United suffered a 2-1 defeat at the hands of Rochdale at Spotland on Saturday afternoon.The Iron went into the game unchanged from last weekend's victory over Coventry City.
Luke Daniels was the man between the sticks, while Scott Laird, Murray Wallace, Jack King and Jordan Clarke made up a four man defence. Neal Bishop and Jamie Ness resumed their midfield partnership and Gary McSheffrey, Kevin van Veen and Paddy Madden provided the support to Tom Hopper up front.
Mark Robins' side nearly got off to the perfect start inside the first minute, after Laird's high ball found its way through to Hopper. However, despite being one on one with former United 'keeper Josh Lillis, his shot was tame and comfortably saved.
It was a bright opening ten minutes from the visitors' point of view, as despite wayward efforts from Ness and van Veen, they were exerting their authority on the game.
12 minutes in, Madden almost put the Iron ahead with a back-post diving header. McSheffrey delivered a dangerous low ball across the six-yard box, which the Irishman met cleanly, but his effort flew just past Lillis' post.
The hosts grew more and more into the game as the half went on, but despite this, half an hour in, Daniels was still a mere spectator.
If anyone was going to break the deadlock for United, it looked like it would be van Veen. The Dutchman went close in the 40th minute, as he evaded the challenge of a Rochdale defender before striking a left-footed effort just over the crossbar.
As the half time whistle went, the hosts were still to register an effort on goal. This was an example of the dominance that the Iron had enjoyed throughout the opening period.
The visitors picked up where they left off when the second half commenced. Madden hit the bar within two minutes of the restart after van Veen had flicked the ball on with a glancing header.
United continued to apply the pressure, it was van Veen again who tested Rochdale stopper Lillis, with a low drive from the edge of the area on 54 minutes.
The hosts took the lead in the 67th minute though, as Rochdale substitute Joe Bunney flashed an effort past Daniels from 20 yards. There was little the United goalkeeper could do though, as the shot came through a crowded penalty area.
Things were levelled up ten minutes later though, as Wallace rose highest from a McSheffrey corner, to head into the net from close range. The equaliser was no more than the Iron deserved, especially having gone so close on numerous occasions.
Robins' side fell behind in the 86th minute and this time the blow was fatal. Peter Vincenti tapped home from close range, after a wicked ball was whipped across the penalty area.
That would be how it ended, as despite dominating large parts of the game, the Iron couldn't convert this into goals and left Spotland empty handed.
Rochdale: Lillis, McNulty, Lancashire, Vincenti, Lund, Noble-Lazarus (Bunney 59), McDermott (Andrew 54), Allen, Cannon (Rafferty 74), Kennedy, Henderson.
Substitutes not used: Alessandra, Diba Musangu, Rose, Camps.
Scunthorpe United: Daniels, Laird, Wallace, King, Clarke, Bishop, Ness (Syers 86), McSheffrey, van Veen (Adelakun 70), Madden, Hopper (Henderson 61).
Substitutes not used: Anyon, Wiseman, McAllister, Goode.
Attendance: 2,958 (400 away approx).
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