The Iron recorded their fourth win in five games under the caretaker management of Russ Wilcox with a 2-0 victory over Morecambe.
Two first half goals from Deon Burton, his second and third in the space of a week, were enough to give Scunthorpe all three points and lift the club into the automatic promotion places.
United made one change to the side that drew at Wycombe last weekend as Marcus Williams replaced Hakeeb Adelakun on the left wing whilst the visitors were unchanged from the team that beat Bristol Rovers seven days ago.
It was the Shrimps who started the brightest, earning a succession of corners early on without forcing Iron ‘keeper Sam Slocombe into any serious action.
Then with eight minutes on the watch, Morecambe came within inches of taking the lead as Andrew Fleming’s flag kick was cleared only as far as centre back Chris McCready and his left footed volley whizzed narrowly passed the post.
Scunthorpe’s first chance of the game came just moments later as, after Sean McAllister’s long range strike was deflected away for a corner, David Mirfin connected with Terry Hawkridge’s resulting centre but he couldn’t quite direct his header on target.
The United fans wouldn’t have to wait too much longer to cheer a goal however as Hawkridge, Sam Winnall and Christian Ribeiro linked up well together before the latter played a delicate low ball right across the penalty area where Deon Burton was lurking to notch for the second week running.
It could have been argued that that goal came slightly against the run of play but Burton didn’t mind as he stroked the ball into the unguarded net from just a few yards out.
The Iron were slowly beginning to dictate play and forced visiting shot stopper Barry Roche into a fine save when Hawkridge teed up Williams on the edge of the box, only to see his effort tipped over the bar.
Just seconds later, Eddie Nolan cut onto his right foot and floated a teasing ball into the area for David Syers though he couldn’t quite force his headed attempt towards goal.
But with just over 10 minutes to go until the break, Scunthorpe doubled their advantage as a flurry of accurate passes from United players ended with Burton controlling the ball and then hitting home a 25-yard left footed volley into the far corner.
United had successfully weathered the storm brought to them by Morecambe in the opening stages of the game and were starting to dominate proceedings with the interval looming.
There was still time for McAllister to try his luck from distance but no more goals were scored as the first half came to an end with the Iron 2-0 up.
Scunthorpe started the second period as they’d finished the first and almost grabbed a third as Hawkridge played a weighted pass to Syers but his cross-shot was cleared.
Morecambe then had a chance of their own as Roche’s long punt forward was collected by Padraig Amond and he struck a sweet strike from distance that flew just wide of Slocombe’s goal.
Adelakun was brought on in place of Hawkridge after an hours play and it was the ever dangerous Syers who again went close as he took Winnall’s pass in his stride and almost managed to squeeze the ball under Roach but it eventually went out for a corner.
McAllister then picked up Nolan’s throw-in and unleashed a fierce drive at goal that the Morecambe custodian did well to push away from danger as United reasserted themselves as the dominant side in the game.
Matt Godden, recently recalled from a loan spell at non-league side Dartford, then replaced Winnall up front but it was Adelakun who was looking like the Iron’s bright spark as he benefited from a mistake in the Morecambe backline and hit a powerful shot from outside the area that went just over the crossbar.
A long ball from Slocombe was then expertly controlled by Syers who proceeded to charge in on goal but his resulting shot was tame and straight at Roche as the clock ticked past the 80 minute mark.
Burton came within a whisker of claiming a hat-trick as he was first to Niall Canavan’s knock down and volleyed a right footed effort at goal that was cleared away from right underneath the goal line.
As the game entered injury time, Godden went close to adding a third but Burton’s goals were enough to secure the Iron a place in the top three of the division going into Christmas.
Scunthorpe United: Slocombe, Ribeiro, Mirfin, Canavan, Nolan, Hawkridge (Adelakun 61), McAllister (Boyce, 85), Syers, Williams, Burton, Winnall (Godden, 76).
Substitutes not used: Severn, Waterfall, Esajas, Iwelumo.
Morecambe: Roche, Wright, McCready (Ellison, 54), Hughes, Threlfall, Parrish, Fleming (Kenyon, 79), Redshaw, Drummond, Sampson, Amond (Mwajile, 68).
Substitutes not used: Arestidou, Williams, McGee, McGowan.
Referee: David Webb.
Attendance: 3,510 (73 away).