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ROVERS LOSE ON OPENING WEEKEND AT SCUNTHORPE

6 August 2016

Scunthorpe United 3-1 Bristol Rovers

Attendance: 4,636 (

Scunthorpe United came from a goal down to hand Rovers their first defeat of the SkyBet League One campaign.

Second half goals from Kevin van Veen, Josh Morris and Kyle Wootton cancelled out Matty Taylors first half strike.

Darrell Clarke named a strong side to open the SkyBet League One campaign with his team lining up in a 3-5-2 formation with Tom Lockyer captaining the side.

Rovers started well and were awarded an early free kick by referee Ben Toner as David Mirfin fouled Chris Lines.

In what looked like a training ground routine, Matty Taylor squared the ball to James Clarke but his powerful drive hit the wall. However, Matty Taylor was alert to the loose ball as last season's top goal scorer gathered the ball and advanced into the penalty area, but no one was able to get on the end of his cross.

Scunthorpe grew into the game with their first opening coming through striker Kevin van Veen. The Dutchman took the ball out of the air superbly before nudging the ball through the legs of Peter Hartley but before he could get a shot away Tom Lockyer was on hand to clear the danger.

The hosts continued to press but failed to get and real efforts on Steve Mildenhall's goal with long range efforts from Josh Morris and Stephen Dawson both missing the mark.

At the other end of the field Rovers were looking deadly on the counter attack as Chris Lines was able to pick out Matty Taylor in the penalty area but he was denied by Murray Wallace.

Minutes later Rovers took the lead through that man Matty Taylor.

Chris Lines shot from the edge of the penalty area was blocked, Taylor reacted quickest to the loose ball taking it on his chest before firing goalwards. Irons keeper Luke Daniels got a hand on the effort but was unable to stop Matty scoring his first of the season.

Scunthorpe came out looking stronger at the start of the second half when Hakeeb Adelukun found a little pocket of space 35-yards out. The Irons man composed himself before unleashing a powerful drive just wide of Steve Mildenhall's right hand post.

With 10 minutes of the second half gone, the Irons had a penalty claim turned down after Hakeeb Adelakun collided with Lee Brown in the penalty area but referee Ben Toner waved away all protests from the home side.

Graham Alexander's men continued to press through lone front man Kevin van Veen and on the hour mark the Dutchman powered through the middle of the park shrugging off challenges left and right before attempting to finesse the ball past Steve Mildenhall but the Rovers shot stopper pulled out a fantastic save to keep Darrell Clarke's side in front.

Pressure from the home side grew and grew and after a spell of head tennis on the edge of the Rovers penalty area the ball fell to Kevin van Veen who calmly took the ball on his chest before hammering his shot past Steve Mildenhall.

With just over 15 minutes to go, Rovers boss Darrell Clarke changed the shape of his side, opting for a 4-4-2 formation as Cristian Montano and Billy Bodin took to the field replacing James Clarke and Stuart Sinclair.

Rovers pressed and pressed for that all important second goal but it was Scunthorpe that took the lead with nine minutes of the game remaining.

Playing on the counter attack the Irons wide man was allowed to run at the Rovers defence before powering a shot across goal beating Steve Mildenhall at his far post.

Darrell Clarke's side continued to look for a way back into the game as Billy Bodin was allowed to cut inside from the right hand flank but his curled effort went narrowly wide of the post.

Deep into injury time the Irons put the final nail in Rovers coffin as Kyle Wootton latched onto a long ball over the top and calmly slotted the ball under Steve Mildenhall to hand Rovers an opening day defeat. 

Up next for Rovers is the visit of Championship side Cardiff City to the Memorial Stadium in the EFL Cup on Thursday night before entertaining Oxford City at the Mem on Sunday.

Scunthorpe: Daniels, Wallace, Mirfim, Dawson (C), van Veen (Wiseman - 90), Morris, Bishop (Ness - 67), Hopper (Wotton - 85), Adelakun, Townsend, Clarke.

Unused Substitutes: Anyon (GK), Williams, Holes, Goode.

Rovers: Mildenhall; Leadbitter, Lockyer, J. Clarke (Montano - 73), Hartley, Brown; Sinclair (Bodin - 73), O. Clarke, Lines; Taylor, Gaffney (Harrison - 67).

Unused Substitutes: Puddy (GK), McChrystal, Harrison, Easter, James.

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