The Iron came from behind twice to peg back Fleetwood Town, with goals from Gary McSheffrey and George Evans forcing a 2-2 draw.There were no changes made by manager Mark Robins to either the starting XI or the bench after Saturday’s game with Yeovil, with another start for recent defensive acquisition Conor Townsend, who penned a one-month loan deal with the Iron prior to the game with the Glovers.
The game kicked-off with United donning their Irish Iron green kit, with the hosts in their usual red and white attire, as Scunthorpe began shooting away from their travelling supporters towards the Memorial Stand.
Unfortunately for the visitors, Fleetwood took the lead inside three minutes. The home side were awarded a free-kick on the right hand side of the field, with Nick Haughton standing over the ball. He delivered a pinpoint cross, with Jamie Proctor jumping highest to arrow his header past Daniels, and in to the back of the net.
A bitter blow, but the Iron knew they needed to hit straight back as McSheffrey tapped a quick free-kick in to the path of Clarke, whose floated cross was met by the head of the marauding Canavan, but Maxwell was alert to save comfortably.
The Cod Army instantly responded, with Proctor again in the thick of the action however this time as the architect. The ball broke to the Fleetwood front man kindly leaving three-on-two situation in favour of the attacking side, however as Proctor squared across goal for the oncoming Gareth Evans, his low effort was superbly stopped by the outstretched arm of Daniels.
A frantic opening six minutes left United a goal down, but two efforts from McSheffrey almost saw the Iron nick an equaliser. Firstly the winger tried his luck with a speculative 25-yard strike after being laid off by Townsend, forcing Maxwell into an unwanted save. His second chance however was a lot more clear cut, after smart play from O’Neil ended in a smart through ball in to the path of the advancing McSheffrey before shooting low in a one-on-one position, but Maxwell again produced a superb save to preserve their lead.
The resulting corner did pose a threat to the home side's leading position in the game, but Davey couldn’t get his header on target.
Another Scunthorpe corner shortly after also found an unmarked player in green, with Evans slicing over this time from the edge of the area.
Madden was the next player to try their luck after a neat passing move saw the ball played over the top towards Hopper, who controlled smoothly before shimmying this way and then dropping the ball to Madden, but the Irishman’s bent effort swerved high and wide of the goal.
With six minutes to go before half time Adam Chicksen became the first player to receive a yellow card from today’s man in the middle Nigel Miller after a late tackle on Clarke. The resulting set piece was again a troubling one, but Davey nodded just over.
As the Iron pushed and pushed for a leveller before the referee blew for half time, they got their reward in fine fashion.
McSheffrey picked up the ball wide on the left before cutting inside of the opposing defender. He darted along the outskirts of the penalty area before taking aim with a fierce shot while still on the run, with the effort piercing the Fleetwood net and past the flailing Maxwell, making it 1-1 on a cold and windy night on the West coast.
Two minutes of added time flew by before the whistle went for the interval, with McSheffrey producing a very timely and important goal.
Scunthorpe got the second half underway with the wind behind them proving a good advantage, with McSheffrey testing that theory within two minutes of the restart, shooting from a good 40-yards out in an attempt to catch Maxwell off his line.
Fleetwood had a very strong opportunity to regain the league they had recently lost just moments later, as Osbourne lost the ball in the midfield with Proctor bearing down on goal. He let loose with a low strike which took a nick off Canavan on the way through, but Osbourne produced a superb blocked clearance to make amends for losing possession.
The eccentric Proctor once again popped up with a shot aiming to unsettle Iron ‘keeper Daniels, but the curling effort proved not much of an issue for him.
Conor McLaughlin joined fellow full-back Chicksen in to the book after a scything tackle on the sprinting Townsend earned the defender a yellow, but with McSheffrey’s resulting free-kick cleared, as a result Scunthorpe forced an attacking assault down the left wing through Hopper. The Leicester City loanee found space to smash across goal with the ball travelling at an alarming pace, but Maxwell managed to punch clear with Madden lurking in a dangerous position.
United’s goal scorer McSheffrey took it on himself to attempt double his tally for the night with another head-down and driven run from deep, but after making a little room for himself to shoot, he slammed his strike in the side-netting.
As mentioned earlier the added bonus of wind in our favour in this half could prove helpful, and it almost help produce a goal of the season contender when Madden, a good few yards from the edge of the box unleashed a spectacular volley that flew past the helpless Maxwell, but inches wide of the top corner.
Fleetwood made a change to their front line with Liam McAlinden replacing ex-Man City academy player David Ball, but it wasn’t a striker who produced a bit of magic to restore the home sides’ lead. A fabulous piece of personal play from midfielder Josh Morris ended in a rasping strike that flew in to the top corner.
A disappointing moment, but the Iron had the perfect recipe cooked up to recover from conceding, scoring an equaliser. Osbourne battled hard to win the ball back for Scunthorpe before laying it into the path of midfield partner George Evans. He allowed the ball to run across his body before unleashing a shot from 12 yards out which fizzed past the fingertips of Maxwell and in to the bottom left hand corner, 2-2, game on.
Both teams made alterations to their sides, with Nick Haughton making way for experienced forward Stephen Dobbie while Gareth Evans swapped places with Stephen Schumacher, while Dutchman Kevin van Veen came on for Tom Hopper for the Iron.
The boys in green kept up the pressure; with Madden heading in to the side-netting while Davey sent a half-volley clear of the crossbar prior to the substitutions.
The game entered the 80th minute mark with the two teams continuing to at it hammer and tongs. Proctor again saw his low shot handled with ease by Daniels, while at the other end a fall in the box by McSheffrey was waved away by referee Miller.
With the minutes ticking by, a breath-taking miss by McAlinden shot down a golden chance to arguably win the game. The substitute was found just two yards out from goal after the ball kindly deflected in to his path, but after managing to control it, he slipped back and weakly toe poked towards goal with Daniels alert to make an impressive reaction stop.
Scunthorpe replaced O’Neil with central midfielder Sean McAllister just before the beginning of the four minutes of stoppage time, with just seconds prior, McSheffrey shook off a challenge from just inside the corner of the box before letting fly, however it proved too powerful and was always rising over.
Late pressure from the hosts caused a few minor problems for the Iron as they battled through the remaining minutes to the full time whistle, with a 2-2 earning Scunthorpe a well-deserved point on a blustery evening by the seaside.
Fleetwood Town: Maxwell, McLaughlin, Murdoch, Roberts, Evans (Schumacher, 80), Morris, Chicksen, Proctor, Ball (McAlinden, 70), Jordan, Haughton (Dobbie, 78).
Substitutes not used: Springthorpe, Pond, Forbes, Hunter.
Scunthorpe United: Daniels, Clarke, Davey, Canavan, Townsend, O'Neil (McAllister, 89), Evans, Osbourne, McSheffrey, Hopper (van Veen, 78), Madden.
Substitutes not used: Anyon, Llera, Boyce, Adelakun, Wootton.
Attendance: 2,667 (163 away).