The Stuart McCall era got underway as the Iron drew 1-1 with Accrington Stanley at the Wham Stadium.
Matty Lund got off the mark for the season and scored his first goal in Scunthorpe colours to put United ahead before the hosts hit back to level the scoreline in the 82nd minute.
McCall made two changes from the team that drew with Barnsley last time out as he named his first starting eleven for the Iron. Jak Alnwick was handed his debut after signing on loan and replaced the injured Rory Watson, who suffered a broken arm against Barnsley. Stephen Humphrys also came back into the side in place of Andy Dales, whilst Ike Ugbo came off the bench to make his first appearance for United.
The Iron got the game started, but it was the home side who had the first opportunity inside five minutes when the ball bounced around in the area. Jordan Clark and Offrande Zanzala both struck shots towards goal but Scunthorpe got plenty of bodies on the line to prevent the hosts from going ahead.
United then looked to attack themselves. Jordan Clarke charged down the right flank before he whipped the ball into the area that searched for Lee Novak in the centre, but Connor Ripley in the Accrington goal did well to come out and claim the cross before the striker could connect.
It was a frantic start to the match, and the home side had another chance after nine minutes. Zanzala forced Alnwick into his first stop of the day when he raced through on goal and looked to chip him, but the goalkeeper was alert and did brilliantly to rush out and deny the attacker.
Moments later, and Zanzala saw another shot drift wide of the goal after a low ball into the area found him on the run but he couldn’t quite guide his effort on target. Humphrys then had the Iron’s first shot on goal in the 16th minute when Clarke picked him out after a throw-in was only partially cleared. However, his left-footed strike was blocked, and the danger was averted.
17 minutes in, and Sam Finley had a strike on goal from outside of the area for Accrington that he fired over the top of the crossbar, before Matty Lund did the same for Scunthorpe when the ball dropped kindly for him on the edge of the penalty area.
Accrington surged forward in the 27th minute and worked the ball on the edge of the Iron penalty area before a cross found the feet of Zanzala, who struck it goalwards, but Alnwick was equal to the strike and dived to his left to catch after his initial shot was blocked by Cameron Burgess.
In the 40th minute, Alnwick pulled off a wonder save from Sean McConville. The midfielder received the ball on the left-hand side before he cut in and unleashed a curling shot towards the far post. However, Alnwick’s quick reactions to reach across and tip the ball behind prevented the home side from taking the lead just before the half-time interval.
That proved to be the last attack of the first half and the teams went into the break level.
As the game restarted for the second half, it was the hosts who started quickly. Zanzala found space in the area before he fired a shot wide of the goal. McConville then tried his luck shortly after, but his effort went over the top of the bar.
Scunthorpe then had a good spell. Lund spread the ball wide to Humphrys, but the striker sliced his shot and fired wide of the post before a dangerous cross was well dealt with by the Accrington defence.
Alnwick was then there again to deny the hosts in the 56th minute when Clark rounded two Iron players before the goalkeeper dived at his feet to block his effort on goal. United then turned defence into attack as Lee Novak forced Ripley into a save after a low, powerful drive was heading in the corner but the ‘keeper blocked with his feet.
After 72 minutes, Josh Morris whipped a free-kick into the area from the wide left position that was aimed towards the head of Burgess. The centre-back rose highest, but his effort dropped just wide of the target.
Minutes later, another Iron set-piece looked dangerous. Burgess again won the header in the area and headed it back across goal towards Lee Novak at the back post but brilliant defending by Mark Hughes to get a toe in and steer the ball behind prevented the striker from a tap in.
As the game entered the last ten minutes, it was the Iron who took the lead on the 80th minute mark courtesy of Lund. A corner from Morris was met at the back post by Burgess, who won his header and the ball dropped to Lund who fired past Ripley in the Accrington goal and put United one nil up.
However, Stanley hit back quickly and found themselves back on level terms two minutes later through Seamus Conneely who smashed the ball past Alnwick from a corner to earn Accrington a point.
Scunthorpe searched for a winner and thought they had one in the 85th minute but Ripley came up with a fantastic stop to deny Ryan Colclough after his shot wrong-footed the ‘keeper but he somehow managed to recover to make the save.
Neither team could find the decisive goal as the game ended in a share of the spoils at the Wham Stadium. Stuart McCall takes charge of his first home game for the Iron as they face Wolverhampton Wanderers in the Checkatrade Trophy on Tuesday night.
Accrington Stanley: Ripley, Johnson (Mingoia, 80), Ihiekwe, Hughes (Richards-Everton, 90), Anderton, Conneely, Brown, Clark, Finley (Mangan, 86), McConville, Zanzala.
Substitutes not used: Maxied, Sykes, Sousa, Barlaser.
Scunthorpe United: Alnwick, Clarke, Ojo, Lund, Humphrys (Dales, 73), Morris, Perch, Novak (Ugbo, 83), Thomas (Colclough, 45), Burgess, McArdle.
Substitutes not used: Flatt, Horsfield, Goode, Butroid.
Referee: Chris Sarginson.
Attendance: 2,059 (430 away).