There was always a danger of a comedown after the Devon Derby win, and so it proved with an insipid home defeat against a Hartlepool side starting to show some promise. Paul Tisdale can take heart from the reaction to the previous home defeat, when City went to Fleetwood and won, and he will be hoping for more of the same as City embark on the first of two away games in the space of four days with a long trip to Scunthorpe. John O’Flynn returned to the side as sub against Pools, and will be pressing for a recall, but the treatment table is still busy, added to in the last week by Danny Butterfield limping off on Saturday and Jamie Reid returning from Northern Ireland U21 duty in need of an MRI scan. Matt Oakley too will be out for a while, although Sam Parkin is thought to be close to a return. If O’Flynn and Parkin aren’t fit enough to start it might mean Scot Bennett is pressed into emergency striker service once again, with Tom Nichols and Matt Jay also in contention.
Scunthorpe are, like Hartlepool, adjusting to life back in League Two after a lengthy hiatus which saw the Iron have a couple of short spells in the Championship. The outspoken Brian Laws has returned to the club where he had some success in the past, and there are signs now that his side is beginning to gel. After a slow start Scunthorpe are now unbeaten in their last six games, culminating in a 2-0 win against surprise strugglers Cheltenham nearly a fortnight ago (their match against York at the weekend postponed due to international call-ups). Sam Winnall is the obvious threat in front of goal, heading the scoring charts with four goals, aided and abetted by veterans Deon Burton and Chris Iwelumo.
The last time the sides met was in the 11/12 relegation campaign. The match at the Park ended 0-0, while Scunthorpe won the return 1-0 with a goal from Jon Parkin. Overall it is Scunthorpe with the head-to-head lead in Football League matches, with 22 wins to City’s 15 (14 draws).
Match Officials: http://www.exeweb.com/2013/10/16/match-officials-scunthorpe-away/
Ground guide to Glanford Park. http://www.exeweb.com/2013/10/17/the-things-you-need-to-know-glandford-park/