The first round of the Carabao Cup got underway on Tuesday as the iron hosted local rivals Doncaster Rovers, but they were defeated 2-1 at Glanford Park.
Mallik Wilks and Danny Andrew scored the goals that saw the visitors progress to the next round of the competition. Stephen Humphrys pulled one back for United in added time after John Marquis saw his penalty kick saved brilliantly by Rory Watson in the Scunthorpe goal.
Nick Daws made three changes to the side that started in the 1-1 draw against Walsall on Saturday. Club captain Rory McArdle came back into the starting eleven in place of Cameron Burgess, whilst Ryan Colclough and Josh Morris replaced Humphrys and Andy Dales.
It was United that got the game started but it was the away side who had the first clear cut opportunity of the game inside ten minutes. A throughball played through to Wilks found the striker bearing down one-on-one with Rory Watson, but he fired his shot over the bar.
The Iron then looked to grab a foothold in the game and created a chance of their own after 12 minutes. Josh Morris and Ryan Colclough linked up brilliantly, playing a one-two before Morris unleashed a shot towards the bottom left corner that forced Marko Marosi into the first save of the day.
Doncaster then came close to taking the lead in the 29thminute when James Coppinger found space down the right flank and cut the ball back to Herbie Kane. The midfielder tried to curl the ball into the far post, but his effort dropped just wide of the target.
35 minutes in, and Colclough did well to jink his way into the area on the left before the ball was kicked away for a corner. The resulting set-piece was cleared to Matthew Lund, who drilled a shot on goal that hit McArdle but the Doncaster defence managed to clear the danger.
However, it was Rovers that took the lead a minute later courtesy of Wilks. Marquis gained possession of the ball before feeding it to his fellow strike partner, who fired the ball into the bottom corner to put the away side ahead.
The visitors looked to add to their tally before half-time and thought they had doubled their advantage when they had the ball in the back of the net after 43 minutes.
Andrew whipped a free-kick into the box with Marquis heading the ball home. However, the referee ruled it out when a foul was committed on McArdle.
Following the restart, it was the iron who got off on the front foot and looked dangerous when Lund had a volleyed effort blocked on its way through to goal.
As Scunthorpe looked for a way to get back into the game, it left space for Doncaster to counter.
In the 55th minute, the away side then added a second via the left-back Andrew. Niall Mason crossed from the right and found Andrew coming in on the run at the back post, who looped the ball past Watson in the United goal.
The Iron searched for a goal, but Morris could only fire his free-kick over the crossbar after 65 minutes before Wilks dragged his shot wide of the goal for the visitors moments later.
After 75 minutes, substitute Alfie May found space in the area, but Watson did well to close the angle and his shot flew over the top of the goal. Shortly after, Marquis had another effort, but the ball rolled just past the post.
Inside the last ten minutes, Doncaster were awarded a penalty when Charlie Goode was adjudged to have fouled Marquis on 87 minutes. The striker got up and took the spot kick, but Watson did brilliantly to get across and dive to his right to prevent the goal.
In added time, United were able to pull a goal back through substitute Humphrys. The striker picked up the ball on the edge of the area before unleashing a curling shot that found the back of the net from long range.
However, Doncaster held on to secure the win in the first round of Carabao Cup despite a spirited Scunthorpe effort to draw level. The Iron are back in league action this weekend, travelling to Sunderland on Sunday.
Scunthorpe United: Watson, Clarke, Borthwick-Jackson (Butroid, 81), Lund, Morris (Horsfield, 77), Perch, Novak (Humphrys, 60), Thomas, Goode, McArdle, Colclough.
Substitutes not used: Flatt, Dales, Burgess, Olomola.
Doncaster Rovers: Marosi, Mason, Andrew, Wright, Butler, Wilks (May, 73), Whiteman (McCullough, 80), Marquis, Kane, Blair, Coppinger (Taylor, 73).
Substitutes not used: Lawlor, Anderson, Beestin, Amos.
Referee: Geoff Eltringham.