League 2 previews: Scunthorpe United

Jun 16, 2021 | News

Glanford Park, home of Scunthorpe United, will be a familiar venue to many Gasheads as it’s only just over two years that we were last there when a Jonson Clarke-Harris goal saw us take all three points.

Scunthorpe have struggled a little bit since that meeting and have spent the last two seasons in League Two, finishing in 20th place in 2019/20 and in 22nd place last season, with only relegated clubs Southend United and Grimsby Town finishing below them.

Since our first meeting, at Eastville on 30th August 1958, we have locked horns with Scunthorpe on 40 times in the league, having won 16 on 16 occasions. Scunthorpe have won on 10 games and there have been 14 draws. The sides haven’t met in any other competition.

Glanford Park is actually now known as the Sands Venue Stadium, though it will probably have been rebranded by the time we meet next season! The ground was opened in 1988, the first new purpose built ground to be built in this country for over 30 years.

Situated on the outskirts of the town, with a capacity of just over 9,000, Scunthorpe moved there from their former home, The Old Show Ground. Plans were announced, in 2014, that they were planning to move to a new purpose built stadium, but it’s understood that those plans have now been shelved and the Glanford Park venue seems set for redevelopment.

A number of players have turned out for both clubs, including Sam Slocombe, Matty Lund, Luke Daniels, Lee Hodges, Brian Godfrey, Mark McChrystal, Steve Mildenhall, Nicky Platnauer and Kenan Dunnwald-Turan, who made five league appearances for Scunthorpe last season.

My best memory of watching Rovers at Glanford Park came on the opening day of the 2003/04 season when Lee Hodges, a former Scunthorpe player, scored a last minute winner for Rovers to clinch a 2-1 victory.

Worst moment has to be the game there on February 25th 2014. We drew 1-1 but loan signing Alan Gow, who had arrived in BS7 from Exeter City, was stretchered off with a ligament injury and that was his season over. He had played just four league games for Rovers. Would we have been relegated had he stayed injury free? We’ll never know, of course, though he appeared to be a very talented player who might well have helped keep us up.

By my reckoning, seven players have made their Rovers league debut against Scunthorpe; Phil Coggins (1960/61), Junior Agogo, Christian Edwards, Kevin Miller, Dave Savage and Callum Willock (all 2003/04) and Peter Hartley (2016/17).

If you’re travelling to Glanford Park next season, then the ground is 203 miles from the Memorial Stadium.

Keith Brookman