United were beaten 3-2 by Bristol Rovers at the Sands Venue Stadium on Tuesday evening, although there was a glimmer of hope at the end as Sam Burns bagged his first two goals in Iron colours.
Joshua Grant, Anthony Evans and Leon Clarke were all on target for the away side, but on-loan striker Burns netted a late brace on his third start and second home appearance for the club to get up and running for Scunthorpe.
Within 30 seconds of the first whistle, Harry Wood collided with Rovers keeper James Belshaw as he rushed from his area, with the Hull City loanee collecting the game’s first yellow card.
With seven minutes gone, Joey Barton’s side carved open their first opportunity of the game, as Aaron Collins and Anthony Evans combined well, with the latter’s goal bound effort blocked bravely by Jai Rowe.
Alfie Beestin, on his return to the Iron starting XI, tried the spectacular with 15 minutes gone, as Wood’s corner was picked up by the 24-year-old, who flicked the ball over his head before bicycle kicking over the bar.
Sam Nicholson was the next Gas player to come close, as the tricky midfielder cut in onto his right foot before firing wide of Rory Watson’s near post.
United were then unlucky to not open the scoring with half an hour gone, as Sam Burns did well to lay the ball into the path of Myles Hippolyte, who tried to return the ball back to the Blackburn loanee before the visitors eventually scrambled the ball away.
But just minutes later it was Rovers who took the lead, as Nicholson cleverly worked his way into the Iron’s penalty area before setting the ball back to Josh Grant to fire past Watson.
It could have quite easily been two shortly after, as Collins charged forward before picking out the ever threatening Nicholson, with Watson pouncing to deny the midfielder.
With pressure mounting, the Pirates came forward once more, as Alfie Beestin failed to clear his lines, Sam Finley found himself unmarked in the penalty area, as his left footed strike luckily rolled just wide of the Scunthorpe goal.
Luke Thomas was the next Rovers player to test his luck before the interval, as his curling right footed effort was superbly saved once more by Watson.
As the second half began, substitute Harry Lewis played a wonderfully timed pass through to Burns, who in-turn hesitated just a second too long before the visitors managed to recover well and clear the ball for a corner.
Barton’s men did have the ball in the back of the net on the hour mark, as Evans rolled his effort into the far corner before the flag was correctly raised for offside.
The Gas then added further insult to injury just seconds later, as George Taft was adjudged to have brought down his man in the penalty area, before Evans stepped up to smash home his team’s second of the evening.
Burns did well to win United a corner shortly after, with Taft’s header just slightly too high to trouble the Rovers shot-stopper.
Evans again came close with the game jumping into life following the Gas’ second of the night, as the former Everton youngster steered his effort just wide of the post.
Beestin did well to retain possesion on the right flank, as he found Burns who in turn teed up Hippolyte, only for Scunthorpe’s number 11 to fire wide of the mark.
Lewis again found space down the left flank looking to reduce the visitors lead, but with Hippolyte seemingly ready to slot home unmarked, a last ditch tackle by Connor Taylor kept the score at 2-0.
Former Scunthorpe man Leon Clarke then netted Rovers third with ten minutes remaining, as the Gas number nine broke the offside trap to spring in behind and round Watson to finish into an empty net.
The Iron then made it 3-1 on 89 minutes, as Burns bundled home following a goalmouth scramble in the six yard area.
The Liverpudlian added his second just four minutes later to set-up a grandstand finish, as he cut in from the right flank to fire past Belshaw in additional time, proving too little, too late for Hill’s men.
United return to action this weekend with an away trip to Staffordshire as they face Port Vale in away league action (3pm kick-off).
IRON: Watson, O'Malley (Lewis, 45), Taft, Onariase, Beestin (Pugh, 82), Hippolyte, Rowe, Wood, Perry (Sinclair, 57), Burns, Matheson.
IRON SUBS NOT USED: Collins, Hallam, Gallimore, Young
BRISTOL ROVERS: Belshaw, Connolly, Grant (Anderton, 63), Finley (Clarke, 70), Thomas, Collins, Nicholson, Coutts, Taylor, Evans, Hoole.
BRISTOL ROVERS SUBS NOT USED: Jaakkola,, Anderson, Spence, Pitman, Jones.