FC Halifax Town 0 Scunthorpe 1 - match report

Scunthorpe keeper Sam Slocombe tips a Paul Marshall free-kick away from the lurking Ben Futcher
Scunthorpe keeper Sam Slocombe tips a Paul Marshall free-kick away from the lurking Ben Futcher

FC Halifax Town suffered their first defeat of pre-season after a second half goal from Bobby Grant secured a win for Scunthorpe.

Grant scored just after the hour for what proved the only goal as Neil Aspin’s men lost their 100 per cent record in pre-season.

Neil Aspin made six changes to the side which beat Farsley 3-1 on Tuesday night, with Matt Glennon, Danny Lowe, Liam Hogan, Jason Jarrett, Dale Johnson and Paul Marshall all coming in.

It was the visitors, who fielded a strong line-up, who made the early running and after a spell of possession got their first chance, with a combination of Ben Futcher and Danny Lowe managing to block a Connor Jennings shot after neat build up play from Jimmy Ryan.

Town’s first effort came on 14 minutes when Jamie Rainford dragged a right foot shot wide from 20 yards after Paul Marshall dispossessed Ryan in midfield.

Scunthorpe continued to look threatening, and needed a brave sliding block from Worthington to stop a Robbie Gibbons blast troubling Glennon.

As the half wore on the Shaymen began to grow in confidence, and could have taken the lead just after the half hour when Rainford’s curling effort was smartly tipped over by Slocombe.

A Paul Marshall free kick was clawed behind by the Scunthorpe keeper with Futcher waiting to pounce, and Rainford went close again five minutes later when he was released by a charging Liam Hogan, this time for the former Chester man’s effort bent just past the far post.

Aspin, who watched the first half from the stands, made two changes at half time, with Chris Worsley and Jason St Juste replacing Worthington and the battling Johnson, as Town changed from 4-3-3 to 4-4-2, but the early chances in the second half fell to the Irons.

Scunthorpe sub Bobby Grant, on at half time for Mike Grella, hit a 20 yard free kick just over after a foul by Jarrett, and Gibbons saw two efforts from a similar distance fizz over without troubling Glennon.

The Shaymen re-grouped and Rainford, lively again, headed a Toulson cross wide for Town’s first effort on goal after the break.

Grant saw another left foot effort sail over before Aspin, on the touchline for the second half, introduced Lee Gregory and Liam Needham for Rainford and Marshall.

Both were involved in Town’s best move of the second half up to that point, when he received a reverse pass from St Juste and picked out the arriving Needham, but his left foot shot was straight at Slocombe.

But the visitors took the lead just after the hour when Grant latched on to a long pass and got between Lowe and Futcher before controlling and steering past Glennon from 12 yards.

Glennon almost allowed Grant a second two minutes later when his clearance bounced fortunately off the advancing striker, but Town rallied and went close when Gregory headed a Worsley cross just over.

From then on Scunthorpe began to take control of possession and made the Shaymen work hard to win the ball back.

The hosts did create one chance, when Gregory set up Seddon from 25 yards, but his drive went narrowly wide, as the League One side claimed the win.

FC Halifax: Glennon, Toulson (Qualter, 80mins), Lowe, Jarrett, Futcher (O’Brien, 67mins), Hogan, Worthington (Worsley, 45mins), Seddon, Johnson (St Juste, 45mins), Rainford (Gregory, 53mins), Marshall (Needham, 53mins). Unused subs: Senior.

Scunthorpe: Slocombe, Biberio (Bopp, 61mins), Kennedy (Smickle, 67mins), Cadamerie (Canavan, 43mins), Newey, Jennings, Ryan, Gibbons, Duffy (Godden, 61mins), Grella (Grant, 45mins), Barcham (Wellington, 67mins). Unused subs: Severn, Collins, Howe.

Attendance: 605

Click on the link on the right to see pictures from the game