Iron captain Rory McArdle believes Scunthorpe were unlucky not to take anything from the match against high-flying Barnsley at Oakwell on Saturday afternoon.
The Iron fell to a 2-0 defeat against the Reds, after two goals in the first half secured the win for the home side.
Former Iron loanee Cameron McGeehan doubled Barnsley’s advantage just before the half-time interval, after Alex Mowatt had previously put them ahead with a long-range goal that caught Jak Alnwick off guard.
However, McArdle thinks had the Iron have been awarded a penalty for an incident involving Adam Hammill and Ethan Pinnock, just seconds before the first Barnsley goal.
Hammill appeared to have stolen the ball from Pinnock inside of the penalty area, before the defender then attempted to clear his lines, instead catching the attacker with his leg. However referee Andy Haines waved play on and the home side raced up the other end to take the lead.
Reflecting back on the game, McArdle spoke to iFollow Iron and said: “We were disappointed to lose the game.
“We’ve been on a good run lately and we wanted to try and keep that going, but we knew that it was always going to be tough against a team like Barnsley.
“Looking at the game as a whole, there were a few decisions here and there that had a big effect on the outcome. Their goals were fortunate as well from their point of view, but when you don’t get that little bit of luck, it makes it difficult.”
Speaking about the penalty decision, the captain stated: “It’s almost like we got kicked in the teeth twice. The decision didn’t go our way and then they went up the other end of the pitch and scored what seemed to be a bit of freak goal.
“You could see what Hammy (Adam Hammill) was going to do, he was always going to try and nick the ball from the defender. The defender then had a big swipe and looked to have cleaned him out and for me there was only one decision to be made, but for whatever reason, the referee didn’t give it.
“It’s a fine line in football sometimes, if we went one nil up, it gives us a foothold in the game and the outcome could have been different.”
The result at Oakwell ended Scunthorpe’s six match unbeaten streak, however, despite defeat, McArdle believes there were still plenty of positives to take out of the game.
He went on to say: “I think the performances of late have shown how far we have come over recent weeks.
“We kept going even at two nil and we had a few chances to score as well, but their goalkeeper pulled off some good saves.
“Novs (Lee Novak) had his header saved at the back post towards the end of the first half and we then came out the for second forty-five minutes and gave it the best we could.”
Plenty of Iron fans turned out in force at Oakwell, making the short trip across the border into Yorkshire, and McArdle had nothing but praise for the support his team received when they were out there on the turf.
The defender added: “It was good to have the backing out there on the pitch. When we came out for the warm-up and then again for the start of the game, it was nice to be able to hear the support from our fans.
“It’s just disappointing from our point of view that we didn’t get the result everybody wanted, however for the fans that came, I hope they saw the effort we put in and I hope they come out again to support us in good force next week at Glanford Park.”
Next up for the Iron, it’s a return to Glanford Park as they welcome Accrington Stanley on Saturday, and captain McArdle is hoping to see a response as Scunthorpe look to bounce back and return to winning ways.
He stated: “I think we just have to look to get back to how we have been performing over recent weeks and try to replicate that.
“We have to also look at the positives from the game today because we still managed to create chances against a team who are arguably one of the best in the league.
“In addition, baring a few decisions here and there, we could have taken something out of the game and we just have to keep looking at everything positively.”
Finally, speaking about the challenges Accrington will bring to the game, McArdle said: “It’ll be another tough game. I remember at their place earlier on in the season, they caused us a few problems. They’ve also been on a good cup run of late, so they will be full of confidence and we have to try and stop that.”