Scunthorpe United v Stevenage: And now the end is near, and so we face the Iron curtain; it's time to wrap up our 2020-1 campaign with a trip up to Scunthorpe...
Photo: "A turnstile at Glanford Park" by Steve Daniels is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

And now the end is near, and so we face the Iron curtain; a line that probably only lands if you know a) what song we’ve ripped off and b) what the Iron curtain was. To be clear, that second one is not a immovable window dressing for your front room. Nope – instead, time is being called on our 2020-1 League Two campaign. And our prize for avoiding relegation is a trip to Scunthorpe. No-one ever said life was fair. But it’s not like you can go anyway…

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The Details: Scunthorpe United v Stevenage

Where’s the game?

Our last assignment of the current league season takes us to Glanford Park; home of the Iron. The venue is located at the end of the M181, which apparently is a real motorway!

Can I watch Scunthorpe United v Stevenage?

Based on the last 12 months, no-one can be sure of what we’ll be allowed to do come the start of the next League Two campaign. But we’d hope this is the last time we’re forced to make do with iFollow streaming coverage and nothing else. The choice to turn up and get behind the lads in person when Boro’ next step out onto a football pitch would be spiffing.

How is Boro’s form looking at the moment?

It had seemed like our season was at huge risk of fading out in a blaze of mediocrity; our 12-match unbeaten run giving way to a three-game losing streak. But that was rubbished by a deeply satisfying win at title-chasing Cambridge United. Our last home game of term didn’t go quite according to plan as we let slip the lead three times against Crawley Town. Still, we can still see the season out unbeaten. And we found a rare scoring touch too.

In fact, those three goals took us to 40 for the league campaign. Not a great milestone in all fairness – but one nonetheless. We are, though, in danger of slipping further down the list of tightest defences in the division. With 41 conceded, we’re joint third with Newport – and need a miracle to reclaim second spot from Cheltenham Town. Maybe let’s just focus on reaching the 60-point milestone. For that, nothing less than three points will do here.

… and how are the Iron doing right now?

Luckily for the Iron, matters below them are now decided; the gap between them and the bottom two stands at four points. With just three left to play for, the maths are pretty clear. And a huge reason why they’re in such a lowly position is because they’ve failed to win in more than a month; a run stretching back nine games. You then have to go back another month for the win before that. Funnily enough, that was a 1-0 victory at Cambridge!

How bad has it been? Well, no team has done worse over the past eight games. The Iron have just two points to show for their ‘efforts’. No goals in the last four and no goals in the last three at Glanford Park also tells its own tale. They’ve only scored one more goal than us – and only two sides have conceded more. For Boro’, there’s a real opportunity to end the season on a high. But the numbers suggest we’re just as likely to see a 0-0 draw…

Our story with Scunthorpe United so far

It’s ‘all square’ in love and war as far as the Iron are concerned; Boro’ winning, losing, and drawing two of our six past meetings. With both our wins coming at home, that should say enough about our form at Glanford Park. Our first trip there in January 2012 needed a late goal from Darius Charles to claim us a draw. But we should probably be grateful for the 0-0 draw there last season given how bad we were.

Unlike us, the Iron can boast an away win from our past six encounters when they scored in stoppage time at the end of both halves to beat us 2-1 in October 2011 (we scored even deeper into stoppage time to reduce the deficit). But our 3-1 home win against them at the start of 2021 came days after we beat Cambridge. We recently did the league double over the Us. Is there a reason we can’t make it a double double?

Last Time Out: Stevenage 3-1 Scunthorpe United, 02 January 2021

Who’s the referee in charge?

Ollie Yates.

It’s a name that crops up now and then. But we’re in no great rush to meet Mr Yates again. Last seen overseeing our 2-1 defeat at Valley Parade towards the start of this season, our record on his watch is dismal. One win (and two draws) in seven past meetings is the bare truth; a 1-0 win at Newport County three years ago is as good as it gets.

Mr Yates wraps up his 2020-1 campaign with a 32nd fixture; the most recent of which was Harrogate Town’s dramatic 5-4 win at home to Cambridg United last week. It feels as if the Us are coming up a lot in this preview. Weird. Anyway, Mr Yates has already gone past the 100-booking mark for the season – his average standing at 3.26 per game.

Reds? There’s been a few. Then, with three of them, perhaps too few to mention.

Last Time Out: Bradford City 2-1 Stevenage, 26 September 2020

Scunthorpe United v Stevenage: Our verdict?

Come on Boro’ – it’s time to step up one last time and go out in a blaze of glory. Based on how things have panned out since we last met, the points are there for us if we want them. But it’s the final day and neither of us have anything to play for. So, maybe all bets are off? Boro’ win – 2-1.

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