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Scunthorpe United (H) match preview

14 December 2018

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Rovers head home for what is set to be an entertaining local derby when they host rivals Scunthorpe United in Sky Bet League One on Saturday.

Rovers will be looking to make it seven unbeaten when Scunthorpe visit the Keepmoat Stadium, having extended their run with a 4-0 win away at Bristol Rovers last weekend.

Scunthorpe on the other hand will be looking to bounce back following their 2-1 defeat at home to Gillingham last Saturday.

Brief history of Scunthorpe United

Scunthorpe play at the 9,088-capacity Glanford Park stadium, which has been their home since 1988, and when opened, was the first purpose-built football ground in England for over 30 years.

Scunthorpe’s nickname is the Iron, which comes from the iron and steel industries that led to the growth of the town in the 19th century.

This will be the Iron’s fifth season in League One following their promotion from the fourth tier in 2014, as they finished second in League Two. The past two seasons have seen the Iron finish in the play-off positions, finishing third in the 2016/17 season, before a fifth placed finish last term.

They made failed to get through either semi-final though, losing out to the eventual winners on both occasions in Millwall and then Rotherham United.

Who’s the gaffer?

Stuart McCall will be the man in the away dugout when the two sides meet on Saturday, having taken charge at the end of August following the departure of Nick Daws.

McCall’s previous club was Bradford City, a club that he has a long association with after two spells as a player, as well as three spells in charge as manager, which came to an end in February 2018 with the Bantams sitting sixth in League One.

Whilst with the Iron, McCall has overseen 21 games, winning five, drawing six and losing 10, leaving him with a win percentage of 21.3 per cent.

Ones to watch

Josh Morris

The Iron midfielder has been one of League One’s biggest performers over the last two seasons, hitting double figures for goals in his first two seasons with the Iron. A former England under-20 international, Morris joined the Iron in 2016 following his departure from Bradford City, going on to score 20 times in all competitions as he helped lead them to the play-offs in his first year at Glanford Park. Last season saw Morris spend a short period out injured, but he still managed to reach double figures in the goal-scoring charts, grabbing 10 in 29 appearances in the league, again helping the Iron to reach the play-offs.

Jak Alnwick

The former Newcastle United youth trainee is on loan from Scottish Premiership side Rangers until January. Alnwick is the younger brother of former Sunderland and England under-21 stopper Ben, who came on loan to Rovers in 2010 for a short spell. Alnwick joined Port Vale in 2015 following his departure from St James’ Park, and after two seasons he crossed the border to join Rangers, however after a handful of appearances at Ibrox, he made a temporary switch to Glanford Park this season. Like his older sibling, Alnwick has also represented his country at youth level, playing for both England under-17s and under-18s, whilst also going to the FIFA under-20s World Cup in 2011 as back-up to Jack Butland.

Lee Novak

The Geordie striker came through the Wallsend Boys Club in his native Newcastle, with the youth team also notable for talents such as Alan Shearer, Michael Carrick and Peter Beardsley. A successful spell with Gateshead in the Conference North led Novak to make the step up to the Football League, signing with Huddersfield Town in 2009. Novak had a very successful four years with the Terriers and was a part of the squad that won promotion to the Championship via the play-offs in 2012. He then moved on to Birmingham City in 2013, staying there for three years, before a season with Charlton Athletic. Novak joined up with the Iron in August last year and signed a two-year contract at Glanford Park, and he scored the winning goal at the Keepmoat Stadium when the two sides met in League One last September.

Last time out

Rovers and the Iron have already met once this season, with the two teams meeting in the first round of the Carabao Cup at Glanford Park. Mallik Wilks and Danny Andrew put Rovers in control with goals either side of the break, before Stephen Humprhys curled in a stunning effort in second half injury time to cut the deficit.

Rovers last win at home over the Iron also came in a cup competition, as they went through to the third round of the FA Cup following a 3-0 win in early December 2017. Tommy Rowe scored either side of the break to hand Rovers the lead, before Liam Mandeville sealed things in added time to ensure Rovers’ progression.

Tickets for Saturday’s Sky Bet League One clash with Scunthorpe United are still available via the Club Doncaster Box Office. Get yours now by either visiting in-store at the Keepmoat Stadium, by calling on 01302 762576, or online at tickets.clubdoncaster.co.uk.


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