Scunthorpe United sent a team to Alfreton Town and one to Frickley Athletic as they continued their preparations for the new football season.
The Iron won 4-1 at Alfreton’s Impact Arena in their penultimate pre-season friendly, but they had to come from behind after an early set-back had seen them trailing the National League North side.
A Jake Eastwood error had allowed Amari Morgan-Smith to nip through and tap into an empty net in the 11th minute, but the visitors responded well and dominated much of the remainder of the game. With just seven minutes until the break the Iron eventually equalised through a Matt Lund strike from close range to send the teams in level at half-time.
Any football prediction at this point would have pointed to an Iron’s win, and so it proved as Scunthorpe eventually took the lead in the 64th minute through Alex Gilliead.
They went on to extend their advantage with less than 15 minutes remaining through another Lund effort, and that man was on the scoresheet again to complete his hat-trick in the 84th minute from an excellent volley.
At the same time as the game at Alfreton, a Kevin van Veen hat-trick inspired an Under-23’s side to a 4-0 success at Frickley Athletic.
United took the lead in bizarre circumstances in the 24th minute when George Hornshaw challenged the home sides keeper as he dithered on a clearance, with the result, the ball landing in the back of the net.
Just a minute later Kevin van Veen grabbed his first goal of the night, dinking the ball over the advancing keeper, before getting his second with half-time approaching.
The second half started slowly, and van Veen had to wait until the 71st minute to complete his hat-trick to make it 4-0 and finish the scoring for the night.
It was a good workout for a strong Scunthorpe side at Alfreton, with that team expected to be close to the starting eleven for the season opener against Swindon. Whilst at Frickley, some of the Iron’s fringe players did their chances no harm with another comfortable win.
Scunthorpe will be confident of victory in that season curtain raiser against the Robins, who finished mid-table in League Two last term. The promotion odds comparison of both teams has United in a stronger position, so they will want to get off to the best start possible with maximum points in front of the home support as they bid to return to League One at the first time of asking.