Esajas’ 62nd minute strike sealed the three points for the Iron and sees them rise to 10th in the table.
Deon Burton nearly put the Iron 2-0 up, however his strike smashed the crossbar.
Plymouth had the chances to equalise but Scunthorpe held on to their third win of the season.
Following the victory away at Southend last week, Scunthorpe started the game unchanged and with full of confidence following the 1-0 win. To add to the feel good factor, defender Cliff Byrne made his return to Glanford Park, albeit on the bench.
However, it was Plymouth to have the first chance of the game. A flick on by Reuben Reid went straight into the path of the on running Romauld Boco. A last ditch clearance from Mirfin denied Boco from getting a shot away.
Scunthorpe were looking to hit back instantly to the early Plymouth pressure, working the ball down the left hand side well. Both Winnall and Esajas made long and promising runs in the first 10 minutes, resulting in corners.
Neither side really grasped hold of possession as both sides were looking for their target men upfront. With 15 minutes gone Winnall had an opportunity to put the Iron one up. After good hold up play by Iwelumo, the ball found its way to Winnall. His curling shot was just high of the goal to keep the score at 0-0.
It was down the left again where Scunthorpe caused Plymouth problems.Winnall with a burst of pace down the left as he looked to get the cross in, however he was brought down by Berry to win the freekick.
Seconds later, a freekick on the other side of the pitch lead to a great chance for the Iron to lead. Esajas put in a cross towards the 6 yard box, Canavan rose well to head the ball towards goal but McCormick tipped the ball over well though for a corner. From the resulting corner, it was Canavan again with the chance, although this time there were too many bodies in the way for his shot to cause Argyle problems.
Plymouth had a good chance to go ahead in this fixture, five minutes before half time. Reid was lurking on the back post. He beat the defender but he didn’t make great contact with the ball, as his header went over the bar from only yards out.
On the announcement of three minutes added, Plymouth whipped in a corner and with the Scunthorpe defenders failing to clear, it resulted in a goal mouth scramble, where several Plymouth players failed to squeeze the ball from the crowd in the six-yard box before the Iron eventually got it clear.
Early in the second half, Plymouth thought they had the ball in the back of the net. Reid received the ball in the box before firing it past Slocombe, although he was adjudged to have been offside by the linesman, much to Reid’s despair.
Minutes later, Argyle had another to chance to go ahead as they put pressure onto the home side. A corner from Hourihane was met by a Plymouth Argyle defender. Slocombe did well to make himself big as the header was well saved by the keeper.
It was the 52nd where fan favourite Cliff Byrne made his return to Glanford Park. An injury to Niall Canavan meant he had to come off and it was the Oldham loanee to replace him.
Another chance came to Plymouth on the 60th minute and Slocombe did well to keep the score at deadlock. A freekick was laid off to Reid who stuck it well, however Slocombe was there to save it.
Glanford Park erupted on the 62nd minute as it was Scunthorpe who opened the scoring to go 1-0 up. McAllister found Winnall in acres of space in the area. He took on his defender and tried to pull the ball across goal. The pass was deflected towards Esajas, who thumped the ball into the back of the net, to claim his first league goal in the claret and blue shirt.
The goal really spurred the Iron on and nearly got a second shortly after the goal. Hawkridge’s corner found Byrne, whose header back across goal was met by Winnall. His hooked shot went just over the bar.
For a second time, Reid thought he had scored for his side. His header at the back post went in but the referee gave a foul for a push on the centre back.
In an end to end game, Burton could have put Scunthorpe 2-0 moments after the disallowed goal. Winnall made a great run into the box, past the defender. He pulled it back superbly for substitute Deon Burton, whose thunderous shot smashed the crossbar before Plymouth got the ball clear.
With time ticking away, Plymouth were looking for that equaliser. Slocombe had a few comfortable saves whilst at the other Scunthorpe were looking to get the game beyond doubt. On the 88th minute, Burton nearly made it 2-0 in style. A high ball was dropping towards the striker as he set himself up for the overhead kick. He made contact with the ball, but his shot went agonisingly wide.
Plymouth themselves were agonisingly close to the equaliser. Durrell Berry shot first time outside the area, his powerful strike looked to be curling into the top corner, however Slocombe saw it sail over the bar.
Scunthorpe saw out the final minutes well as they held onto possession, passing between themselves on the left hand side.
There was a huge sigh of relief on the final whistle as Scunthorpe held on to a valuable 3 points and back to back wins. The 1-0 win was Scunthorpe’s second win at home this season and they thoroughly deserved the victory.
Next up for the Iron is Burton Albion away next Saturday.
Scunthorpe United: Slocombe, Nolan, Mirfin, Canavan (Byrne, 52) Dawson (C), Hawkridge, Sparrow, McAllister, Esajas (Spencer, 74), Winnall, Iwelumo (Burton, 65).
Substitutes not used: Severn, Waterfall, Howe, Hornsey.
Plymouth Argyle: McCormick, Berry, Branston, Hourihane (C), Alessandra, Boco, Reid, Morgan (Harvey, 83), Trotman, Bencherif (Nelson, 85)Reckford.
Substitutes not used: Cole, Blackman, Blanchard, Wotton, Gurrieri.
Attendance: 3,298 (292 away).