Scunthorpe United (04/11/23) – PREVIEW/SUPPORTER INFO

With Saturday’s clash against former Championship side Scunthorpe United expected to see between 1,500-2,000 people at Croft Park, we’d recommend purchasing tickets for Saturday’s game in advance here.

With segregation in place Spartans fans will only be able to access the ground via the Kingsway entrance, which typically only has the 1 cash turnstile on and usually develops a canny size que when it comes to the bigger games.

Obviously, no access will be permitted to Spartans fans via the Plessey Road entrance, which I know is a really stupid thing to clarify but you won’t actually believe how many times people still try to get through that gate when it’s segregated, despite the big AWAY FANS sign staring them in the face. 

Speaking of away fans, if any of you are reading this then hello. You may also find our ‘Guide to Blyth’ somewhat helpful which you can find here.

Both sides of the ground will have separate food vans in and Pieface will be back in the clubhouse (where he’d probably say he belongs) selling Shy’s Pie’s. Speaking of the clubhouse, that will likely be rammed with the big crowd anticipated, as away fans are welcome in the club beforehand. Naturally the Sporty, Masons and Spoons will likely all be busier than usual as well.

The club shop will be open again as normal between 1:30pm and 2:50pm, and then again after the match and while they have a few home shirts in stock, they are light on away kits and keeper tops. They do though still have plenty of the new Erreà training wear in stock though.

As for Spartans teams news, Lewis Knight may be in contention to start after making the bench last week away at Kings Lynn. Michael Liddle also returned last weekend and will be probably start over Joe Oliver at left back. As for Cedric Main, he should hopefully be in line to at least make the bench this weekend. Young midfielder Billy Gordon is now injury free an no longer a concern. No idea about JJ O’Donnell‘s status ahead of the weekend but I can’t imagine he’ll be missing for long. Ne idea about JJ Hooper though, as he’s been out of action for about a month now since going off in the game at Banbury.

As for Scunny, they’ve already had enough drama on their hands this season alone to last most clubs a lifetime. Now under new ownership yet again though, things appear to be stabilising off the pitch. They come into tomorrow on the back of 3 wins, 2 draws and 1 defeat in their last 6 league outings and currently occupy 2nd spot, 4 points off Tamworth.

Former Spartan Cal Roberts may be in line to make his debut for Scunthorpe tomorrow having missed the early part of the campaign through injury, and he’ll no doubt fancy his chances against our right back/his houseboy. Scouse journeyman Danny Whitehall leads the line for Scunny at the moment, scoring an impressive 9 goals in 15 games this season. Former Gateshead forward Danny Elliot will likely feature up top as well depending on the formation, as he’s managed 4 goals in 12 games despite only featuring in 51% of the teams minutes played this season. The other player to be wary of is former Championship stalwart Jacob Butterfield, who from midfield has managed to nab 3 goals and chipped in with 3 direct assists so far.

Given both teams form of late, most bookies seem to be favouring Scunthorpe according to odds checker which is understandable. Some of the markets for 2.5+ goals are giving out decent odds as well, despite Scunthorpe scoring 13 goals in their last 3 games. Then again when it comes to non-league football, most bookies don’t have a clue but nevertheless, stay safe and gamble responsibly.

Obviously we have a pitch inspection come 5pm today (Friday) and the last thing we need is this game getting called off and rearranged for a Tuesday night, as we’ll lose half the crowd and potentially our biggest gate of the season. Should the pitch pass that inspection, I expect we’ll have another one in the morning. The forecast is for the rain to hold off until 3pm tomorrow (Saturday afternoon) which gives the pitch a good chance to dry out and as ever, Peter Henderson has been hard at graft this week to get it sorted and playable, despite the biblical rain we’ve had.