Scunthorpe 1 Chesterfield 1: Jamal's instant impact
At the home of the Iron, Chesterfield put on a steely second half showing.
After a shoddy opening 45 minutes, Danny Wilson’s men turned it around and earned a share of the spoils thanks to a vast improvement after the break.
Debutant Jamal Campbell-Ryce made an immediate impact, bundling the ball home within 60 seconds of his introduction to make it just one defeat in seven for the resurgent Spireites.
Prolific Scunthorpe striker Paddy Madden had given the hosts an early lead with his 20th strike of the campaign but substitute Campbell-Ryce, who only joined early Saturday morning on loan from neighbours Sheffield United, climbed off the bench to level scores on the hour mark.
Wilson reflected that the result, on balance, represents a point gained - especially after their first-half non-showing.
“We never turned up in the first half, in lots of areas,” said Wilson.
“The lovely thing about the players is they’re a very honest group. They knew at half-time they hadn’t performed.
“But overall, we showed our true colours and played exceptionally well. We bossed a lot of the game and feel a bit unlucky not to have won it in the end.
“But a point away from home is a good result because Scunthorpe still have aspirations of making the top six”
Scunthorpe have been rejuvenated under rookie boss Nick Daws, losing just once in the last ten outings.
And that showed in the first half as they peppered Tommy Lee’s goal before Madden rounded Lee and slotted the ball home in cool fashion on 18 minutes.
Scunthorpe dictated the tempo for much of the first half.Midfielders Stephen Dawson, Jim O’Brien and Neal Bishop harried the Spireites as soon as they got the ball and were expansive on the tight Glanford Park pitch.
The closest Wilson’s men came to scoring was when Connor Dimaio struck a sweet half-volley that home stopper Luke Daniels tipped over.
The half-time break allowed Wilson to rally his troops and the teamtalk certainly worked.
Chesterfield came out all guns blazing for the start of the second half with Jay O’Shea soon registering a shot that slipped just wide of Daniels’ post.
Then came Campbell-Ryce’s introduction and what an impact he made.
The 32-year-old applied the finishing touch - his first of the game - to a free-flowing move after O’Shea whipped the ball across the area.
It came less than a minute after he replaced Dimaio and the diminutive winger was a constant menace to United.
Spireites’ players were soon quick to feed Campbell-Ryce the ball and he didn’t need a second invitation to run at the United full-backs, whipping cross after cross into the shellshocked hosts’ box: “He’ll be a fans’ favourite straight away!” quipped Wilson afterwards.Despite the huge impact the goal had, Spireites failed to turn one point into three although Scunthorpe saw a few half-chances go amiss before Lee had to be at his most alert to make two quick reaction saves late on to preserve the point.
Scunthorpe: Daniels 6, Clarke 5, Wallace 6, Mirfin 6, Townsend 5, Bishop 5 (Williams 75, 6), Dawson 6, Ness 6 (McSheffrey 82, 4), O’Brien 7, Madden 7, Hopper 6 (Wootton 65, 4). Subs: Anyon, Laird, Adelakun, King.
Goal: Madden 18
Spireites: Lee 6, O’Neill 7, Hird 7, Anderson 5, John 6, Ariyibi 5, Banks 6 (Talbot 89), O’Shea 6, Liddle 6, Dimaio 5 (Campbell-Ryce 59, 7), Novak 6. Subs: Chapman, Raglan, Orrell, Slew, Ebanks-Blake.
Goal: Campbell-Ryce 60
Ref: Keith Hill
Att: 3,871 (Away 604).