Scunthorpe suffered a cruel 1-0 defeat at the hands of the in-form Notts County at Glanford Park on Saturday.
After dominating for most of the game Scunthorpe conceded a late penalty, which substitute Zeli Ismail duly converted.
Mark Robins made three changes from the side that earned a hard-earned point at Port Vale on Tuesday night, with new signing Luke Williams, Sean McAllister and McSheffrey coming in for Terry Hawkridge and suspended duo Jennison Myrie-Williams and Neal Bishop.
Scunthorpe were made to withstand some pressure from the visitors early on, with Blair Adams whipping in a dangerous cross only for former Iron Garry Thompson to narrowly misjudge the defender’s delivery.
With little over ten minutes gone Scunthorpe almost broke the deadlock. Following some nifty footwork Madden drove the ball right across goal yet neither Taylor nor Luke Williams could get a touch on the ball.
The Irish centre forward continued to look dangerous from the left wing, running at the Magpies’ defence but firing a shot narrowly wide of goal. Taylor then latched on to a through ball, meeting it just before Roy Carroll, although the striker was sent out wide and his shot was parried away by the keeper.
Liam Noble came very close to breaking the deadlock when he picked up the ball on the edge of the Iron penalty area. With little time on the ball he took a touch and curled an effort towards goal only to see it come off the outside of the woodwork.
It was then the home side’s turn to hit the frame of the goal, with Marcus Williams assisting McSheffrey with a wonderful cross. The Iron’s captain of the day’s header looked destined for the net before cannoning back off the post.
The game suddenly became very open, with both sides creating chances. Dumbuya cut the ball back for Harrod on the edge of the area, who then forced Olejnik into a good diving save. This came right after Taylor had a threatening shot swing wide of Roy Carroll’s goal.
A misplaced back pass from the away side’s captain put Taylor one-on-one with Carroll once more, but again the County shot-stopper came out on top. He was able to get a strong hand on the former-Sheffield United front man’s delicate chip to prevent Scunthorpe taking the lead.
The game remained goalless at half-time with the closest both teams came to breaking the deadlock being Noble and McSheffrey’s efforts, both of which hit the post.
Scunthorpe started the second half strongly, confidently knocking the ball around the edge of County’s penalty box. This eventually created a shooting opportunity for McAllister, who could not angle his shot on target.
Scunthorpe’s domination continued, with an incisive breakaway resulting in Madden finding Taylor inside the area, but the 24-year-old’s placed finish skimmed wide of the goal. Madden then drove towards goal before smashing the ball into the side netting.
The Iron defence looked solid all afternoon and the likes of Brisley and Boyce consistently threw themselves at everything to block any efforts testing Olejnik in goal. This was essential during around the hour-mark as County began to press.
As the visitors pushed forward this allowed Scunthorpe to break on the counter attack with Adelakun firing a shot over the bar after a mazy run shortly after coming on.
Ismail looked threatening on the wing after coming off the bench for the visitors. He was able to pick the ball up on the right flank, cut inside and fire a shot at goal, but Olejnik managed to hold on to the winger’s strike.
Notts County were awarded a penalty with less than two minutes on the clock after Olejnik brought down Stephen McLoughlin when through on goal.
Substitute Ismail duly converted the spot kick straight down the middle of the goal, sending the Iron keeper the wrong way and succumbing Scunthorpe to a harsh defeat after dominating for the majority of the game.
Scunthorpe United: Olejnik, McAllister, Madden (Kee, 82), Luke Williams, Lyle Taylor, Luke O’Neill, Boyce, McSheffrey © (Adelakun, 71), Marcus Williams, Brisley, Osbourne.
Unused substitutes: Slocombe, Dawson, Sparrow, Burton, Llera.
Notts County: Carroll, Dumbuya, Adams, Hollis ©, Thompson, Jones, Noble, Harrad (Murray, 62), McLoughlin, Laing, Petrasso (Ismail, 69).
Unused substitutes: Speiss, Wroe, McKenzie, Traore, Cranston.
Attendance: 4,008 (1,057 away).