The Iron drew 0-0 at home to Charlton Athletic on Tuesday night.Both sides pressed for the elusive goal throughout, but just couldn’t find a way through - with United’s best chance falling the way of Hakeeb Adelakun, three minutes from time.
Graham Alexander went with the same eleven which was victorious at Shrewsbury Town on Saturday, meaning Neal Bishop made his 100th Iron appearance.
The match began at a fast pace, as both sides looked to seize the initiative early on. It was the hosts who went close to dealing the first blow though, when Josh Morris sent an effort crashing towards goal in the 13th minute, following some good approach play beforehand. The midfielder’s left footed shot was a fraction off target however, with it flashing just past the post.
Morris was at the heart of everything United were doing, and he got involved again midway through the half. Having played a short corner to Duane Holmes, he received the ball back, before nearly catching Addicks ‘keeper Declan Rudd out at his near post.
Just after the half an hour mark, Russell Slade’s men had their first sight of the Scunthorpe goal. Josh Magennis was the man who went close, as he glanced a header wide from in and around the penalty spot.
United had the lion share of the opening period, and were determined to finish the half strongly. Bishop almost marked his 100th Scunthorpe appearance with a goal too, but he was denied by some good goalkeeping.
Bishop’s effort would be the last of any note in the first half, with the two sides going in at the break goalless.
A set piece nearly opened the Iron up, ten minutes after the resumption of play. Ademola Lookman’s free-kick was near enough inch perfect for defender Jason Pearce, but he could only manage to steer the ball wide of the far post.
Luke Daniels was called into action for the first time, in the 67th minute of proceedings. The United stopper got down well to foil Fredrik Ulvestad, whose volley from the edge of the penalty area looked to be heading for Daniels’ bottom right corner.
Adelakun was introduced by Alexander with 20 minutes to play, and the winger almost had an immediate impact. Having picked the ball up on the right, Adelakun made a surging run into the penalty area. His run was halted by Morgan Fox, who survived the subsequent appeals for a spot kick from the Iron faithful behind the goal.
Moments later, Charlton broke up the field, with Lookman at the forefront of the attack. The youngster, like Adelakun before him, drove at the backline, and he managed to get a shot off. It was of no concern for Daniels however, who simply watched the ball sail wide.
Scunthorpe upped the ante as time pressed on, and were carrying an evidently greater goal threat. Van Veen thought he’d broken the deadlock with nine minutes to play and, in bizarre fashion too, as his attempted block nearly ended up in the back of the Addicks’ net.
The best chance of the game did fall the way of the visitors, with five minutes left on the clock. Shortly after coming on as a substitute, Jordan Botaka found himself free in the penalty area, but much to the frustration of his manager, he could only fire high and wide.
Another substitute then looked like he’d won his side the points. Following some great footwork from Adelakun on the right, he cut back onto his left foot and sent an effort towards the top corner of the goal. He would be denied though by some brave Charlton defending, with his shot being deflected out for a corner.
The home side carried on plugging away - Morris the next to strike for goal. The midfielder’s quick feet bought him half a yard of space, allowing him to then curl the ball, but it was too close to Rudd, who gathered comfortably.
There would be one more chance, and it came the way of Slade’s side. Skipper Johnnie Jackson’s free-kick looked to have Daniels beaten but, much to his relief, it struck the outside of the post.
Shortly after, referee Christopher Sarginson blew his whistle to signal the end of proceedings, as United extended their lead at the top of the League One table to two points.
Scunthorpe United: Daniels, Wallace, Mirfin, Dawson (Mantom 80), Madden (Smallwood 70), van Veen, Morris, Bishop, Toffolo, Holmes (Adelakun 70), Clarke.
Substitutes not used: Anyon, Wiseman, Goode, Margetts.
Charlton Athletic: Rudd, Foley (Botaka 83), Jackson, Bauer, Lookman, Crofts, Magennis, Pearce, Ulvestad, Solly, Fox.
Substitutes not used: Phillips, Chicksen, Ajose, Konsa, Lennon, Hanlan.
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