FULL-TIME: Scunthorpe United 1 Sheffield United 1
Leon Clarke immediately endeared himself to Scunthorpe United fans with a goal on his debut but his new team had to make do with just a point against nine-man Sheffield United.
The Charlton Athletic loanee put the Iron ahead in the second half at Glanford Park, just minutes after coming on as a substitute.
But though the Blades saw Ryan Flynn handed a red card, to follow the dismissal of Michael Doyle in the 15th minute, they levelled late on through Neill Collins.
Newcomers Leon Clarke and Karl Hawley both found themselves on the bench, while Josh Walker returned to the starting XI following his one-match suspension.
Business Cards From Only £10.95 Delivered www.myprint-247.co.ukView details
Contact: 01858 468192
Valid until: Friday, May 31 2013
Looking to finally get their League One campaign off the mark, United made a successful start when it came to frustrating their visitors.
In a game of desperately few chances, the first half hour saw just a shot apiece from either side, neither of which were anywhere near the target.
Josh Walker's speculative effort in the opening 10 minutes was as close as the Iron came as the hosts struggled to threaten.
When it came to containing the Blades they fared significantly better, with Sam Slocombe having very little to do in the Scunthorpe goal.
And his side's cause was given a helping hand when Sheffield United were reduced to 10 men with just 15 minutes gone.
Referee Steven Rushton was left with little choice but to issue a straight red card when Doyle appeared to stamp on Mike Grella while the Iron striker lay on the floor.
It should have been the opportunity the hosts needed to impose themselves on the game, but careless passing and wayward crossing meant they failed to create barely a single opening before the half-time whistle.
A corner from Mark Duffy saw the Blades look a little flustered at the back, but they eventually got the ball clear, while Walker and Grella both went for goal from range with little success.
The former should have done better from 20 yards when collecting Grella's pass, while his team-mate went for power just before the break.
It proved to be more of the same in the second half, with only Duffy's wild effort to show for Scunthorpe's efforts.
And with the hour mark nearing, and no sign of breaking the deadlock, manager Alan Knill opted to change his strike force, bringing on Clarke and Hawley for their debuts.
Within barely three minutes, the duo succeeded where Jennings and Grella had failed.
An inviting cross from Duffy was swung into the penalty area, where Clarke was perfectly placed to head the ball into the net unchallenged.
David Prutton then tried to double the advantage with a fierce strike which blazed over the bar.
The Blades though, were not content to sit back and did their best to work their way back into the game and struck the crossbar with a header from Neill Collins.
However, when Ryan Flynn was dismissed for a hefty challenge on Christian Ribeiro in the 72nd minute, their task was made all the more difficult.
Still, they continued to press and levelled the scores with seven minutes remaining when Collins headed home Tony McMahon's free-kick out on the right.
Walker immediately attempted to restore Scunthorpe's lead with a delightful chipped effort on the edge of the area, but Mark Howard was equal to it and tipped the ball over the bar.
It meant Scunthorpe had to make do with just a point – their first one of the season.
SCUNTHORPE: Slocombe; Ribeiro, Mirfin, Canavan, Newey; Duffy, Prutton, Walker, Barcham (Ryan 88); Jennings (Hawley 56), Grella (Clarke 57). Subs not used: Severn, Gibbons, Hughes, Keegan.
SHEFFIELD UNITED: Howard; McMahon, Maguire, Collins, Hill (Williams 69); McAllister (Cresswell 70), Doyle, McDonald, Flynn; Blackman, Cofie (Miller 82). Subs not used: Westlake, Harriott, Ironside, Long.
ATTENDANCE: 5,533 (2,232 away).