The Iron were once more frustrated on their travels, as they fell to a 2-1 defeat at the hands of Southend United at Roots Hall on Saturday afternoon.Gary McSheffrey put United ahead early on, with a fabulous strike from the edge of the area. But two goals either side of half-time won it for the hosts, despite the visitors creating a number of chances throughout the game.
There was one change from last week's game at Rochdale, as new loan signing Joe Lolley came in for Dutchman Kevin van Veen.
Luke Daniels continued in between the sticks, with Scott Laird, Jack King, Murray Wallace and Jordan Clarke all keeping their places in the back four. Neal Bishop and Jamie Ness played once more as a midfield two.
Elsewhere, McSheffrey remained on the left of an advanced midfield trio, and debutant Lolley took his place on the right, with Tom Hopper dropping into the hole behind Paddy Madden.
United got off to the perfect start, thanks to a thunderbolt from McSheffrey inside of eight minutes. The ball fell to the midfielder on the edge of the penalty area and he lashed home into the bottom corner from 25 yards out.
The former Coventry man almost doubled the visitors' lead moments later. However, despite picking the ball up just off the right flank, his strike flew just over Shrimpers 'keeper Dan Bentley's crossbar.
It was a bright start from the Iron, with first Lolley seeing his effort deflected wide and then from the resulting corner, King saw a downward header saved from close range by Bentley.
Phil Brown's side took twenty minutes to get into the game. Winger David Worrall had their first effort, but it was comfortable work for Daniels, who held onto the tame strike with relative ease.
The hosts finished the half the stronger, and got back level on 37 minutes. Full-back Ben Coker showed some neat footwork on the left flank to jink in between two Iron defenders and then had a cool enough head to pull the ball back to former Scunthorpe loanee Michael Timlin, who placed the ball past Daniels and into the far corner.
Despite the setback, Mark Robins' men instantly went looking to re-take the lead, and shortly after they almost did. Southend 'keeper Bentley fumbled a McSheffrey corner, which fell to King, but the United stand-in captain could only slice high and wide.
On the stroke of half time, Madden almost restored the advantage with a sweetly struck volley from just inside the penalty area. The Irishman was presented with the chance after some poor defending from the home side. But despite beating Shrimpers stopper Bentley, the ball rattled the inside of the post and bounced clear.
That would be the last action of a fiercely contested opening period, and one where United dominated the opening stages - only to be pegged back by Timlin's strike.
Unlike the first half, the home side started on the front foot. David Mooney it was who had the first effort of the second period, but despite getting his shot on target, it was a straight-forward stop for Daniels.
Moments after coming on, van Veen tested Bentley in the Southend goal, but the stopper showed good reactions to palm the ball away. Ness then followed up, but the Scot failed to generate enough power to worry Bentley.
Southend goalscorer Timlin almost replicated what he did in the opening period, 25 minutes into the second. However, this time Daniels got down smartly to save his well struck effort from the edge of the box.
As the game entered its final quarter, things became more stretched. As moments after Daniels had repelled Timlin's effort, van Veen tested Bentley with a curling strike from 20 yards out.
It was Brown's side who got their noses in front in the 75th minute. The ball broke to full-back Coker, who drove on into the box and hit a shot which was too quick for Daniels to prevent hitting the back of the net.
Substitute Hakeeb Adelakun nearly drew the Iron level in the 83rd minute after being slipped in by Laird.
However, despite chipping Bentley in the Southend goal, his effort was dramatically cleared off the line.
As United pushed for an equaliser, they were almost caught out on the break as Mooney broke the offside trap. But Daniels kept his side in it with a fine reaction stop from close range.
Madden went close in injury time as he poked an effort towards goal, but this would be the final act of a disappointing afternoon for Robins' side.
Southend United: Bentley, Coker, Prosser, Worrall (Weston 86), Timlin, Mooney (Rea 90), Bolger, Leonard, Deegan, Pigott (Hunt 58), O'Neill.
Substitutes not used: Smith, Wordsworth, Payne, Atkinson.
Scunthorpe United: Daniels, Laird, King, Wallace, Clarke, Ness, Bishop, McSheffrey (Adelakun 81), Hopper (Wootton 76), Lolley (van Veen 54), Madden.
Substitutes not used: Anyon, Wiseman, McAllister, Goode.
Attendance: 5,708 (231 away).
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