Goals from Sam Winnall and Eoin Doyle saw a point shared as Scunthorpe drew at home to top-of-the-league Chesterfield.
Winnall put the Iron ahead, after Paddy Madden’s shot was parried by Tommy Lee towards the League Two top goalscorer, who made no mistake from three yards.
Eoin Doyle equalised for the visitors just before half-time. Humphreys was brought down in the box and it was Doyle to step up and finish past Slocombe to equalise.
Both sides looked to win it in the second half but both defences stood strong as the game finished 1-1.
The point extends the Iron’s unbeaten run to 14 games under Russ Wilcox.
Ahead of the game, the Iron had been unbeaten in their last 13 league games under Russ Wilcox, with their last four games ending in a draw. The visitors too were in good form. Chesterfield had won their last four games in all competitions and were sitting at the top of the table ahead of the League Two fixture, which could have seen the Iron go back to the top with a big enough goal swing.
The Iron made two changes from the side that drew with Hartlepool, with Ribeiro back in at right-back, whilst Paddy Madden made his first start since joining the club in January, partnering Sam Winnall up front. Paul Hayes and former Chesterfield player Gary McSheffrey were the players to take a place on the bench. For Chesterfield, Jimmy Ryan lined up against his former side in an unchanged team for the league leaders.
The away fans were certainly in good voice as the top two teams lined up at Glanford Park and it was a lively start to the game, with Ollie Banks getting in on goal within the first couple of minutes. He found good space within the Iron half, his shot was low but weak and Slocombe didn’t have too much difficulty in keeping hold of the ball.
Both sides started with a high tempo to the game, with possession changing hands constantly as both teams looked for goal. It was again Chesterfield who were next to threaten the opposition goal. Doyle burst into the box before unleashing a powerful shot that Slocombe could only parry into the air, before claiming on his second attempt.
From then on Scunthorpe looked to get into the game and they were successful in their first real attempt on goal. After Madden and Winnall had made promising runs, the Iron did get the breakthrough and took the lead. Ribeiro made a run down the right wing before playing the ball across the box towards Madden. Madden controlled well and put the ball towards goal. Tommy Lee could only push the ball into the path of Winnall, who made no mistake and put the ball beyond Lee into the back of the net to make it 1-0.
Chesterfield continued to make chances despite the setback from the Iron goal. A succession of corners gave the Scunthorpe defence problems to deal with, but the Iron looked strong and managed to eradicate and threat Chesterfield had to throw at them in the first 25 minutes.
Both sides looked to play on the ground and looked threatening in and around the penalty areas. After 35 minutes, Madden and Syers linked up well on the edge of the area before Syers unleashed a shot which looked to be heading for goal. However, the Chesterfield defence looked strong and blocked the shot before clearing their lines.
On 38 minutes, it was Chesterfield who were next to carve out a chance. Liam Cooper took the ball inside the Iron half and before hit a rasping shot at goal. Slocombe was a match for it though, saving low to his right hand side before the Iron got the ball clear, keeping the hosts in the lead.
It was Chesterfield again who threatened and subsequently equalised on the brink of half-time. The visitors were awarded a penalty after Richie Humphreys burst into the box and was brought down. It was Eoin Doyle who stepped up against Slocombe and confidently put it to the Iron keepers right. Slocombe came close to getting a hand to it, but Doyle’s shot was well placed and gave the keeper little chance of saving it. With two minutes of injury time being awarded, that was to be the last significant moment of the half, as the sides went in to the break at 1-1.
Chesterfield started the second half as well as they finished the first, with a succession three corners in the first two minutes putting the Iron defence under pressure. Moments later, Chesterfield had a glorious chances to put themselves in front. Eoin Doyle broke clear of the Iron defence, leaving himself one on one with Slocombe, however Mirfin did fantastically well to get back and put the Chesterfield front man off, whose shot went out for a throwing.
Winnall looked to have a glorious chance to put the Iron back in the lead shortly after. Terry Hawkridge put a fantastic cross into the box and found Winnall in acres of space. Winnall’s header went over the bar from close range, but he was adjudged to have been off-side.
Chesterfield themselves thought they had put the ball in the net and put themselves back in front soon after. Roberts made a good run into the box before testing Slocombe with a good strike at goal. Slocombe saved well but could on push it into the path of Doyle who thought he had scored, but he was given off-side, leaving the score at 1-1.
Just after the hour mark, both sides made changes in an attempt to swing the game their way, with neither team taking control of the second half. McSheffrey, who replaced Hawkridge of the right side of midfield, made a good impact on the Iron’s attacking threat. He put in a dangerous cross inviting a Scunthorpe player to get a head on it, however the ball missed everyone altogether and went out for a goal kick.
Jimmy Ryan came close to putting Chesterfield in front. The former Iron midfielder looked to put his new side in front. The ball fell to him 35 yards out and he hit a venomous shot which did worry Slocombe for a minute, however the ball did sail high and wide of the goal.
The introduction of Sparrow on 75 minutes certainly improved Scunthorpe’s link up play following a spell of Chesterfield pressure. A Chesterfield set piece later and it was the Iron who were counter attacking. Madden played an accurate through ball to the on running Gary McSheffrey. McSheffrey continued into the box before being tackled by Humphreys. The Iron fans claims for a penalty were ignored by referee Lee Mason.
As the game was coming to an end, Chesterfield mounted the pressure onto Scunthorpe to try and find a winner. A good tackle from Mirfin lead to a Chesterfield corner. Ryan’s first cross was cleared back out to him, his second ball was a lot more threatening, with Cooper rising well but heading wide, which would have given the visitors all three points. With that late pressure, Scunthorpe held on to the point which see’s Chesterfield stay top and the Iron stay second and only three points behind the league leaders.
Scunthorpe United: Slocombe, Ribeiro, Mirfin, Canavan, Nolan, Hawkridge (McSheffrey, 61), Syers (Sparrow, 75), McAllister, Williams, Madden, Winnall.
Substitutes not used: Severn, Adelakun, Collins, Boyce, Hayes.
Chesterfield: Lee, Darikwa, Evatt, Cooper, Humphreys, Ryan, Morsy, Gardner (Talbot, 61), Banks (Richards, 65), Roberts, Doyle (Gnanduillet, 65).
Substitutes not used: Dunbavin, Hird, O’Shea, Smith.
Referee: Lee Mason.
Attendance: 6.131 (2,125 away).