A SPECTACULAR goal from Akpo Sodje was not enough to save Town Reserves from defeat at the Galpharm Stadium yesterday.
The 22-year-old smashed in a 25-yard drive in the 66th minute - brother Efe jumped to his feet in celebration - to put John Dungworth's side level and inspire hopes of a come-from-behind win.
It was not to be, however, as another bout of defensive uncertainty from Town was punished by Scunthorpe substitute Craig Mitchell, who had been on the field only two minutes.
That left only eight minutes to play and Town never looked like levelling again.
Defeat, in fact, was nothing more than Town deserved for a disappointing display in which their passing and control was poor and in which they created few real chances.
Sodje's goal was a marvellous piece of opportunism, however, and illustrated his strength as he broke two tackles to make sure he won the ball.
Once he'd got a yard of space, he unleashed a fierce right-foot volley which keeper Tom Evans could only palm into the lefthand side of his goal.
What a shame it came 90 seconds after the visitors - watched by their manager Brian Laws - had taken the lead through clever frontman Andy Parton.
He had the wit to notice Nathan Clarke was going to leave a cross which would have been simple to clear and, having controlled the ball at the near post, Parton gave Phil Senior no chance with a shot into the roof of the net from six yards out.
If his goal wasn't enough, it was Parton who created the Scunthorpe winner, too, flicking a lovely pass to young Mitchell inside the six-yard box which he tucked away in clinical style.
Town, playing a 4-3-3 formation with Sodje and Junior Mendes up front alongside John McAliskey, showed no such sharpness around the box.
There were glimpses of encouraging pace from Sodje and Mendes, but Scunthorpe generally held sway with former Town loan man Mark Jackson at the heart of their defence.
Town didn't manage a shot on target in the first half, when Senior had to make fine saves to deny Michael Rankin, Tom Brighton and Wayne Graves in quick succession.
There was a surprise opening for Mendes at the start of the second half, but he was caught unawares by Nat Brown's cross in the six-yard box and the chance was lost.
Rankin then had a great chance to open the scoring for Scunthorpe, powering a header wide from close range after a Brighton cross, but Parton and Mitchell made sure the miss didn't matter.
So Town will be looking to put successive defeats behind them when they play the re-arranged fixture against Grimsby at Blundell Park next Wednesday (2.00). The League Cup-tie against Sheffield Wednesday will now be played at the Galpharm on Monday September 27 (2.00).
Town Res - Senior, Brown, Lloyd, Ahmed (Caulfield 85), Clarke, McCombe, Mendes, Young, McAliskey (Huxall 85), A Sodje, Walsh (Hardy 61). Subs not used: Giles, Hand.