Paddy Madden struck with thirteen minutes remaining to inflict a 2-1 Boxing Day defeat on Dale at Glanford Park.
A goalless first half was overshadowed by an injury to Matty Lund which saw him stretchered off.
The home side took the lead just before the hour mark through Liam O’Neill, before Matty Done equalised ten minutes later.
Dale couldn’t find a winner and Madden poked home to win the game for his side.
Keith Hill made three changes to the side that started the 2-2 draw with Notts County last time out. Josh Lillis returned between the stick after Conrad Logan’s injury, whilst Rhys Bennett and Tomasz Cywka came in for Olly Lancashire and Peter Vincenti, neither of whom made the bench.
For the consecutive match Dale were struck by an early injury, this time to Matty Lund. He went down as Dale cleared a Scunthorpe corner, and was stretchered off after a five minute delay. Andy Cannon came on to replace him.
minute. A neat passing move found its way to Cywka, who turned well and shot on the edge of the area, but Sam Slocombe got down well to his left to turn it around the post.thThe first chance of the game fell to Dale in the 12
It was Keith Hill’s side who were the better side in the opening quarter of an hour, and good passing football again lead to efforts from Ian Henderson and another one from Cywka, neither of which troubled Slocombe.
The home side began to get hold of the ball more, but without troubling Dale at the back. It was the visitors who still looked the more likely, and Cywka had another chance just after the half hour mark to put Dale ahead. Bennett won a strong tackle in the middle of the park and the ball broke for the man on loan from Blackpool. He jinked past a couple of defenders, but his shot from the edge of the area flew over the crossbar.
Jack O’Connell attempted to win the goal of the season award before the New Year two minutes later. He intercepted a pass on the edge of his own area and dribbled across the halfway line, before attempting to chip Slocombe, but his effort didn’t trouble the Scunthorpe goal.
The home side had their best spell towards the end of the first half, but Dale weren’t overly trouble and five minutes of added time couldn’t separate the sides going into the break.
The opening exchanges of the second half were very even, but Slocombe was the busier goalkeeper and had to make two comfortable saves from Cywka and Henderson, before Dale should have gone ahead.
Matt Done seized on a poor back pass from Marcus Williams and rounded Slocombe, but chose to pull it back to the incoming Stephen Dawson. Unfortunately the Dale midfield couldn’t get the ball out of his feet, and his attempted exchange with Done was eventually cleared.
Straight from the clearance came the home side’s first effort of the second half through Lyle Taylor, but his attempted lob over Lillis was weak and straight at the Dale goalkeeper.
minute as the home side took the lead. Taylor did well on the right to pull a ball back to Liam O’Neill, who ran on to thethDale would come to rue those missed chances though in the 58
of the season.thIt could have easily become ‘one of those days’ for Dale, but Keith Hill’s side kept plugging away and deservedly drew level just ten minutes later. A Scunthorpe corner was cleared allowing Cywka to come away with it and play a ball through to Dawson. His ran at his man and shifted the ball into a yard of space before playing a perfect ball across the face of goal where Done was waiting to tap the ball home for his 14
Cywka’s part in the goal would be his last contribution of the game as Calvin Andrew came on to replace him.
Dale suffered a scare three minutes after the equaliser as Miguel Llera glanced Bishop’s flicked wide of goal from six yards out.
However, the home side find the net with thirteen minutes left on the clock. A ball into the box from the left found Madden who controlled really well, but managed to turn the Dale defenders around him and poke the ball over Lillis to restore his side’s lead.
It was harsh on Dale who had had the better of the chances, but made their job to gain a point difficult as Scunthorpe sat very deep in order to protect their lead.
Reuben Noble-Lazarus came on for Bennett with four minutes remaining.
However, a succession of corners was the closest Dale came to gaining a point as they couldn’t find an effort to test Slocombe in the closing minutes. Some of the home supporters thought a Llera free-kick had made it 3-1, but it only fond the side netting in what was the only effort on goal in the three minutes of time that were added on.
546 Dale fans would go home disappointed at the scoreline from a game where Dale would be made to rue missed opportunities and a chance to go fifth. They will be looking to get back to winning ways when they entertain Fleetwood on Sunday at Spotland.