FULL-TIME: Scunthorpe United 1 Colchester United 0
Leon Clarke proved to be the difference once again for Scunthorpe United as his penalty earned them a 1-0 victory over Colchester United.
The Iron striker made it four goals in as many games with his second half spot-kick, extending his team's unbeaten run in the process and sealing a first win of the season at Glanford Park.
The visitors started brightly, doing all the early running but without carving out an opening, while Mark Duffy and Jimmy Ryan looked lively for the Iron as they interchanged with ease down the right and left wings.
The latter brought U's keeper Mark Cousins into action early on as he attempted to follow Clarke's lead from previous games by finding the net inside the opening few minutes.
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It was Clarke who teed him up, allowing Ryan to unleash a superb strike from out on the left which looked to be heading for the top corner had Cousins not tipped it behind.
From the resulting corner, Niall Canavan could only head behind.
Cousins had it somewhat easier shortly after when he comfortably caught Duffy's cross-come-shot in an early example of first half frustrations for United's attacking armory.
They weren't helped by some sloppy passing and wayward crossing as Colchester's backline remained largely unchallenged.
At the other end, a mix-up between David Mirfin and Josh Walker saw Anthony Wordsworth collect the loose ball and go for goal. His curling, long-range effort flew wide, providing a let off for those in claret and blue.
Gavin Massey went considerably closer in the 17th minute, with a fierce strike from distance which Sam Slocombe dealt with at the second attempt.
It was one of only a few chances for the visitors. Not that the Iron managed many more as there was little for the Glanford Park crowd to cheer in a first half short on entertainment.
Ryan went close from inside the penalty area as the half-time whistle neared, latching on to Duffy's ball from the right after it had bypassed the head of Clarke.
The Scunthorpe midfielder struck it well, but it was deflected behind and the scoreline remained level heading into the interval with little to choose between the two sides.
Ryan was at the heart of some early pressure from the hosts after the break, with good work from him, following persistence by Tom Newey, resulting in a corner with 49 minutes gone.
Mirfin's subsequent header was powerful but failed to find the target.
Clinton Morrison managed to do just that at the other end as he looked to nod home Karl Duguid's ball in.
Only a smart stop from Slocombe on the line prevented a goal, while the follow-up was prodded well wide.
The United keeper had to be alert again minutes later when Marcus Bean let fly from distance – Slocombe doing well to send the U's midfielder's effort over the bar with his fingertips.
Scunthorpe continued to show they had the potential to threaten, with Newey and Duffy combining well down the left on the hour mark.
The end product though, remained elusive as Duffy's curling strike, intended for the bottom corner, was deflected wide.
Twice more, within the space of a few minutes, the Iron winger had chances from a similar position inside the area. On both occasions though, Cousins was equal to his efforts.
However, the Colchester keeper had no chance when faced with Clarke from the penalty spot.
Brought down by Matt Heath in the 75th minute, the on-loan Charlton striker thumped his spot-kick straight down the middle into the back of the net.
And it could have been 2-0 shortly after when Christian Ribeiro found himself with time and space on the edge of the area.
However, he couldn't show the same precision as his team-mate and blasted the ball over the bar.
Duffy looked to extend the advantage as the game entered its final few minutes, twisting and turning his way past U's defenders inside the box. Karl Hawley was the intended target with a driven cross, but it was intercepted before it could reach the United front man.
Colchester staged a late rally, but Scunthorpe had their own chance to put a final stamp on the game when Duffy released Connor Jennings in a quick counter-attack.
The Iron substitute though, lost the race towards goal. Thankfully for manager Alan Knill, his team retained the three points.
SCUNTHORPE: Slocombe; Ribeiro, Mirfin, Canavan, Newey; Duffy, Prutton, Walker, Ryan (Barcham 87); Clarke, Hawley (Jennings 87). Subs not used: Severn, Grella, Gibbons, Keegan, Sedgwick.
COLCHESTER: Cousins; Wilson, Heath, Eastman, Rose; Izzet (Henderson 75), Bean; Wordsworth; Duguid (Wright 79), Morrison, Massey (Sears 79). Subs not used: Pentney, Pound, Coker, White.
ATTENDANCE: 3,133 (80).