The curtain was raised on the 2018/19 campaign as the Iron started with a bang, winning 2-1 against Coventry City on the opening day of the season at the Ricoh Arena on Saturday.
Two debut goals from new signings Stephen Humphrys and Andy Dales ensured that United won their opening game, getting a vital three points on the board early on in the season.
Nick Daws handed competitive debuts to Cameron Borthwick-Jackson, James Horsfield, Humphrys, Dales, James Perch and Olufela Olomola whilst fellow new signing Matthew Lund was brought off the bench in the second half.
The home team got the ball rolling in 2018/19 and had the first attempt on goal in the opening exchanges when Michael Doyle picked it up and drove inside from the right. He unleashed a shot from outside the area but dragged it wide, failing to trouble Rory Watson in the United goal.
Coventry were again on the front foot moments later when a ball was threaded through on the left-hand side of the box but brilliant covering defending from Cameron Burgess stopped a shot heading goal-bound with a fine sliding tackle to win the ball.
The Iron soon got into the game and had their first effort of the day after 13 minutes through Lee Novak. Borthwick-Jackson robbed the Sky Blues of the ball and crossed into the area for the striker, who rose the highest in the area and connected well with his head, but the ball dropped just wide of the target.
It was a high tempo start to the 2018/19 campaign as both teams looked to attack. Burgess did well again to block a shot on goal when Jordy Hiwula was slid through on the Coventry right before the hosts won a free-kick. However, the Iron held firm once again to clear the danger.
City almost took the lead after 27 minutes when Tony Andreu found the run of Hiwula in the box, who fired his shot into the side netting. Moments later, United had a chance of their own when a corner was sent in towards the head of Novak. The ball cannoned back off the post before it hit Liam O’Brien and bounced behind for another corner.
The following attack saw the Iron hit the woodwork again through Burgess when a cross from Jordan Clarke on the right was floated towards Charlie Goode, but his initial shot was blocked. Burgess was there on the rebound but headed against the crossbar and Humphrys was tackled fairly as he looked to find space for a shot in the area.
A fine piece of goalkeeping from Watson in the 39th minute denied the hosts a goal when he dived to his left to keep out Andreu from distance as he turned the ball onto the post and behind for a corner. Coventry searched for an opening again when the following corner fell kindly to Max Biamou on the edge of the area, but his speculative overhead kick came to nothing.
Scunthorpe then called O’Brien into his first proper save of the match when Dales fired the ball towards goal, but the keeper did well to hold onto the ball.
Despite a whole host of chances in the first half, neither side could break the deadlock going into half-time.
As the Iron kicked off for the start of the second half, they looked bright and forced O’Brien into a flying save after 49 minutes. James Perch controlled the ball superbly on the edge of the box following a cross from Humphrys before volleying the ball sweetly, but O’Brien tipped it over the bar.
However, despite United starting well after the restart, it was Coventry who took the lead on the 52nd minute. Andreu curled the ball into the back of the net from a free-kick 25-yards out to put the hosts ahead.
The Sky Blues continued to look for another goal. They struck the post after 56 minutes when a corner found its way to Tom Bayliss, who hit the upright before the rebound was put wide of the target.
61 minutes in and the upright was shaking again when Abu Ogogo volleyed the ball from the edge of the area after Scunthorpe did well to clear the initial danger from the cross.
After 68 minutes, the Iron deservedly pulled level courtesy of new signing Humphrys. Substitute Lund won the ball back for United brilliantly before fellow substitute Duane Holmes fathomed a perfect weighted ball into the path of Humphrys. The striker drove into the box before lifting the ball over the keeper and into the net.
United turned the game on its head as they ramped up the heat in the second half and took the lead in the 81st minute through another debutant in the form of Dales. Funso Ojo pinged the ball to Humphrys, who won the header for Holmes to shield before Dales slammed the ball into the back of the net to put his team 2-1 up in the last ten minutes.
As the game headed into stoppage time, Coventry searched for an equalizer. However, two brilliant saves from Watson in quick succession denied the home team. Firstly, another Andreu free-kick was angled towards the corner of the goal, but he got across quickly to his right to parry the ball away. Then, a fine reaction stop kept the hosts out as Hiwula looked set to level the game and share the spoils.
However, the Iron did enough and held out to win 2-1 on the opening day after a stunning comeback from being a goal down early on in the second half. Scunthorpe play host to Walsall next Saturday at Glanford Park.
Coventry City: O’Brien, Mason, Willis (Thompson, 76), Doyle, Biamou (Clarke-Harris, 76), Hiwula, Hyam, Ogogo, Sterling, Bayliss (Shipley, 76), Andreu.
Substitutes not used: Addai, Grimmer, Brown, Ponticelli.
Scunthorpe United: Watson, Clarke (Lund, 65), Borthwick-Jackson, Horsfield (Ojo, 55), Humphrys, Dales, Perch, Novak, Goode, Burgess, Olomola (Holmes, 58).
Substitutes not used: Flatt, Thomas, Wootton, Butroid.
Attendance: 12,964 (772 away).
Referee: Mr. Antony Coggins.