Skip to main content

Match Preview


Posted Sat 06 Apr 13

Scunthorpe United Preview

After a positive result on Good Friday, like North End, The Iron ended the Bank Holiday double header with a 1-0 away defeat, losing at AFC Bournemouth thanks to Brett Pitman’s 11th minute strike.

After the game, Scunthorpe manager Brian Laws felt his side's endeavour deserved much more. It was a result which sees Laws' side drop back into the bottom four of League One, as a consequence of Oldham's 1-1 home draw with Colchester which saw the Latics climb above United.
"We're disappointed we didn't get something from the game," Laws told The Iron Player after the game. "Bournemouth might say they deserved a 1-0, but there were elements in that game that suggested we could have got something out of it.
"This is the time of season, particularly for ourselves, where we need to get something out of it. We knew we were going to get opportunities and it was a case of whether we could capitalise on them.
"We didn't get a lot but the ones we did, I felt we should have done better with.”

Therefore the Lincolnshire outfit will arrive at Deepdale looking to enhance their survival hopes, but will face a North End side now four games unbeaten at home, with Simon Grayson’s Lilywhites looking to all but ensure their place in League One.

The two sides meet for the 34th time, North End having won 15 of the previous 33, The Iron 13; with the most recent being the 3-2 win for PNE at Glanford Park back in September, when Nicky Wroe’s first half hat-trick was enough to give the team the three points.

Team News
For the Easter Monday defeat at Bournemouth, David Mirfin returned to Brian Laws’ starting line-up coming in for former North End loanee Paul Reid, who was suffering from a back injury sustained on Good Friday.
Anthony Forde meanwhile replaced Akpo Sodje as Scunthorpe switched to a 4-5-1 formation, as opposed to the 4-4-2 that had been used on the first Bank Holiday fixture of the weekend, however, the former PNE man could return to face his former employers alongside fellow PNE old boys Eddie Nolan and Karl Hawley.

North End meanwhile look set to have a full squad training before the weekend’s game; Scott Laird having re-joined in with his team-mates following his broken leg – although he is some way away from a return to competitive action.

The only doubts are John Welsh (Achilles) and Stuart Beavon (Concussion), with Joel Byrom looking set to challenge for a place in the squad after another week of training after his hernia operation in February.

Scunthorpe United’s last line-up (4-5-1): Johansen; Nolan, Mirfin, Canavan, Newey; Duffy, Collins, Ryan, Forde, Barcham; Hawley.

One To Watch
United completed the signing of Morecambe right winger Mark Duffy for an undisclosed fee in January 2011.

After being released by Liverpool, he played non-league football for Vauxhall Motors, Prescott Cables and Southport.
Billed as an exciting young winger, he enjoyed his first full season with the Shrimps after making a loan move from Southport permanent in the summer of 2009. In all, he made 75 appearances for the League Two side, scoring seven goals in the north of Lancashire.

Duffy came into his own for Scunthorpe towards the end of the 2011/12 season, shining in numerous matches, and has continued that progression this year and is a real threat for The Iron that PNE will be watching out for.

The Manager
Brian Laws will be hoping that third time’s a charm for him and Scunthorpe United.

The former right back from Wallsend, returned to the Glanford Park hot seat for the third time following Alan Knill’s departure in October 2012, after a spell as director of football at Shamrock Rovers.

In his time as a player, Laws joined one of the clubs he would go on to manage, Burnley, as a 17-year-old apprentice, making 181 appearances for the Clarets before joining Huddersfield Town and then Middlesbrough, followed by a move to Nottingham Forest under the legendary Brian Clough.

Whilst at the City Ground, Laws was part of arguably one of the great Forest teams, winning the League Cup twice as well as losing out in the Final of that and the FA Cup once.

Following Forest’s relegation from the Premier League at the end of the 1992/93 season and Clough’s departure 18 months later, Laws seen opportunities in the first team limited and he left the club on a free transfer.

He then took up his first managerial role as player-manager at Grimsby Town. He then took over as Scunthorpe manager for the first time on 24th February 1997, playing 17 times for the club before calling it a day on his playing career for good.

The gamble paid off for the Iron, as Laws led his charges to promotion in 1999 before he was sacked in 2004 – although he was reinstated just three weeks later. The decision to reappoint Laws was a good one, as he gained promotion with United for the second time in 2005.

After almost ten years in North Lincolnshire, Laws moved on to pastures new in November 2006, when he took over the vacant managerial position at Hillsborough with Sheffield Wednesday, where he went on to earn legendary status in the eyes of the Owls fans, as he masterminded their first league double over their Sheffield neighbours United for 95 years.

After leaving Wednesday it wasn’t long before he jumped back on the managerial merry-go-round however, as he took over at North End’s Lancashire rivals Burnley following Owen Coyle’s exit to Bolton Wanderers, but he was unable to keep them in the Premier League and after a loss; to Scunthorpe of all clubs, Laws was sacked.

His footballing exodus ended when he moved ‘upstairs’ at Irish side Shamrock Rovers before returning to the Iron in October last year.

The Referee
The man with the whistle this weekend is Cambridgeshire ref Darren Deadman, taking charge of his 33rd game of the campaign, having issued 116 cautions and four reds in his previous 32 fixtures.

It isn’t long since Deadman took charge of North End, in fact it was Simon Grayson’s first game in charge of the Lilywhites, down at Swindon at the end of February. He has also taken charge of The Iron already this season too, down at Leyton Orient in December.

All-in-all this will be the 12th time he has taken charge of one of the two sides since he officiated Scunthorpe’s 1-1 draw with Oldham in January 2007 and his third game as referee at Deepdale.

Ticket News
Tickets are on sale for all areas, including in the Club’s corporate lounges. The ticket office and commercial department are open from 9am until 5pm on Thursday and 9am until 6pm on Friday (5pm in the commercial department) and again from 9am until kick-off on matchday. You can also buy stand tickets online at until midnight on Friday and collect on the day.

Can’t Get To The Game
Anthony Wareing will be joined by a co-commentator to bring you full match commentary on PNE Player from 2.30pm and you can also follow all the action by following our official Twitter feed - @pnefc.

After the game we will have reaction from the manager and player on both PNE.Com and PNE Player with extended highlights, including Anthony’s commentary on PNE Player from Monday afternoon.

Back The Boys
North End are 19/20 to make it five home games undefeated with a win this weekend, with the Club’s official betting partner BetButler.

All the best odds are available now for you to try and make some money out of seeing your favourite side in action; and remember, every bet you place helps your Club as well!

The One And Only
This Saturday’s matchday programme is another packed edition, including an extended interview with loanee custodian Declan Rudd, your questions put to Scott Laird, interviews with former players Steve Basham and Graham Alexander and much, much more.

Its 84 packed pages of award-winning content from the 2013 League One programme of the year, available from Friday afternoon for just £3 from the Club shop or online at