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League Two Lowdown: Scunthorpe

18 August 2013

Our look at Pompey's 2013/14 opponents continues with The Iron

Meetings with Pompey
It looked to be a formality when top tier Pompey met Division Three (North) side Scunthorpe in the fourth round of the FA Cup in 1954.

But there were three matches in the space of 10 days before the Blues were able to progress.

An injury to goalkeeper Edward Platt forced Duggie Reid in goal in the first game at the Old Show Ground, but Peter Harris scored as 10-man Pompey held out for a 1-1 draw.

The sides then drew 2-2 in the replay at Fratton Park, with Jackie Henderson scoring twice in front of 30,247 fans.

But Jack Froggatt (2), Harris and Jackie Henderson all netted as Pompey finally triumphed 4-0 in a second replay at Highbury.

The first league meeting was in Division Two a few years later. The Blues won 4-0 at Fratton Park, while Scunthorpe were 1-0 victors in the return fixture.

There have also been a couple of goal gluts on the south coast, with The Iron winning 4-3 in February 1964 and Pompey romping to a 6-1 triumph in August 1979.

The most recent meetings came in League One last term, as each side won 2-1 on their own patch.

Scunthorpe history
The club were formed a year after Pompey in 1899 and merged with local rivals North Lindsey United in 1910 to become Scunthorpe & Lindsey United.

They joined the Midland League in 1912 before turning professional two years later.

Following an unsuccessful application to join the Football League, Scunthorpe won the Midland League in both 1927 and 1939.

They were finally elected into Division Three (North) – ahead of Workington and Wigan – in 1950, playing their first match against fellow new boys Shrewsbury.

The Iron won promotion to the second division in 1958, the same year that Lindsey was dropped from their name.

But they were back in Division Three by 1964 and were then relegated to the basement four years later.

There was promotion success in both 1972 and 1983, but on both occasions this success was followed by immediate relegation back to the fourth tier.

In 1988, Scunthorpe became the first English club in the modern era to switch to a new purpose-built stadium, selling the Old Show Ground to a supermarket chain and move into Glanford Park.

They suffered the ignominy of missing out on promotion via the play-offs four times between 1988 and 1992.

But they finally went up at the fifth time of asking in 1999, thanks to a 1-0 victory over Leyton Orient at Wembley, although their joy was short-lived with relegation following a year later.

Scunthorpe avoided the play-offs to win promotion to the third tier as runners-up in 2005, going one better by winning the League One title in 2007.

Scunthorpe present
The Iron were relegated from the Championship in 2008, but made it two Wembley twice the following year.

They were beaten by Luton in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy final, but beat Millwall in the play-off final to win promotion.

Scunthorpe survived for one season this time around, but finished bottom in 2011 and bowed out of the Championship with a 1-1 draw against Pompey.

They placed 18th in their first season back in League One before being relegated along with the Blues last term.

Information for Pompey fans
Away fans are housed in the South Stand, which is full seated and provides room for 1,650 people.

The Old Farmhouse pub admits away supporters not wearing club colours, while the Berkley can also be found nearby.

A retail park opposite the stadium includes both McDonald’s and KFC outlets.

Travelling by road
Postcode: DN15 8TD
Distance from Fratton Park: 257.5 miles
Estimated drive time: 4 hours 30 minutes

The ground is located on the outskirts of Scunthorpe and is easy to find from the motorway. Leave the M180 at Junction 3 and take the M181 for Scunthorpe. At the end of the motorway you will see the ground on your right. Turn right at the first roundabout onto the A18 and right again into the large car park at the ground, which costs £3 to use.

Travelling by rail
The journey from Portsmouth stations to Scunthorpe lasts approximately five hours, with a standard adult ticket not booked in advance priced at £108.50. Changes are required at King’s Cross and Doncaster, while the ground is two miles away from the station.

League Two fixtures
Pompey v Scunthorpe: Saturday, November 23 (3pm)
Scunthorpe v Pompey: Saturday, February 22 (3pm)

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