks.

Albion started very brightly with Jake Hesketh first to have a sight of goal but seeing his effort blocked inside the six yard box and the Southampton loanee had another chance when Damien McCrory's cross was allowed to pass right through the Scunthorpe area, this time the young midfielder curling his effort well over the bar.

Much as Scunthorpe tried to play their way out there was little happening for them in the attacking third whereas Albion seemed to possess a greater threat. Devante Cole was close to opening the scoring on 12 minutes when Scott Fraser was able to work room for a low right foot cross and it was the man on loan from Wigan Athletic who got a touch just before Boyce to force Alnwick to save low down.

Whist they were struggling from open play it was a set piece that the home side with the opening goal on the quarter of an hour mark. Ryan Colclough was bundled over just outside the box and although Collins did well to save the initial free kick from George Thomas it was former QPR man PERCH who was quickest to react and head home the loose ball.

Whilst a blatant arm to the face of Stephen Quinn went unpunished midway through the first half Boyce was first to see yellow from referee Andy Haines when he clumsily stopped a run through the centre circle by Jordan Clarke.

When the second goal came for Scunthorpe it was still something of a surprise but it was rather gifted to them. McCrory's attempt to find Collins was intercepted by the lurking NOVAK and he took a touch before sliding it beyond Collins with relative ease. The hosts had a two goal cushion they barely deserved.

It was starting to look like a frustrating afternoon for Albion but they were almost gifted a goal back themselves when Jak Alnwick's miscued clearance fell to the feet of Quinn, thirty yards out, but the keeper did enough when the ball was immediately returned with interest to smother it around the post at the expense of a corner kick.

More defensive uncertaintly handed Scunthorpe a chance to increase their lead as half time approached. Kyle McFadzean was booked having brought down Clarke just outside the 'D' but this time Thomas could not keep his curling effort down.

Albion continued to press, looking for a route back into the game and only a desperate clearance from Cameron Burgess, deep inside his own six-yard box prevented anyone in yellow getting a toe to Fraser's wickedly teasing cross.

The elusive goal almost came a minute or so from the break when Boyce fed a pass through for Hesketh, who looked suspiciously offside, but his low cross could not quick pick out the rapidly advancing Cole in the centre as the home side just about survived with their first half clean sheet in tact.

With the game deep into the four added minutes that referee Haines added on for first half stoppages Quinn blazed an effort over after more good approach play from Jamie Allen and Hesketh.

Half time: Scunthorpe United 2-0 Burton Albion

Albion certainly looked eager to grab the next goal as the second half got under way and with more intensity they went close when Fraser's low shot was smothered by Alnwick eight minutes in and the home defence was stretched again as their midfield carelessly surrendered possession as Quinn released Hesketh down the right only for his low cross to be bundled behind for a corner.

Nigel Clough opted to wait until the hour mark to make his first change and it was a chance for Marvin Sordell to come on and try to change things as he replaced Hesketh on the right hand side.

With Boyce now operating more centrally, closer to Cole, the two almost combined to get Albion back within one on 62 minutes. Boyce did well to control a long ball into the box and feed the ball into the path of his partner but an excellent challenge from Burgess once again thwarted the Brewers attack.

A scond change on 67 minutes saw the introduction of David Templeton in place of McCrory meaning a switch of formation to just three at the back. It gave Albion a greater threat going forwards but also left them a little more open at the back. Chelsea loanee Ike Ugbo almost exposed that when he cut inside only to find McFadzean preventing him from testing his fellow Chelsea loanee.

Just as he did at the Pirelli at the end of September, Alnwick in the Scunthorpe goal began to have more to do and frustrate the Albion attack. A double save from Templeton and Boyce was excellent and athletic before he made another save from Boyce on 72 minutes low down to his right.

And the lifeline Albion needed came on 79 minutes when BOYCE exchanged passes with Allen to drill a shot low into the bottom corner.

It was set up for a nervy final ten minutes but there was a blow to Albion's chances when Sordell, who had looked uncomfortable after an earlier stoppage pulled up and had to be replaced by Will Miller and the former Spurs youngster was quickly cutting in and firing a shot wide as he tried to make an impact.

Templeton was proving a threat out wide on the left and his cross had just too much power on it for Allen to be able to get over it as Scunthorpe began to back off and defend deep.

Scunthorpe managed to resist Albion's attempt to pen them in during the six-plus added minutes to continue Albion's miserable run in the FA Cup.


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