FULL-TIME: Scunthorpe United 0 Shrewsbury Town 0
SCUNTHORPE United could only manage a second successive stalemate despite dominating for almost the full 90 minutes against Shrewsbury Town.
Chance after chance came the Iron's way at Glanford Park but they were unable to put any of them away and in the end could have ended up with nothing to show for their efforts in a late flurry of action.
Manager Brian Laws made just the one change as United looked to go one better than their New Year's Day draw with Oldham at Glanford Park.
Striker Nathan Ellington, in the final match before his loan spell was due to expire, started only his second game in claret and blue as Andy Barcham dropped to the bench.
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There was also a place among the substitutes for defender David Mirfin, out of action since November with a knee injury.
Just as they did against Oldham, United made a positive start, dominating possession and forcing their opponents back.
For all their nice build-up play however, the end product continued to elude them.
Mark Duffy in particular was guilty of the odd wayward cross, while too often the necessary cutting edge was lacking.
Although the busier of the two keepers, Chris Weale was rarely troubled, comfortably thwarting Jimmy Ryan's effort inside the first five minutes after the Liverpudlian had been played in by Michael Collins.
Damien Mozika was nowhere near with a blast from range, while there was no-one on hand to convert Ellington's inviting ball in from the right.
Duffy at least, did pick up on the loose ball and drifted inside before having a couple of bites at the cherry; both attempts though, were frustratingly blocked.
Any problems Scunthorpe did have were largely of their own making as the odd sloppy pass could have cost them dear.
Shrewsbury nevertheless, were unable to take advantage; the home back line barely coming under pressure in the opening 45 minutes.
Jon Taylor's fiercely hit ball in was about as close as they came with half an hour gone. But though Luke Rodgers was lurking in the centre , the ball drifted past the post.
United responded with a free-kick at the other end, just outside the penalty area on the left. With Duffy and Ellington presiding over proceedings, the latter fired goalwards towards the near bottom corner but Weale was not to be beaten.
Two minutes later, Duffy used his trickery in the box to create an opening but although well hit, his effort flew past the far post and beyond the reach of Karl Hawley.
Scunthorpe suffered a blow five minutes before the break when Mozika went down with a hamstring injury, looking in a lot of pain and had to be replaced.
But with neither side able to fashion a breakthrough the half finished goal-less.
Substitute Barcham tried to change that immediately after the re-start with a curled attempt from the edge of the area.
Weale did his job and then watched on helplessly as a fierce strike from distance from Hawley shortly after flew inches wide.
In a busy spell for the Shrewsbury stopper, he was called into action once more when Hawley teed up Ryan, whose drive was straight at the keeper.
The chances continued to come, but the Iron, for all their effort, couldn't find the finish.
Collins was unable to pick his spot after a fine individual run left him with time and space, while a superb cross from Tom Newey flew just past Hawley.
Newey had a chance of his own soon after. His header from Duffy's corner looked to be dropping in under the bar, but the fingertips of Weale tipped it over.
The visitors had a couple of efforts of their own in the final 10 minutes, with Slocombe doing well to thwart Tom Bradshaw before the Shrews striker fired another shot wide.
There was some desperate defending right at the end by United as Shrewsbury came close to bagging a late winner.
Ryan had the best late chance for the hosts with a blast which flew wide. But they had Slocombe to thank for at least taking a point as he pulled off a brilliant diving save to deny Taylor.
SCUNTHORPE: Slocombe; Ribeiro, Reid, Canavan, Newey; Duffy, Collins, Mozika (Barcham 41), Ryan; Hawley, Ellington (Grella 76). Subs not used: Severn, Kennedy, Mirfin, Gibbons, Godden.
SHREWSBURY: Weale; Goldson, Grandison, Jones, Jacobson; Taylor, Hall (McGinn 65), Richards, Purdie; Morgan, Rodgers (Bradshaw 57). Subs not used: Anyon, Parry, Wildig, Woods, Gayle.
ATTENDANCE: 3,044 (271 away).