Damien Mozika gets vital game time as Scunthorpe United's reserves beat York City
DAMIEN Mozika and club captain Paul Reid were among the Scunthorpe United players involved in a reserve-team win against York City yesterday afternoon.
The duo, looking to up their fitness, featured alongside the likes of Callum Kennedy, Sam Slocombe and Mike Grella in a 1-0 success against the Minstermen - achieved thanks to the latter's close-range finish in the second half.
United have been keen to get Mozika some game time as he moves towards full fitness having missed the majority of the season so far following surgery on an ankle injury during the summer.
Reid has missed his side's last couple of games through suspension, but will become available for selection after this weekend's League One clash with Bournemouth at Glanford Park.
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Manager Brian Laws, who got to have a look at on-loan Blackpool striker Adda Djeziri for the first time in a match after playing him up front alongside Grella, was pleased with the workout and wants to make similar matches more frequent occurrences.
"We wanted to get some game time for a few players," he said.
"Damien Mozika was one of those in particular and we tried to get Michael Collins involved, but after training in the morning we just thought it was a little too soon for him. We're hoping we can get another game fixed up for him next week.
"Paul Reid played to get him ready as he'll have concluded his suspension after Saturday.
"There were quite a few players who needed a game and we wanted to mix it around.
"I think the players are disappointed they've not played enough games to keep their match fitness up but that's purely down to the fact we don't have a reserve team – games are very hard to come by.
"The likes of Mike Grella hadn't played for ages and needed a game under his belt.
"We know that Leon Clarke will go back (to Charlton) after Saturday and they'll have to start pushing for spots."
While the Iron used yesterday's game to improve some players' fitness, another of their squad, goalkeeper Steve Mildenhall, has done the same by enjoying the club's two-week break from action.
The on-loan shot stopper - who Laws says will extend his stint with Scunthorpe until the New Year during the next couple of days - has been carrying a knee injury, but he will be okay to face the Cherries.
"Steve took a nasty kick against Bury and it's been affecting him since," said the United manager.
"However, this two week period where we've had no game has done him the world of good and he's looked back to where he was on the training ground."