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Scunthorpe’s season so far

Scunthorpe come to Nailsworth already looking destined to be relegated to the National League next season.

By any measure, this has been a woeful season for The Iron.  They are 10 points adrift at the bottom of the league (and 10 points from safety) with 24 points from 39 games.  They have scored the fewest goals in the league (26).  They have also conceded the most goals in the league (71).  They they have both the worst home record and the worst away record in League 2.

Scunthorpe’s only away win was a 3-1 victory at Oldham, and they have managed just 3 home wins this season.  It must be hard for Scunthorpe fans to find any positives.  A managerial change in November doesn’t seem to have made much difference.  New manager Keith Hill began with a run of 5 draws, 1 win & 1 loss.  But, since the start of January they have had 14 losses, 2 draws & just the one win.

The reverse fixture in Scunthorpe in October was a feisty affair with 10 players yellow-carded.  Jamille Matt’s penalty in the 60th minute was followed by an Ebou Adams headed goal from a Kane Wilson assist in the 65th minute.  Rovers won 2-0.

Recent departures & men to watch

Both of Scunthorpe’s leading scorers this season with 4 goals apiece, left the club in January.  6ft 4in striker Ryan Loft, moved to Bristol Rovers.  Talented midfielder, Miles Hippolyte, departed for Stockport County.

Scrimshaw Stock Pictures, Editorial Images and Stock Photos | Shutterstock

Jake Scrimshaw (number 18) is on loan from Bournemouth for this season.  With Loft and Hippolyte having moved on, Scrimshaw is now Scunthorpe’s leading scorer with 3 goals in his 17 games.  He is described as a classic centre forward who likes to sit on the shoulder and run in behind.

What’s been going wrong?

Scunthorpe released 17 players at the end of last season and therefore had a big rebuilding job on their hands.  They finished last season one place above relegation and things don’t look to have improved.

When FGR travelled to Lincolnshire in October, Scunthorpe were already bottom of the division.

The early season form caused rising discontent among fans of the Iron.  To make matters worse, local rivals Grimsby are going through a good patch, with new ownership, a Supporters’ Trust on the board, and big crowds (Grimsby v Wrexham attracted 6,000 fans for a National League game – about 3 times the gate at Scunthorpe ).  Scunthorpe’s main striker last season, 22 year old John MCatee, turned down a new contract offer from Scunthorpe to sign a 2 year deal down the road at Grimsby.  Also following MCatee away from Blundell Park was Scunthorpe’s talented winger Abo Eisa, who moved to Bradford City.

Some Scunthorpe supporters blame the stewardship of their Chairman, Peter Swann.  Swann and his son took over recruitment at the club and many supporters feel they have the poorest squad they have seen for years.  The Swann family ran up debts at the club to the tune of £11m.  They then agreed to wipe out the debt in exchange for ownership of the stadium, surrounding land, and all the club’s assets.  This has left the club as an unattractive prospect for any future buyer and has left some wondering whether Scunthorpe are likely to be heading the same way as Bury.

Striker John MCatee turned down Scunthorpe to move to rivals Grimsby in the summer.

Chairman Peter Swann ahead of the new season - News - Scunthorpe United

Some blame Chairmen Peter Swann for the recent decline of Scunthorpe

About the club

Scunthorpe’s official mascots are ‘the Scunny Bunny’ and ‘the Scunny Hunny Bunny’!

Scunthorpe are nicknamed ‘The Iron’ – a legacy of the town’s steel making tradition.

Scunthorpe came into the EFL in 1950 and have remained there ever since. They had a run up to the second tier in the 1950’s and 60’s and another couple of very brief flirtations into the Championship as recently as 10 years ago. However, Scunthorpe have spent most of their time in the 4th tier.

Relegated back to League 2 in 2019, they finished last season in 22nd position (just missing relegation) and the season before in 20th.

Local rivals include Grimsby Town & Hull City (Humber Derby games) and Lincoln City (known as Lincolnshire Derbies).

Neil Warnock played as a winger for Scunthorpe though he never managed them.

Scunthorpe can boast some famous former players.  These include Kevin Keegan, former England and Liverpool goalie Ray Clemence, Ian Botham (who played 11 games for the Iron in 1980 before concentrating on his cricket), and Neil Warnock.  Warnock has never managed Scunthorpe, in spite of the fact that he seems to have managed most other clubs – Scarborough, Notts County, Torquay, Huddersfield, Plymouth, Oldham, Bury, Sheffield Utd, Crystal Palace (twice), QPR (twice), Leeds, Rotherham, Cardiff &, most recently, Middlesborough.

Ian (now Lord) Botham made 11 appearances for Scunthorpe before concentrating on cricket.