The Iron drew 1-1 with Bradford City on Tuesday night at Glanford Park.A first half goal from Gary McSheffrey saw United take the lead, but they were pegged back with a finish from Billy Clarke just after the hour mark and forced to share the spoils.
Manager Mark Robins made one change from the side that drew 2-2 at Colchester United on Saturday afternoon, with Hakeeb Adelakun’s reward for his last minute equaliser against the U’s being a place in the starting line-up in place of John Lundstram.
It was a scrappy start but the Bantams were the first side to create a chance of note. With just under ten minutes gone, Gary Liddle found Jon Stead out wide and he cut inside and fired a low shot towards goal, but it was comfortably held by Iron keeper Luke Daniels.
The next action of the game came when Andrew Davies whipped in a cross and Daniels had to come out and punch towards Christopher Routis, but the Bradford defender hit his volley well over the bar.
Matters weren’t helped when the Iron were forced into an nearly change after seventeen minutes, when Isaiah Osbourne was forced off and replaced by Everton loanee John Lundstram.
However, after the opening twenty minutes, United began to work their way into the game. Their best opportunity at that point came when Hakeeb Adelakun chipped in a free-kick onto the head of Neal Bishop and he headed towards Theo Robinson, who controlled the ball but couldn’t get the shot away and it was cleared.
Scunthorpe’s pressure paid off on 26 minutes when McSheffrey gave them the lead. Hakeeb Adelakun went past left-back James Meredith and made his way to the byline before cutting the ball back to the former Coventry and Birmingham man, who made no mistake in sidefooting the ball past Williams and into the back of the net.
The side were beginning to get on top of proceedings and a terrific move saw them almost double their lead with just under ten minutes to go until the break. Neal Bishop stormed through the defence and unleashed a terrific shot that cannoned off the bar and out of play.
Paddy Madden was the next to come close two minutes later, when his volley from just inside the box had to be deflected behind by Bradford for a corner.
The second half began with United again looking to build on their lead and with just over five minutes gone since the restart, they came close yet again. A terrific move saw Williams play the ball out wide to McSheffrey, who squared into the box before a last ditch tackle from the Bradford defender stopped Theo Robinson from getting on the end of it.
The resulting corner from Adelakun found Andrew Boyce at the far post, who cushioned the ball towards Lundstram, but he fired over the bar under pressure.
However, the missed chances came back to bite United minutes later, when City equalised against the run of play on 63 minutes. The goal came when Billy Knott whipped the ball into the box and striker Billy Clarke swept the ball past a helpless Daniels on the volley to level things at Glanford Park.
United immediately put the Bantams under pressure once again after this in a bid to regain the lead, with Paddy Madden doing fantastically to bring down a high ball from Clarke before turning and firing at Williams, who had to be on his toes to save.
With just over ten minutes to go, Bradford made a double change that saw Andy Halliday and Matthew Dolan enter the game in place of Billy Knott and Jon Stead. This seemed to spring the Bantams into life a little, with Halliday in particular causing problems with his pace.
He was brought down with four minutes to go and the resulting free-kick was taken by Tony McMahon, whose effort was narrowly wide of the post from around 25 yards out.
Paddy Madden then came close in the final few seconds of normal time, when an angled ball from John Lundstram found him and he chested the ball down before firing a low shot straight at Williams.
Three minutes of time were signalled and with that came a fantastic chance for Bradford to snatch all three points, when the lively Halliday put McMahon through on goal. However, he will have had his head in his hands after scooping the ball over the bar with only Daniels to beat.
That was the last chance of the game and with United now six points off the bottom four, they look to their final home game of the season against Gillingham on Saturday in order to try and mathematically secure safety.
Scunthorpe United: Daniels, Clarke, Boyce, Canavan, Williams, Bishop, Osbourne (Lundstram, 17) Adelakun, McSheffrey (Syers, 86), Madden, Robinson (van Veen, 70)
Substitutes not used: Anyon, Llera, Townsend, Wootton.
Bradford City: Williams, Darby, Meredith, Davies, Liddle, Hanson, Clarke, Knott (Halliday, 77), Stead (Dolan, 77), Routis, McMahon
Substitutes not used: Zoko, MacKenzie, Urwin, Motley-Henry, Webb-Foster.
Attendance: 3,176 (467 away).