Cameron Wilson scored, but the Iron's Under-18s side conceded late to draw 1-1 at Rotherham United on Tuesday afternoon.
The side lost 6-2 at the weekend and lost ground to league leaders Doncaster Rovers in the process, but cut that gap back to four points at the first chance of asking with one of their four games in hand - although it wasn't the three points they so very nearly had.
Following the game, Academy Manager Tony Daws said: "I thought we played really well, particularly in the first half.
"We now need to recreate that good play for 90 minutes."
Tom Collins was back between the sticks following his stint as understudy to Rory Watson, while the remainder of the side was largely back to full strength following recent illness and injury.
Despite starting the game well, including a near move down the right involving the skipper Harry Baker and Harry Jessop, it was the hosts who had the first effort on goal after four minutes. Rotherham’s number seven skipped past one challenge before working space 20-yards from goal to drill a low effort which was well saved by Collins.
On nine minutes, the hosts were awarded a very soft free-kick by the referee, right on the edge of the box. Laid off by the forward, the Millers’ winger curled the ball high and wide of the target.
14 minutes in and the Iron had a free-kick of their own on the left. Dan Gallimore played short to Harry Jessop, who was able to latch onto the second ball after his first time pass was cut out. His neat touch took him inside the area but his drilled effort flashed across the face of goal and wide, despite the best efforts of Aidan Train to divert the ball home.
Two minutes later the hosts had a penalty shout turned down when a player in red took a tumble in the area, but the appeals were quickly dismissed by the officials.
Just 60 seconds later, it was the Iron who took the lead. The move began with Joey Dawson as he spread play to Baker down the right. Jessop held up possession well in the middle following the forward pass before he turned the ball round the corner for Wilson, who advanced into the area and drilled the ball across goal and into the far bottom corner of the net.
On 21 minutes, it could have been two after a brilliant first touch from Oliver Lobley down the left opened him into acres of space. His low cross met the run of Jessop only for his first time effort to take a slight deflection into the side-netting for a corner. From the resultant, Jessop connected with the header, with Train attempting a bicycle kick to turn the ball on target, but the effort bounced out for a goal kick.
Tony Daws’ side began to turn the screw in attack and grew in confidence in and around the penalty area. After 24 minutes, Wilson was able to turn on the edge of the area and slot Dawson, who in turn slotted Fin Shrimpton, only for the home defence to turn the ball away. In the next phase of the attack, Lobley picked up possession and drove towards goal, with his 25-yard effort taking a wicked deflection before looping up and bouncing off the crossbar and out for a corner.
Two minutes later, it was almost two again as Baker’s vision saw him pick a pass around the corner and in behind to find the run of Dawson. His first touch saw him round the ‘keeper, but he was halted by the offside flag as he was about to slot home.
Collins was called into action for the second time in the game shortly after as he got down comfortably to save a low effort from range.
On the half-hour mark, Barks drilled in a pass to Jessop. After neat control, he turned onto his left foot before curling a long range shot over the bar.
Baker got the better of his man on the right on 38 minutes before being hacked down to win a free-kick. Raynner Silva curled into the danger area, but commanding goalkeeping saw him emerge with the ball. He distributed quickly upfield, with a vital touch from Lobley preventing the forward from being in on goal. The next phase of play saw the hosts have their next effort, as a 25-yard effort flashed wide of Collins’ right-hand post.
With four minutes to go until the interval, Silva looked for an opening down the left but he checked back to find Shrimpton. He in turn found Baker, who took one touch before firing a 25-yard effort just wide of the target.
Despite a quiet start to the second half, it was the Iron who burst into life after 51 minutes and it owed to the persistence of Wilson. He rode two challenges before a firm but fair challenge saw him find Shrimpton. The ball wide found Lobley who’s cross searched for Dawson. He was pushed over inside the box but play continued with Baker latching on at the far post. His powerfully driven effort was cleared off the line.
Three minutes later, Jessop broke the offside trap but was beaten to the ball by the Millers ‘keeper. Jessop didn’t give up, charging down the clearance only for the ball to spin inside the area for the goalkeeper to pounce on.
On 56 minutes, Jessop came within a whisker of doubling the Iron’s lead. Dan Gallimore saw his corner cleared but the ball was recycled to the right side of the area where Jessop whipped a curling effort across goal and just wide of the post.
A minute before the hour mark, Wilson again uses his persistence to get down the left channel and break free of being held. His brilliant cross is met by the head of Dawson, but the ball flashed wide of the target.
With 25 minutes to go, the hosts began to come back into the game, with space found down the right for a low cross, which was well turned away by Baker. Collins commanded his box to claim the resultant corner.
Three minutes later, another corner was won by Rotherham following good defending by Train to turn the ball behind following a mini-break down the left. Shrimpton rose highest to head away from the cross.
On 72 minutes, a long range, speculative left-footed effort was dragged wide by a Millers substitute, not troubling Collins in the Scunthorpe goal.
With 10 minutes to go, the referee issued his first yellow card to Rotherham’s number three for dissent, as he argued a foul awarded against him. From the resultant kick, Alex Wilkinson caused all sorts of problems to the ‘keeper, who flapped at the cross, before the hosts cleared for a corner.
On 83 minutes, the equaliser came following a mix-up in midfield which saw the ball slotted through to the Millers’ number 8, as he slotted into the corner of the net, leaving Collins with no chance.
From a near victory, the Iron almost fell behind following a low cross from the right which then looped up into the air, only for the Rotherham substitute’s header to sail just over the bar.
The Iron’s substitute Levi Gallimore almost caught the home ‘keeper out again as he charged down an attempted clearance as the game ticked into stoppage time, but the ball spun out for a goal kick.
Shrimpton picked up a yellow card in the 90th minute of the game for a reckless challenge as the hosts looked to come forward for the final few moments.
The Iron did have a final chance in the first minute of added time with Levi Gallimore brought down. Wilson whipped the free-kick around the wall, but the effort was saved by the ‘keeper. In a frantic finish, Chadli was fed down the left and whipped in a cross, with Levi Gallimore heading off target.
That proved to be the final effort, as the game ended in stalemate.
IRON: Collins, Baker, Lobley, D Gallimore, Barks, Train, Wilson, Shrimpton, Jessop (L Gallimore, 85), Dawson (Wilkinson, 62), Silva (Chadli, 82).
IRON SUBS: Kemp, Virgo.