HUDDERSFIELD Town were thwarted by Chris Dagnall’s leveller – just when red-hot Jordan Rhodes looked to have earned victory with his ninth goal in four games.
An exciting match which featured two penalty saves by Town’s super stopper Ian Bennett came to a breathless conclusion.
Rhodes volleyed home in the 87th minute to put Town 2-1 up, only for Dagnall to break through and slide home a low shot less than 60 seconds later.
Scunthorpe had led through Oliver Norwood’s sizzling 10th-minute strike, but Tommy Miller equalised with his first league goal for the club, fired in 15 minutes later.
Bennett’s spot-kick heroics came from Dagnall and Michael O’Connor, and it was a real shame the 40-year-old’s two super saves didn’t contribute to three points.
Town had the backing of more than 2,000 fans a at Glanford Park, and they saw striker Alan Lee make his 500th career appearance at club level while the equally experienced Gary Naysmith was handed a first league outing in nine games at left-back in place of suspended Calum Woods.
Other than that it was the same side which started the 4-0 win at Exeter and 3-1 home victory over Preston.
Scunthorpe were seeking only a third league win of the campaign and went into the match on the back of goalless draws at Brentford and MK Dons.
With Josh Lillis, son of former Town favourite Mark, and on-loan Manchester United man Sam Johnstone both injured, former Northern Counties East League keeper Sam Slocombe made a second start.
Both sets of players were caught in a downpour during the warm-up which left the pitch greasy.
The rain had eased by kick-off, and in an even opening phase, Scunthorpe’s Andy Barcham and Town’s Gary Roberts, from a free-kick, shot over.
Town were working hard to keep possession on the tricky surface, but were left trailing when Scunthorpe broke forward in the 10th minute.
Antony Kay made a solid tackle to block the run of Robbie Grant, but the ball ricocheted into the path of Manchester United loanee Norwood, who lashed in a spectacular 30-yard shot which gave Bennett no chance.
Town responded with Scott Arfield surging through from his own half, but his low drive was deflected for a corner which came to nothing.
Then Lee teed up Rhodes by flicking on Roberts’ cross, but the striker’s shot was too high. Town were turning the screw, and the equaliser arrived in the 25th minute when Naysmith and Roberts combined down the left to set up Miller, whose strike from 25 yards our was every bit as sweetly struck as Norwood’s.
Rhodes should really have put Town ahead four minutes later, but his cushioned header from Lee’s centre went across the face of goal and wide.
Lee Clark’s side were having the majority of possession, but needed Bennett to come to their rescue in the 35th minute, when Kay conceded a penalty as Dagnall latched onto a quickly-taken throw-in.
Former Rochdale man Dagnall took the spot kick, but Bennett was equal to his low effort, diving to his right to smother, and Town stood firm in the scramble which followed.
Soon after it was the home fans breathing a sigh of relief as Arfield’s cross beat both the home defence and the sliding Roberts’ outstretched foot.
Rookie stopper Slocombe was in action early in the second half to thwart Lee as he shot from Rhodes’ pass.
Meanwhile Scunthorpe fluffed a glorious opportunity when Mark Duffy dummied Dagnall’s dangerous cross – to the surprise of teammate O’Connor, who couldn’t get a clean connection.
It was a high-tempo period, and when Roberts swung in a 55th-minute corner, Slocombe made two great saves to block Rhodes’ header and Kay’s follow-up shot.
Town replaced Roberts with Danny Ward in the 67th minute, and the substitute was quickly causing problems, with his low cross forcing Slocombe into a scrambling save.
But Bennett was soon back in the spotlight after referee Eddie Ilderton awarded Scunthorpe a second penalty, for an Arfield handball.
This time O’Connor took the kick – and this time Bennett went to his left to make another superb save.
It was great to watch, but the real action was only just beginning!Related content