We run the rule over tonight’s opponents, every swear filter’s favourite team: Scunthorpe.
Who the hell are Scunthorpe United?
Scunthorpe United were formed in 1899 in a part of North Lincolnshire so desolate that the Highways Agency built a whole new motorway so you could avoid it . To add insult to injury you were avoiding Scunthorpe so you could get to Grimsby of all places.
What’s their history?
In 1910, they merged with another local club to become Scunthorpe and Lindsey United before turning pro in 1912. They competed in the Midland League winning it twice, until 1950 when they were accepted into the Football League. In 1958 they were renamed to just Scunthorpe United, presumably Lindsey fell out with them and she left in a huff. They had some early success in the league, playing in what is now the Championship from 1958-64 with a 4th place finish in 1962 – still their highest ever. It was all downhill from there though as from 1964-2005 they had two single season forays outside the bottom division, most notably in the early 70s when some bloke called Keegan fired them to promotion. Wonder what happened to him?
The last decade has been a rollercoaster ride for the club, with time spent in both the Championship and League 2. They currently sit 4th in the League One table.
Despite the pub quiz bores favourite question about 3 England captains playing for them, those individuals haven’t inspired much in the way of trophies. A couple of League One Winners medals is all they can claim. Not even a Checkatrade Trophy.
Who are their rivals?
Spoilt for choice on this front. On the rare occasion they’re both in the same league, Scunthorpe contest the North Lincs derby with fish enthusiasts Grimsby Town. The Iron also look to the Humberside derby against Hull, although it’s fair to say in recent years Hull aren’t as bothered as they’ve moved up in the world. Taking their place from the county of language manglers have been Doncaster Rovers. For some reason they also don’t like York City. Weird.
What about the current season?
Now in their 2nd full season with a youngish manager who had plenty of playing experience in the English lower leagues and many caps for his country (sounds familiar), they’ve steadily improved their fortunes each year since he took the helm (less familiar.) Their current squad is a blend of youth and experience with a sprinkling of higher division loanees adding to the depth (nope, don’t recognise that at all.) Currently securely in the playoffs and although their form has dipped of late you can expect them to still be there come May.
Player to watch?
With Paddy Madden now at Fleetwood, they’ll be looking for the likes of Lee Novak to up his scoring. However, Josh Morris has probably been the standout contributor this term, scoring 10 goals and assisting more from his midfield birth..
Any Posh connections?
Anyone remember much about Andrew Crofts 9 games on loan for us in the 2008/09 season? No? Me neither.
What’s their nickname?
The Iron. Nothing to do with Irn Bru apparently, but with the iron and steel industries that built up in the area due to rich deposits nearby. Iron doesn’t taste as nice but is probably better for you than Irn Bru anyway.
Do they have a forum?
Yes. Iron-Bru isn’t just the inspiration for the gag in the section above it’s also the name of their main fans site and forum. They’ve got a match preview too, it’s a bit more straight laced than this one though.
Got a prediction?
At home, on a Tuesday night, against a team struggling for form and with Trevor Kettle reffing the only way this could be a more nailed on loss would be if it was on Sky. We’ll get humped 3-1 with Lloyd getting a consolation effort 10 minutes from time. There’ll be 5,233 braving the wind and rain/sleet/snow and I won’t be one of them.