United were beaten 1-0 at Barrow on Saturday afternoon.
The Iron made two changes going into their away match at Barrow, as Tyler Cordner and Abo Eisa were replaced by Harrison McGahey and Myles Hippolyte, who both returned from hamstring and ankle injury lay-offs since December 8th and December 29th respectively.
With three minutes gone, Hippolyte broke the offside trap down the right side to meet a ball down the channel by Jordan Clarke before Lewis Spence’s low cross was cleared. Play then came down the left for the Iron with Junior Brown’s cross claimed by Joel Dixon.
Two minutes later, Ryan Loft looked to have done well to edge Matt Platt off the ball, control well and turn into the box, but the referee deemed him to have fouled the Bluebirds defender.
The hosts won the first corner of the game on seven minutes, with Platt meeting the cross from Neal Eardley to head goalwards, with Alex Gilliead heading the effort away from goal before Jem Karacan hooked the ball further clear.
With 16 minutes gone, Spence was pushed right in front of the referee, yet play continued, while McGahey was adjudged to have fouled shortly after as he shrugged off Luke James. A minute later, Platt somehow put the ball wide of the target from a couple of yards out as he met the resultant free-kick. Platt was flagged offside though, so it wouldn’t have counted.
After 20 minutes, Tom Beadling picked up the loose ball and opened up to shoot, with Brown putting his body in the way to block the long range effort.
Soon after, Josh Kay drove down the left for the hosts and fired across goal, drawing a save from Mark Howard in the Iron goal, down to his left.
With 26 minutes gone, Eardley played Harrison Biggins in down the right whose deep cross was almost met by Kay on the slide at the back post, but he just failed to get on the end of it.
Soon after, United looked to work an opening on the edge of the area, with Gilliead playing the ball to Hippolyte on the left. He sent a cross in which was blocked away by the home defence, and Barrow looked to break but Brown brought down Scott Quigley and picked up the first booking of the game.
On 33 minutes, after a pass by Gilliead, the Iron duo of Loft and Beestin linked up with the former attempting to play through the latter, but the home side intercepted and got the ball cleared.
After a free-kick was won on the edge of the Iron box two minutes later, Lewis Hardcastle took it and saw his shot deflected wide for a corner. The set-piece was sent in from the left and Howard punched away, before Spence cleared the ball on the nearside touchline.
Two minutes later, Scunthorpe won a free-kick midway through the Barrow half which Gilliead took, aiming for the height of the centre-backs who had got forward, but it drifted out of danger.
Just before half-time, Barrow won a corner on the left but nothing came from it as the Iron dealt with the ball in and it was eventually cleared by Karacan.
There was one change at the break, as Emmanuel Onariase came on for McGahey, to make his own comeback from injury and play for the first time since Boxing Day.
The first chance of the second half came Scunthorpe's way on 48 minutes. Karacan sent a half-volley goalwards, which Dixon got across to save following a hooked cross from Beestin which was only half cleared.
A few minutes later, Beestin charged down Eardley’s free-kick on the edge of the box as the wall stood strong once more.
With 58 minutes played, Barrow took the lead as Kay was played in down the left and slotted into the bottom corner from the edge of the box.
United looked for an instant response, and Beestin saw his shot blocked as Hippolyte held the ball up in the area before teeing him up.
Scunthorpe made a second change soon after, as Eisa came on for Loft.
With 63 minutes played, Spence won a free-kick on the edge of the box as he closed down to win the ball back before stealing in and being brought down. Gilliead took the set-play, curling the ball over the wall and towards the far post, with the effort just clearing the crossbar.
Soon after, Barrow frontman Luke James clashed heads with Clarke, with the home player going down and not moving. Play immediately stopped with treatment swiftly on the pitch. There were numerous medical staff around him as a neck brace was applied and he was brought off on a stretcher. As a consequence though, there was a ten minute break in play.
Clarke got the next yellow card of the game shortly after, following a foul on the right channel as Barrow pressed forward.
At the other end, Dixon then read a good strike from Karacan from long range as an Iron corner was cleared into his path on the edge of the box.
With 81 minutes gone, United moved forward well through Gilliead, before he played in Clarke, who got a right-wing cross in which Karacan headed just into the side netting at the far post.
Five minutes later, Brown was shown his second yellow card following an off the ball altercation with Quigley and was subsequently red-carded.
The Iron still pressed for a leveller and Eisa stung the palms of Dixon at his near post on 88 minutes with a low drilled effort from the right edge of the area.
A double alteration was then made just before 15 minutes of stoppage time, as John McAtee and Devarn Green came on for Beestin and Hippolyte.
The latter of those substitutes almost made an instant impact as Green strode through on the left following a long ball forward, with the low cross across the goal posing a danger before being cleared.
Later in the stoppage time, there was a corner to the Iron with Green winning a header from McAtee’s cross. His second cross met the run from Karacan, but Dixon made the save.
Then, Green crossed from the left, and Eisa and Taft saw shots blocked before the ball was hacked clear.
United couldn't find the equaliser and return to action next Saturday when they host Grimsby Town (1pm kick-off).
BARROW: Dixon, Eardley, J Jones, Platt, Brough, Kay, Beadling, Biggins (J Taylor, 90+8), Hardcastle (C Taylor, 90+3), Quigley, James (Angus, 75).
BARROW SUBS NOT USED: Lillis, Brown, Hird.
IRON: Howard, Clarke, Taft, McGahey (Onariase, 45), Gilliead, Loft (Eisa, 61), Brown, Hippolyte (Green, 89), Spence, Beestin (McAtee, 89), Karacan.
IRON SUBS NOT USED: Watson, Bedeau, Rowe.