Grimsby Town suffered a heavy derby defeat as they were beaten by Scunthorpe United at the Sands Venue Stadium.
The Mariners went into the game looking to escape the League Two relegation zone and gain a much-needed confidence boost with a win against their local rivals.
Instead, they found themselves 2-0 down before half-time as a superb free-kick by Abo Eisa opened the scoring before Ryan Loft added a second.
Following a triple-substitution at half-time, Town improved in the early stages after the break but Eisa’s second goal of the afternoon put the result out of their reach.
New signings Rollin Menayese and Jay Matete came straight into Grimsby boss Paul Hurst’s starting line-up after making loan moves from Mansfield and Fleetwood respectively.
They were two of the three changes to the team that drew with Southend last time out, with striker James Hanson returning to the XI as Luke Waterfall, Luke Spokes and George Williams dropped out.
James McKeown started in goal, with Luke Hendrie, Mattie Pollock, Menayese and Sam Habergham forming the defence.
Max Wright, Elliott Hewitt, Matete and Danny Preston were the midfielders and Matt Green partnered Hanson in attack.
Spokes and Williams were both named on the bench, alongside Sam Russell, Danny Rose, Sean Scannell, Montel Gibson and Ira Jackson Jr.
Scunthorpe came into the game two points and two places ahead of the Mariners in the League Two table, with both teams desperate for three points to aid their fight to stay in the league.
The hosts would also be out to avenge their 1-0 defeat when the sides met in the reverse fixture at Blundell Park last month.
Scunthorpe won the first corner of the game in the second minute but Alex Gillead’s delivery was cleared by Hanson after it had been flicked on.
A cross from Wright at the other end was claimed by home keeper Mark Howard, before another ball to the far post from Wright was kept in by Hanson but it eventually went out for a goal kick.
A free kick from Habergham near the halfway line caused no serious problems and a Habergham long throw soon afterwards was also dealt with as Town looked for openings in the early stages of the game.
Alfie Beestin sent a good cross over from the Scunthorpe right on 13 minutes but striker Loft could not get his head to it.
A free kick came for the home side in a dangerous position moments later when Eisa was fouled right on the edge of the penalty area. And from it, they took the lead as EISA stepped up to send an unstoppable shot past McKeown and into the top corner of the net.
Defender Manny Onariase managed to beat Hanson to a good through-ball from Green as the Mariners looked to respond to going behind.
Onariase was involved again on 22 minutes, putting in a good sliding challenge to deny Green after he had got in behind the home defence to meet a good ball down the left from Preston.
A foul by Preston on Jordan Clarke gave Scunthorpe a free kick on the right but Mason O’Malley’s delivery into the box was headed clear.
Wright was shown the first yellow card of the game just before the half-hour for a late challenge on Alfie Beestin after the home player had done well to see the ball out on the Town right for a goal kick.
A short stoppage came after a collision between Pollock and Loft, before a Scunthorpe corner was played low by Gillead for Eisa but he could only send it out for a goal kick.
At the other end, a low cross from Hanson on the left was slid away for a corner by Onariase and the ball from the flag was eventually cleared after Menayese had won the initial header.
A foul by Hendrie on Devarn Green gave the home side a free kick and from it, they doubled their advantage. Gillead’s delivery from the left was not dealt with by Pollock or Menayese and LOFT got enough on the loose ball in the six-yard box to send it trickling over the line.
A foul on Wright three minutes before the break gave Town an opportunity to create some danger of their own but they were unable to do so as Scunthorpe eventually brought the ball clear.
Two added minutes were played at the end of the first half and a Town free kick came when Clarke was penalised for handball but the ball was cleared after Hanson had won the initial header.
The hosts then had an opportunity to make it 3-0 and put the result beyond doubt seconds before the interval when Beestin sent Green through down the middle. McKeown came off his line to block the shot though, keeping his side in the contest at the halfway point.
Hurst made a triple-substitution before the restart, with Rose, Williams and Spokes replacing Hewitt, Preston and Wright.
Beestin sent an early effort high and wide from distance, before a foul on Matete gave Town a chance to get the ball into the Scunthorpe box with a free kick. Hendrie’s ball found its way through to Green but his attempt from 20 yards was blocked and although the Mariners retained possession, they were unable to create a goalscoring opportunity.
A lengthy stoppage came for defender George Taft to receive treatment after he was caught by Hanson in an aerial challenge.
Spokes then sent a low shot through to keeper Howard after a good move down the left which had seen Habergham’s cross break for Williams.
Town had shown an improvement since half-time and another chance came on 57 minutes with Hendrie crossing for Hanson, who looked to be put off by a defender and could not get enough power on his shot to beat Howard.
A foul on Eisa by Matete gave the hosts a free kick on the left but Gillead’s ball from it was headed over the bar by Loft.
The Mariners had a free kick of their own soon afterwards but Williams’ high ball to the far post was comfortably caught by the keeper.
The game was becoming scrappy and Loft won a free kick for Scunthorpe on 63 minutes, which led to Onariase heading onto the roof of the net.
But the hosts were not to be denied for much longer and they sealed the points with a third goal on 65 minutes. Loft slipped the ball through for EISA and as the offside flag stayed down, he raced clear and slotted past the advancing McKeown from the edge of the box.
Another free kick, this time taken by O’Malley from the right, was headed over the bar by Loft as Scunthorpe looked for more goals.
Jai Rowe replaced Clarke in Scunthorpe’s first substitution on 65 minutes, before Scannell and Jackson came on in place of Green and Hanson.
John McAtee and Lewis Spence came on for Green and Jen Karacan, before Eisa volleyed over the bar as he went in search of a hat-trick.
Loft was booked after a late challenge, before Williams picked up a loose ball in midfield and drove into the box but was unable to get a shot in as he went down.
Williams had another opportunity on 81 minutes as he ran onto a loose ball and worked his way into the penalty area. Again though, he was unable to apply a finish as he ran into a defender.
A home penalty appeal came after Gillead beat Pollock and cut into the box but after he went down under a challenge from Habegham, the referee ruled Gillead had dived and showed him the yellow card, with a free kick going the way of the Mariners.
At the other end, a shot by Williams was not held by Howard but the keeper recovered to claim the ball at the second attempt.
McKeown got down to make a good save and deny Eisa his hat-trick, before Scannell won a corner as Town looked for a late consolation goal but the ball from the flag was caught by Howard.
A volley from Spokes was deflected wide for a corner as the game moved into seven minutes of added time. It turned into another one on the right but this time, the danger was dealt with.
Jordan Hallam replaced Loft for Scunthorpe for the closing stages and Town kept searching for a goal as the clock ticked down but it was not to come as the home side registered a clean sheet to go with their three points.
The Mariners must now pick themselves up ahead of another big game on Tuesday, when they travel to Barrow.
|1||James McKeown (C)||GK|
|16||Ira Jackson Jr||SUB|