An epic encounter at Glanford Park on Tuesday night saw the Iron emerge victorious as 5-3 winners against last season’s fellow play-off contenders Charlton Athletic.
Stuart McCall made three changes from the team that drew 0-0 with Burton Albion at the weekend. Rory McArdle, Jordan Clarke and Stephen Humphrys all came into the side for the trio of James Perch, Matthew Lund and Ike Ugbo.
The Iron made a lightning fast start to the game and it took them only three minutes to get on the scoresheet when Charlie Goode flicked in a Ryan Colclough cross at the front post, firing the ball past Charlton goalkeeper Jed Steer, that left him with no chance.
After going behind early, Charlton looked to hit back straight away. The visitors took a quick free-kick midway in the Scunthorpe half which found Lyle Taylor on the edge of the area who lined up the shot from distance. His effort curled towards the far post, but dropped just wide of the target.
Moments later, Taylor was at it again. His shot forced Jak Alnwick into his first save of the day when he fizzed a low effort at goal. However, the goalkeeper was equal to it and got down to palm the ball away before the follow-up by Karlan Grant was put wide.
Goode could have then added to his tally when Lee Novak did well to retrieve the ball and deliver a cross towards the centre-back who rose highest, but he couldn’t quite direct his effort on target and powered his header over the top of the crossbar.
Then, on the 18th minute, Taylor did manage to grab himself a goal for Charlton to bring the away side back on level terms. A deep corner was sent in towards the back post which was headed back across goal and the striker was in the right place at the right time to convert from close range.
The game turned on its head in the 22nd minute, when Joe Aribo steered the ball into the box. His cross took a wicked deflection and wrong-footed Alnwick to put the visitors 2-1 up.
However, the goal didn’t deflate the Iron and they soon made the scoreline level again on the half-hour mark. Cameron Borthwick-Jackson brilliantly curled the ball into the top corner of the net when it was cleared only as far as the defender. He lined up and finished it off in style to score his first ever league goal.
Straight from the kick-off, Charlton were on the attack again, but Alnwick stood his ground expertly to deny the away side from taking the lead. Grant was played through in the penalty area and looked to bend his shot past the goalkeeper, but Alnwick rushed out to block the effort.
Minutes later, the Iron ran up the other end in a classic counter attack style when they robbed Charlton of possession in their own half. Stephen Humphrys picked up the ball before he nicely slipped it through to Borthwick-Jackson on the right, who charged into the box and slotted past Steer to fire United ahead once again.
That marked an end to a frantic first half, with Scunthorpe going into the half-time interval with a narrow 3-2 advantage.
As the game restarted for the second half, the Iron began where they left off from the first. Josh Morris had the ball down the right before he crossed it towards Novak. However, the Charlton defence held firm to clear, but only as far as Borthwick-Jackson. The defender lined up another shot from distance although he dragged this effort wide of the mark.
Charlton then won a corner that was cleared only to Josh Cullen on the edge of the area. He controlled it well, before he laid it off to Tariqe Fosu who drove into the box before he shot wide of the goal in their quest to get back into the game.
65 minutes in, and Charlton thought they had drawn level. Fosu raced down the left flank before he cut inside and fired in a venomous shot that struck the post and flew back out.
However, just a few minutes later, it was in fact 3-3. Aribo bagged his second of the game when a free-kick on the edge of the box was played short out wide. Fosu delivered the ball into Taylor, who turned and laid off Aribo whose side-footed finish drew the away side level for the second time.
Just as Charlton thought they had got themselves back in it, they made it a lot harder when substitute Ben Reeves gave away a penalty for handball in the 70th minute. Reeves stuck out an arm to prevent the cross from the right and referee Darren Drysdale had no hesitation when pointing to the spot. Morris stepped up, sent the ‘keeper the wrong way and made no mistake with the penalty kick to fire the Iron back ahead.
As the clock ticked into the final ten minutes of the match, Scunthorpe continued to press for another. Brilliant intricate link-up play between Colclough and Morris allowed the latter to neatly backheel it into the path of the winger. He tried his luck from a narrow angle which Steer blocked, but the ball bounced back over the top of him and on the line before it was eventually cleared away.
There were six minutes added on at the end of the game, and the Iron weren’t finished there. A Scunthorpe break led to George Thomas squaring the ball to Humphyrs who put the ball into the back of the net to make it 5-3 and a deserved win.
That victory means it’s now eight games unbeaten in all competitions for Stuart McCall’s side and they head to Luton Town on Saturday as they look to make it another two wins on the spin.
Scunthorpe United: Alnwick, Clarke (Thomas, 89), Borthwick-Jackson, Ojo, Humphrys, Morris, Novak (Dales, 86), Goode, Burgess, McArdle, Colclough.
Substitutes not used: Flatt, Lewis, Sutton, Butroid.
Charlton Athletic: Steer, Page (Dijksteel, 5), Pearce, Taylor, Fosu (Vetokele, 82), Pratley (Reeves, 52), Aribo, Grant, Solly, Sarr, Cullen.
Substitutes not used: Phillips, Morgan, Ajose, Lapslie.
Referee: Darren Drysdale.