Paddy Madden and Matt Crooks were the heroes on Tuesday night, as both helped the Iron overturn Rochdale’s first-half lead courtesy of Ian Henderson, to secure a first win in nine League One games.
Graham Alexander decided against any changes to the side that fell to a 3-2 defeat to Gillingham on Saturday.
It was Rochdale who should have been ahead early on, but for the heroics of Luke Daniels. Dale had countered down the left before Calvin Andrew flicked a header into the path of Nathaniel Mendez-Laing, who hit it first time, but Daniels parried it away before Andrew blazed over.
United then had opportunities to put the ball into a dangerous area from set-pieces but, despite their best efforts, Rochdale's defence were equal to it.
After 18 minutes, the visitors carved out another chance for the opener, but this time Oliver Rathbone’s low effort hit the post and bounced away for a corner, which the Iron dealt with well.
Hakeeb Adelakun made way for the injured Kevin van Veen 15 minutes before the break and, within a minute, was close to putting his side ahead. Matt Crooks had darted down the left before laying off for Paddy Madden, but his effort was blocked before Adelakun mis-cued the rebound.
Rochdale took the lead four minutes before the break when a deep cross was headed home by Ian Henderson.
The Iron found their leveller on 55 minutes thanks to Madden. The ball had found its way out to Jordan Clarke on the right, and his cross was met superbly by the Irishman.
The goalscorer for United then nearly turned into the creator, but his intelligent cut-back after he got the better of the Dale defence was somehow cleared before Ivan Toney could prod home.
Rochdale had thought they’d scored with 10 to go, but thankfully for the Iron the linesman had his flag up for offside.
Just as the game looked to be heading for a point apiece, up stepped Crooks to become the hero of the night, and to cap off a tremendous performance too.
The ball had been lofted forward, and Toney got the knock down before Crooks hammered it home first time.
The away side had one last chance to propel the ball into Iron territory, but the home side held and secured a much-needed win.
Scunthorpe United: Daniels, Wallace, Mirfin, Dawson, Madden (Goode, 90), van Veen (Adelakun, 30), Hopper (Toney, 62), Toffolo, Ness, Crooks, Clarke.
Substitutes not used: Anyon, Holmes, Wiseman, Davies.
Rochdale: Wilson, Rafferty (Vincenti, 73), McNulty, Canavan, McGahey, Andrew, Camps, Mendez-Laing, Rathbone (Cannon, 62), Allen, Henderson (C).
Substitutes not used: Logan, Owusu, Morley, Kitching, Gillam.