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Scunthorpe United (A) match preview

22 February 2019

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Rovers are on the road when they return to league action, making the short trip down the M180 to face rivals Scunthorpe United in Sky Bet League One on Saturday.

Rovers will be looking to get back to winning ways following their break from the league as they lost 2-0 to Premier League side Crystal Palace despite a valiant performance from Grant McCann’s men on Sunday.

Scunthorpe will also head into the game in search of a win as they look to avenge last weekend’s 1-0 defeat away at Gillingham.

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 Iron 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 33 games, winning 11, drawing seven and losing 15, leaving him with a win percentage of 33.3 per cent.

Ones to watch

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.

Adam Hammill

The former Liverpool and Barnsley man scored on his Iron debut last month, earning them a 1-1 draw with a stunning strike against Sunderland. Hammill spent 14 years at Anfield, helping the Reds’ youth team to win the FA Youth Cup in 2006. He moved to Barnsley for his first spell in 2009, before moving on to Wolverhampton Wanderers and then Huddersfield Town following his initial departure from Oakwell. Hammill re-joined Barnsley in late 2015, going on to help them win the Football League Trophy later on that season, scoring the winning goal in the 3-2 win over Oxford United. He would then play a key role in the Tykes’ League One play-off success to complete a Wembley double in 2015/16, scoring again at the national stadium in their 3-1 win over Millwall. Following his second departure from Barnsley, Hammill then spent the first half of this season at Scottish side St Mirren, before going on to join the Iron last month.

Kyle Wootton

The 22-year-old recently signed a new contract at Glanford Park after being in good form of late for Stuart McCall’s men. Wootton has been with the Iron since 2007, and he has gone on to be a success from the club’s academy, signing his first professional deal in 2014. After making his debut in a League Cup game against Reading, his first goal would come in April 2015, scoring a last-minute equaliser in a 1-1 draw with Port Vale in League One. Wootton has spent time on loan at Lincoln City, North Ferriby United, FC Halifax Town, Cheltenham Town and Stevenage, but this season he has really staked a claim for a place in the Iron first team. His good form this season saw him sign a new two-and-a-half-year deal, and he celebrated that with a stunning goal a fortnight ago in a 2-0 win over Accrington Stanley.

Who’s the ref?

John Brooks will be the man in the middle when the two sides meet on Saturday, and you can read more about him here.

Last time out

Rovers came out on top when the two sides met in the league back in December, with Ben Whiteman and Herbie Kane putting them 2-0 up inside the first 10 minutes. John Marquis then put the seal on things five minutes from time to secure Rovers’ second win of the season over the Iron.

The first of those came in the Carabao Cup first round at Glanford Park, with Mallik Wilks opening the scoring in the first half, before Danny Andrew scored his first ever Rovers goal to double the lead. Stephen Humprhys scored a last-minute stunner to reduce the deficit, but a professional performance from Rovers saw them breeze through to the second round.

Tickets for Rovers’ next Sky Bet League One home game against play-off rivals Charlton Athletic on Saturday March 2 are still available via the Club Doncaster Box Office. Purchase 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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