Scunthorpe were forced to battle hard after being reduced to 10 men with 20 minutes of action, plus stoppage time remaining, holding Chorley to a 1-1 draw at Victory Park.
Following Tuesday night's defeat on the road to Brackley Town in an FA Cup Second Qualifying Round replay, Jimmy Dean’s Iron side returned their focus to the league in which they faced a high-flying Chorley side at Victory Park.
Scunthorpe reverted back to the team that drew 0-0 against Brackley a week ago, with talisman Danny Whitehall coming in to lead the line ahead of Richie Bennett. In other team news Dion Sembie-Ferris picked up an injury during Tuesday night’s encounter and as a result was replaced on the bench by workhorse midfielder Tom Pugh.
Captain Jacob Butterfield got the game underway for the Iron, but was met with an onslaught of early Magpies pressure which almost resulted in the ties first goal from its vey first opportunity. The hosts' floated corner found the head of vastly experienced centre-back Mark Ellis whose header went soaring just wide of goalkeeper Ross Fitzsimons’ goal.
The hosts' early intent of turning over United showed no sign of slowing down when with 11 minutes played another corner was met by a Chorley man whose flick on found Ellis again who was waiting patiently at the back post. However, this time his effort didn’t worry Fitzsimons who caught the ball effortlessly.
As the half progressed, Scunthorpe had seemed to have shaken into life preventing the Magpies from making anymore advances. That was until winger Justin Johnson latched quickly onto a loose ball for the hosts, however ever present left back Tyler Denton tracked back well, stopping any form of shot which allowed Fitzsimons to come out and claim.
Another opportunity soon presented itself to the hosts after former Manchester United youngster Johnson broke in behind and sent a ball fizzing across the area which found the boot of Jack Hazlehurst. The effort was struck cleanly and was seemingly heading goalward until Max Kouogun threw his head toward the ball, diverting it away from the goal and saving the Iron’s woes.
As half-time approached, the Iron seemingly turned up the intensity and, after a sustained period of pressure in the Chorley half, the home side would live to regret their missed chances. United punished their inability to clear their defensive lines as inform striker Danny Elliot’s extraordinary leap allowed him to meet Shrimpton’s cross, with his header flying past Matt Urwin between the posts, making the score 1-0 going into the break.
When referee George Laflin’s whistle blew for the beginning of the second half, the Iron knew despite being ahead there was plenty of work to be done in order to take all three points back to Lincolnshire.
Straight after kick-off, United’s lead was pegged back through Johnson after he robbed Kouogun of possession and slotted the ball beneath Fitzsimons levelling the scores.
With 52 minutes of the tie played, Kouogun was forced off with a knock and was substituted for centre-back Andrew Boyce. Soon after Boyce’s introduction, he almost found himself on the scoresheet after he arrived late to meet a Butterfield corner, turning the ball goalward but found himself denied by his own man in Elliott who was unable to get out of the way.
With less than half an hour remaining, the Iron were reduced to 10-men, as Will Evans was shown yellow for the second time after Ellis went to ground holding his already bandaged head. The decision was met by and abundance of uproar from United’s bench and all the travelling fans.
The home side's man advantage had fast become apparent, as wave after wave was of Chorley attack was halted by the strong-willed defensive partnership of Boyce and debutant Ross Barrows. The closest the Magpies came to finding an equaliser arrived with three minutes of normal time to go when a dangerous long-ranged strike from Harvey Smith whistled just wide of an unphased Fitzsimons' far post.
Despite the referee’s nine minutes of allocated added time, Smith’s long-range effort was the encounter's last notable action, as the Iron fought tirelessly to earn a point on the road against a well-oiled Chorley outfit.
Now Jimmy Dean’s squad look ahead to the replay of the previously abandoned fixture against Buxton at Glanford Park.
IRON: Fitzsimons, Kelly, Kouogun (Boyce, 52), Evans, Elliott, Wilson, Butterfield (Barrows, 72), Shrimpton, Denton, Whitehall (Pugh, 87).
IRON SUBS: Smith, Bennett.