Scunthorpe boss Neil Cox was disappointed his side could not build on their three game unbeaten run, in a narrow 1-0 defeat to improving Bolton Wanderers at the Sands Venue Stadium.
A Peter Kioso goal in the second half was enough to secure the three points for Ian Evatt’s men, who stretched their winning run to three League Two games and Cox said his side were ruing missed opportunities at the end of the first half.
Eyebrows were raised as Cox opted to play three centre backs and give Jacob Bedeau the nod ahead of Jai Rowe, who has impressed in the right back role in recent weeks, but he explained the decision was made to play three up front and attempt to create in the final third.
“We’re disappointed with the result really, and I knew it was going to be a difficult game, but I tried to be brave and play three up at the front.
“I thought we’d try to close them down, as the front three worked really well in the first half and we had some really good opportunities. There was a great chance from a set play, but I don’t think there was really a lot in the game.
Scunthorpe huffed and puffed in the first half and could have gone in ahead at half time, but Manny Onoriase and Alfie Beestin spurned good opportunities just before the break whilst Alex Gilliead fired wide in a ten minute spell where the Iron managed to get on top of their opponents.
Bolton, who controlled possession throughout, gained the ascendancy after the break and took the lead when the experienced Delfouneso was allowed too much space in the area and pulled back for Kioso to fire home the only goal of the night.
The start of the second half and manner of the visitors’ goal disappointed the Iron manager, who added: “We didn’t do what we have been doing and didn’t really pass it well at all.
“I think we conceded a really poor goal, and we had enough opportunities to sort it out. Our one-versus-one defending wasn’t good enough and we got punished for it.”
With the Iron out of action this weekend, having been knocked out of the FA Cup to National League side Solihull Moors, it is a welcome period of recovery for the Iron, who have been in the midst of a busy schedule since the start of the season. With no game to watch until a week on Tuesday, you could try your luck on the slots and score a little bonus before Christmas! Read the Cadabrus Casino Review to discover why they are an exciting newcomer in the iGaming market.
League Two newcomers Harrogate Town are next up and Cox admitted he is sweating on the fitness of a number of players who picked up injuries during the defeat to Bolton.
Defensive trio Junior Brown, Manny Onariase and Harrison McGahey are all nursing knocks, Olofela Olomola was withdrawn in the second half whilst Jordan Clarke and Kevin Van Veen are unlikely to be fit for the trip to North Yorkshire.
“We go to Harrogate next Tuesday – a tough game away from home, and we have got to be raring to go and start again. We need to back to what we have been doing really well over the last four games and start this run again.
Cox continued: “Some will get a couple of days’ rest, the boys that haven’t played will be in training and we will do some really good training sessions. But some boys will be wrapped up in cotton wool. I think a lot of the boys will be in with the medical staff and looked after.”