Scunthorpe stretched their unbeaten run to ten games after AFC Wimbledon managed to hold the home side to a draw on Saturday afternoon.
The Iron dominated the game, but were unable to break the deadlock, as the match ended in a 0-0 stalemate.
Russ Wilcox fielded an unchanged team for this fixture following the 2-0 victory over Mansfield last week.
Scunthorpe’s attacking intent was clear within the first five minutes of the game, with Ross Worner almost fumbling a Hawkridge cross straight into the path of top scorer Sam Winnall. This was soon followed by an incisive counter attack from the home side as Syers almost found Winnall with a clever reverse through ball.
The away side showed their threat from corners in their first two set pieces. Canavan managed to clear his lines with the first, but the second was met by Wyke, whose effort narrowly missed the target, hitting the side netting in the process.
Hayes and Winnall continued to combine well in this fixture, with the former providing Winnall with a couple of chances early in the first half. However, the striker was forced out-wide and both efforts were saved comfortably by the opposition shot-stopper.
Despite the evident danger from set pieces, Scunthorpe coped well at the back in the first 45. A brave block from Canavan denied Wyke from testing Sam Slocombe. Soon after, the Iron goalkeeper and Nolan combined with some body-on-the-line defending to prevent Pell from breaking the deadlock. This was becoming a trend, with Slocombe just managing to prevent Bennett’s flick-on from finding the bottom corner.
On the half-an-hour mark Winnall missed a golden opportunity for Scunthorpe to take the lead after being finding space in the penalty area. Williams played him through but the 22 year-old’s attempt to find the bottom corner was denied by the diving Sam Worner.
Ribeiro was able to find the byline on a couple of occasions, drilling some dangerous crosses into the six yard box, although the Iron were unable to convert any of these whipped-in deliveries. Meanwhile,
Slocombe coped well with a mis-hit volley from Pell, with the ball almost dipping under the bar, much to everyone’s surprise. This was the last real action of the first half as the first 45 ended as a stalemate.
The second half started in a similar fashion to the first, with Nolan’s cross-shot almost catching Worner off guard, but the keeper just managed to acrobatically tip the ball over the bar. Then it was Scunthorpe’s turn to whip in a dangerous free-kick with Hawkridge the provider. His dead-ball delivery was half-met by Mirfin, but the defender was unable to get a clean connection on his effort and the ball drifted harmlessly wide.
The claret and blue continued to remain calm on the ball, but were unable to create a clear goal-scoring opportunity at the start of the second half. Syers managed to find some space on the edge of the area, but the midfielder was only able to blaze his effort over the bar.
Just short of the hour mark, some great football down the right flank found Hayes with a golden opportunity in front of goal. Ribeiro was able to cut the ball back to the striker, making his home debut, who swivelled and unfortunately found the home fans behind the goal with his effort.
The second half was beginning to look all Scunthorpe, with Syers creating and finding various opportunities. The midfielder almost found the top corner with a vicious curling shot, and also found Winnall on the edge of the six-yard box, but the striker’s clever flick was not enough to beat Worner.
Russ Wilcox felt he needed a reshuffle upfront after 65 minutes, replacing Winnall and Hayes for Deon Burton and home debutant Paddy Madden. Not bad substitutes to have in your locker – a Republic of Ireland international and the current League Two Player of the Month.
AFC Wimbledon’s first chance in the second half came from a free kick. The ball was whipped in from distance and resulted in an old-fashioned scramble in the six yard box, although Canavan was eventually able
to clear his lines - much to the relief of Sam Slocombe and the home fans.
Wimbledon came more into it as the game progressed, meaning chances were limited for Iron. One of their best opportunities stemmed from a goalkeeping error, as Worner almost dropped a cross right at the feet of Madden and Syers – although the shotstopper was able to retrieve the ball before the two could nip in.
Scunthorpe pushed on in the final ten minutes but could not break the deadlock. After clever hold-up play by Madden, a one-two between Hawkridge and Syers almost put the winger through on goal, only to be denied by a last-ditch tackle from Fuller.
Three minutes injury time was unfortunately not enough time to break the deadlock as the game ended 0-0. This increased Scunthorpe’s unbeaten run to ten games as they push for promotion and remain top of the league due to results going the home side’s way this weekend.
Scunthorpe United: Slocombe ©, Ribeiro, McAllister (Collins 79), Mirfin, Canavan, Hawkridge, Nolan, Syers, Winnall (Burton 65), Williams, Hayes (Madden 65).
Substitutes not used: Severn, Waterfall, Collins, Adelakun.
AFC Wimbledon: Worner, Fuller, Kennedy, Frampton, Bennett ©, Francomb (Morris 10), Moore, Midson, Pell, Antwi, Wyke (Saint-Luce 65).
Substitutes not used: Brown, L Moore, Sheringham, Arthur.