Scunthorpe United 1 Doncaster Rovers 1: McCann’s men pegged back in derby draw

Scunthorpe United v Doncaster Rovers
Scunthorpe United v Doncaster Rovers

Doncaster Rovers allowed a position of comfort to slip as they were pegged back for a draw at neighbours Scunthorpe United.

Mallik Wilks fired superior Rovers ahead and into a commanding position in the first half of an entertaining derby clash.

But they struggled to maintain their control after the break and Scunthorpe rallied to grab a deserved goal back through the dangerous Kyle Wootton.

Grant McCann made one change to the side that faced Crystal Palace in the FA Cup with Wilks returning to the starting XI following suspension, with Alfie May dropping to the bench.

The game started a breakneck speed with Tom Anderson flicking a header narrowly wide mere seconds in while Adam Hammill drilled straight at Marko Marosi soon after at the other end.

Levi Sutton fired narrowly over for the hosts, who pushed plenty of men up on Rovers in the early stages.

But it was Rovers who settled the better and they began to spend plenty of time camped in the opposition half.

Ali Crawford forced two saves from Scunthorpe keeper Jak Alnwick with a pair of free kicks in quick succession.

The breakthrough came on 25 minutes. Crawford allowed Kane's low ball to roll through to Wilks who struck first time from the corner of the box to find the bottom corner.

Though Rovers were in control, it was Scunthorpe who had the more dangerous chances in the remainder of the half.

Kyle Wootton sent a diving header straight at Marosi after finding space at the back post.

And Wootton was involved again in the final few moments of the half, looping a header which forced Marosi to awkwardly palm away from under his crossbar.

Herbie Kane should have done better early in the second half when he saw a tame side foot strike deflect wide after being played in by John Marquis.

Rovers could not have come much closer with two efforts in quick succession as the hour mark approached.

After Marquis saw a shot blocked, he poked a pass to Wilks who slammed an effort off the upright. Kane kept the ball in from the rebound and played back across to Marquis, who somehow put his effort over the bar from four yards out.

Scunthorpe began to enjoy more of the ball and found gaps in the Rovers midfield.

Marosi was forced to palm away after Cameron Burgess poked an effort on goal while susbstitute Olufela Olomola drilled wide after the ball was tossed around the box.

And the hosts found the equaliser when Wootton powered in to head home a raking cross from Tony McMahon, who was afforded far too much space on the right.

Rovers made three changes in the search for a way back in front and one of the substitutes, Kieran Sadlier, curled an effort straight at Alnwick after Rovers worked the ball up the pitch well.

Wootton sent an audacious overhead kick attempt well wide as Scunthorpe looked the more likely to grab a winner.

SCUNTHORPE: (4-2-3-1) Alnwick; McMahon, McArdle, Burgess, McGahey; Ojo, Sutton; Hammill (Perch 86), Thomas (Olomola 56), Wootton; Novak. Subs: Flatt, Webster, van Veen, Pearce, Ben El-Mhanni.

ROVERS: (4-3-3) Marosi; Blair, Downing, Anderson, Andrew; Crawford (Rowe 80), Whiteman, Kane; Wilks (Sadlier 75), Marquis, Coppinger (Smith 75). Subs not used: Jones, Butler, Lewis, May.

REFEREE: John Brooks (Leicestershire)

ATTENDANCE: 6,255