The Iron drew 1-1 at home to Wigan Athletic on Saturday, in their first game of 2016.Manager Mark Robins made three changes from the home draw with Rochdale, with Jordan Clarke replacing Scott Wiseman at right-back, Jamie Ness coming in for Jack King, and Dutchman Kevin van Veen taking the place of Tommy Rowe, who returned to Wolves after his loan spell expired.
Luke Daniels started in goal, with a back four of Clarke, David Mirfin, Niall Canavan and Scott Laird in front of him. There was a diamond in the midfield. At the base of it was Neal Bishop, with Stephen Dawson and Jamie Ness just ahead of him. Luke Williams played at the point of the diamond, and just behind Paddy Madden and van Veen.
Robins' side made a bright start to proceedings, and in particular did frontman van Veen. The Iron striker went close on two occasions in the opening ten minutes. Firstly with a curling left footed effort from the right hand side of the box, and then with a looping header, which rose over Wigan 'keeper Jussi Jaaskelainen's crossbar, after Madden had delivered from the right.
The visitors soon threatened though, when Yanic Wildschut drove at the Iron back four and hit a low shot, which Daniels did well to hold on to, as several Latics players closed in.
However, United's early pressing was rewarded twenty minutes in. Van Veen did well on the edge of the penalty area, before feeding the ball out to Laird. The full-back then delivered the ball on a plate for Williams, who couldn't miss as he tapped home at the back post.
After the goal, United continued to press. Laird nearly assisted again, when he picked out Madden with a pinpoint cross-field pass. But the Irishman could only volley into the hands of Jaaskelainen from a tight angle.
Despite the pressure from Robins' men, they couldn't find a second, and the visitors got themselves level ten minutes before the break. Michael Jacobs controlled the ball well, and found the corner of the net, with an effort from twenty yards out.
United responded well to being pegged back, and ended the half how they began it, with van Veen trying his luck. The striker did manage to work Jaaskelainen this time though, with a left-footed strike from just inside the penalty area. The Finnish 'keeper did well to deny the Dutchman, as he pushed the shot away for a corner.
Van Veen's effort was the last action of the first period, and the two sides went in level at the break.
Ten minutes into the second period, United nearly edged in front again. Williams whipped in a superb ball from a corner, which was flicked goalwards by Canavan. The defender felt his header was stopped by a hand, but his appeal was waved away by referee Christopher Sarginson.
Jacobs nearly turned provider for the visitors, twenty minutes into the second half, when he played the ball across the face of goal. But Laird did well to intervene and put Andy Kellett off, as he tried to make contact.
The Latics grew more and more into the game as the second half wore on, and they almost completed the turnaround when substitute Jordi Hiwula flicked a corner towards goal. The attacker was denied though, by some brilliant last ditch defending from Clarke.
Kyle Wootton was introduced in the second half, in place of van Veen, and he went close with a header, shortly after entering the field of play with a header. But the striker was to be disappointed, as the effort was defended well by the visitors.
The game became more and more stretched as full-time edged ever closer. Firstly, Wigan were inches away from snatching the lead, but were prevented by a goal-line clearance from Mirfin. Then Wootton was denied once more, this time by Jaaskelainen, who kept out the striker's shot, after some fabulous individual play.
United pushed hard late on, but ultimately they had to settle for a point. Neal Bishop went close to snatching the three points at the death, but his header flew fractionally over the crossbar. It's Chelsea in the FA Cup third round next for Mark Robins' men.
Scunthorpe United: Daniels, Clarke, Mirfin, Canavan, Laird, Bishop, Ness, Dawson, Williams, Madden, van Veen (Wootton 77).
Substitutes not used: Anyon, Wiseman, Henderson, Adelakun, King, Goode.
Wigan Athletic: Jaaskelainen, Daniels, Kellett (Hiwula 72), Perkins, McCann, Wildschut, Morgan, Pearce, Jacobs, Grigg, Power
Substitutes not used: Nicholls, Barnett, Love, James, Cowie, Davies
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