The Iron drew 3-3 with Rochdale in Stuart McCall’s first home league game as Iron boss at Glanford Park on Saturday.
Lee Novak and Ryan Colclough netted for Scunthorpe in the first half before Charlie Goode added to the tally in the second to make it 3-1. However, the visitors hit back to level the scoreline.
Stuart McCall made four changes to the team that drew 1-1 with Accrington Stanley last Saturday. Ike Ugbo was handed his full debut as he replaced Stephen Humphrys, while Cameron Borthwick-Jackson, Charlie Goode and Ryan Colclough all came into the side for Jordan Clarke, Rory McArdle and George Thomas.
United started the match with a bang as Novak fired the Iron ahead after just two minutes. The striker neatly finished off a Josh Morris free-kick with a clever flicked header that flew past goalkeeper Magnus Norman in the Rochdale goal to put Scunthorpe one nil up.
The away side then looked to hit back immediately. Oliver Rathbone charged forward before he unleashed a series of shots that were blocked by a sturdy Iron defence before he dragged his final effort wide of the goal.
A few minutes later, Sam Hart teased in a ball for the visitors that looked dangerous, but Jak Alnwick rushed out to palm clear. The ball landed at the foot of Calvin Andrew who couldn’t direct his volley on target and fired wide.
However, despite Rochdale’s effort to get back on level terms, it was Scunthorpe who opened up a further advantage in the 18th minute when Colclough netted his first goal for the club in style. Morris played a short corner into the winger who cut inside the box before he took on numerous players and brilliantly thundered the ball into the corner of the net.
Colclough then whipped in a wonderful free-kick from the left wing position in the 28th minute that evaded the whole of the Rochdale defence but Norman was alert to push the ball away for a throw-in. The resulting set-piece found James Perch in the area, but he couldn’t quite connect, and the ball was cleared away from danger.
35 minutes in, and great goalkeeping from Alnwick denied the visitors a chance to pull one back. A short free-kick from Rathbone on the edge of the area was played to Callum Camps who curled his effort towards the bottom right corner, but Alnwick were there to get down low to push the ball clear.
Just before half-time, Alnwick denied Rochdale again. Hart was played down the left by Rathbone and dribbled into the area before the goalkeeper charged out to close down the angle and block the shot well. Two minutes later, and Alnwick saved with his legs from Andrew to make sure that the Iron went into the break preserving their two-goal advantage.
As the second half got underway, the visitors looked for a way to get back into the game. Rathbone again unleashed a shot from the edge of the box but Alnwick saved brilliantly to tip the ball over the crossbar in the 50th minute.
However, the Rochdale presence eventually paid off as they pulled a goal back in the 52nd minute through Rathbone. Alnwick made a great initial save from Hart’s free-kick, but Rathbone was there on the rebound to score for Dale.
Straight after kick-off, United went on an attack of their own. Morris again turned provider as he whipped in a free-kick with Goode getting on the end of it. It was a superb diving header from the centre-back as he rose highest and powered past Norman to restore the Iron’s two goal advantage.
The Rochdale ‘keeper was then tested again in the 61st minute when Colclough fired a left-footed shot towards goal from the edge of the box after Borthwick-Jackson played him in, but Norman did well to hold onto the ball.
After 66 minutes, Rochdale pulled another one back courtesy of Rathbone again. Hart’s corner was cleared only as far as the midfielder who struck a powerful shot past Alnwick to bring the scoreline back to 3-2.
A brilliant run from Colclough then saw him drive into the area from the right flank, cut back onto his left foot before he curled the ball towards the far corner. However, a Rochdale block defender got in the way to deflect it behind for a corner.
As the game headed into the last ten minutes, Rochdale searched for a way to level the score and found it in the 83rd minute. Substitute Matthew Gilliam picked up the ball on the edge of the box before he took a strike which was deflected past Alnwick and into the net.
The away side nearly scored the winner in stoppage time when the ball found its way to Aaron Wilbraham after it was cut back to him in the area. The attacker couldn’t keep his strike down and fired over the top of the crossbar.
However, neither side could find the decisive goal as it ended in a share of spoils at Glanford Park. The Iron are back in action next weekend as they face AFC Wimbledon away.
Scunthorpe United: Alnwick, Borthwick-Jackson, Ojo, Lund (Horsfield, 81), Ugbo, Morris, Perch, Novak (Humphrys, 77), Goode, Burgess, Colclough.
Substitutes not used: Flatt, Dales, Hornshaw, Wootton, Butroid.
Rochdale: Norman, Rafferty, McNulty, McGahey, Andrew, Camps, Rathbone, Hart, Clough (Gillam, 32), Cannon (Wilbraham, 58), Henderson.
Substitutes not used: Moore, Ntlhe, Done, Perkins, Matheson.
Referee: Ross Joyce.