Scunthorpe United 0-1 Rovers – Player Reviews

After taking a couple of days to reflect on Tuesday’s victory, @leehilton90 reviews each player’s performance.

Scunthorpe

It wasn’t the most impressive victory at Glanford Park, but we got the job done, which is how we are going to have to win many games this season. So, let’s breakdown each player that played on Tuesday night.

Starting XI

David Raya – Possibly a contender for man of the match, but there are a few.

He made a number of good saves and after a quiet afternoon in Rochdale at the weekend, he was treated to a rather busy evening.

He commanded the box and if the ball was in the air, he was coming for it. He had to deal with quite a lot of back passes, especially in the first half. Unfortunately, his kicking was sub-par at times. But his saves kept us in the game, especially when he tipped Funso Ojo’s fizzing strike over the bar.

Paul Caddis – I thought he had a quiet first half, especially attacking wise as we seemed to favour the left.

He did well dealing with one of their threats in Adelakun. Just disrupting their wide attacks, we did allow too many crosses to find their way into the box though.

I think Caddis did suit the game and, although he did look lost to begin with, he grew into the game and we did keep a clean sheet.

Charlie Mulgrew – I thought he looked a little off at the start. Made a couple of bad passes and nearly gave them a glaring chance at goal completely missing the clearance and falling quite spectacularly.

Once the game went on he looked a lot better, doing his usual turns to beat a striker running toward his own goal. I thought his passing was a little off all night. But, the clean sheet is the priority and he had a big role in ensuring our net stayed empty.

Elliott Ward – If I’m being honest, I was surprised Ward started at Scunthorpe. At Rochdale, Paul Downing put in a better performance than Ward, and I would have expected the on-loan MK Dons man to start.

Like Caddis, Elliott Ward looked lost at times and was lumping the ball up when he had the time to bring it down.

Ward did grow into the game and, most importantly, he kept a clean sheet which is what any defender would be happy with at the end of the night.

Derrick Williams – Brilliant as always. Such a threat when going forward. The one negative for him today, he wasted the ball too much. Just some sloppy passing, mostly early on.

But, that was all redeemed when he cleared a header from a corner off the line with 16 minutes to go.

Rekeem Harper – Missed an absolute sitter in the first half. I am sure he will be kicking himself for it. A lovely ball played in by Bennett, found him unmarked 6 yards out he just needed to nod it home but he just didn’t connect.

To be totally honest, I don’t think he should have started. I would have reversed Chapman and Harper. Harper would have been brilliant coming on in the second half. Unfortunately, he looked a step too slow mentally, but that will come with game time.

Rekeem Harper
Rekeem Harper made his debut after joining on a season long loan from West Brom on Transfer Deadline Day.

Corry Evans – Huge help defensively. His motor just kept going. I can think of a few good tackles, but I can also think of a few misplaced passes.

But I think we finally have our central midfield pairing if Evans can stay fit. Him and Richie Smallwood look solid together and really give the defence that extra security that’s been needed for a while.

Richie Smallwood – Sat in front of the back two and just guarded. There were times I would have like him to close a man down, but the King of Ewood continues to show what a steal he was.

Elliott Bennett – Busy, busy, busy. He worked hard today and his crosses caused a host of trouble for Scunthorpe at times.

He set up Antonsson with his 2nd for Rovers in as many games, thanks to a perfectly weighted cross. He also blocked a shot late on, and for a second you were unsure where it was going to land.

Bennett caused problems to the Scunthorpe defence and if he continues to do that this season, Rovers will continue to score goals.

Dominic Samuel – He will be disappointed that his goals have dried up in the last two games after such a good start to the season.

He had his best chances in the first half. He got the chance to take the ball on the bounce from about 6 yards away. Unfortunately, he was unable to connect for what must have been a sure goal.

The other chance he was bearing down on goal and tried to squeeze it into the keeper near post and unfortunately couldn’t connect right with a defender hassling him and just rolled it to the keeper.

The goals should return for the forward if he continues to work hard during games.

Marcus Antonsson – I thought he was fantastic. He seemed to be part of everything, just trying to hold the ball to flick it on to Samuel.

He was in the right place at the right time. His run was perfectly timed and the finish was easy. He couldn’t have met Bennett’s cross any better and he just diverted it goal bound.

Let’s hope he continues this form, and as long as he keeps up his work rate, I’m sure the Swedish striker will continue to score.

Antonsson

Substitutes

Dack for Harper (45th Minute) – Dack brought the game to life from a Rovers perspective. His darting runs down the left combined with his work off the ball helped Rovers secure the win.

His finest moment was his run down the left, pulling it back into Graham’s path who couldn’t beat the keeper.

Graham for Antonsson (64th Minute) – Graham tried to hold the ball up at times, and he will be disappointed not to add to his tally. He wasn’t able to guide home Dack’s pass late in the game, even after getting it past the gathering of Scunthorpe players.

Chapman for Samuel (81st Minute)  – He brought some energy and should have started if I am honest. He wanted the ball and just looked as if he was going to create something.

The time he was brought on meant he will have been sent on to run the ball into the corner and make sure that we came away with the 3 points, which is exactly what Chapman, and Rovers, did.

Overall, it was a brilliant result for Rovers and made it 4 consecutive league wins. Let’s hope it’s 5 on Saturday against Wimbledon.

Come on you Blues!