Barnsley produced another horrific performance on Hallowe'en as they slipped to a sixth straight league defeat for the first time since 1986.
Manager Lee Johnson watched on perplexed as his team were woeful again at Scunthorpe, particularly in the second half.All the damage was done in the first period on a day when the hosts piled yet more pressure on Johnson.
The Reds started the game impressively, but found themselves behind thanks to an awfully-defended goal in only the sixth minute.Josh Scowen and Michael Smith had already threatened before the Iron were presented with an opening goal.
A harmless-looking cross came in from the flank and as Marc Roberts and 'keeper Nick Townsend both failed miserably to clear between them, Tom Hopper nipped in to prod home his first goal of the season from barely a yard out.The Reds responded well as they created a handful of decent chances to score an equaliser, but by the time the half-time whistle had gone they were two behind having also fluffed a penalty opportunity.Lewin Nyatanga headed inches wide and Reece Wabara fizzed a piledriver narrowly over the crossbar before the Iron doubled their advantage four minutes before the interval.
This time ex-Red Scott Wiseman drilled a low cross in for Gary McSheffrey, who slotted home confidently from 15 yards.In the final minute before the break the Reds were handed a lifeline as Murray Wallace bundled Sam Winnall over in the box, but the former Scunthorpe hit-man's penalty effort was saved superbly by 'keeper Luke Daniels
.The Iron were on top in the opening moments of the second period.Hopper volleyed just wide, while Townsend produced a super save to keep out Paddy Madden's thumping header. Scowen went closest to grabbing a consolation goal for the Reds late on, but on the day they had been a well-beaten side.
Scunthorpe (4-2-3-1): Daniels; Wiseman, Mirfin, Wallace, Laird; Bishop, King; Rowe, Madden, McSheffrey; Hopper.
Subs: Anyon, Clarke, McAllister, Lolley, Williams, van Veen, Henderson.
Barnsley (3-5-2): Townsend; Roberts, Mawson, Nyatanga; Wabara, Scowen, Pearson, Isgrove, G Smith; Winnall, M Smith.
Subs: Davies, Wilkinson, Bree, Jackson, Abbott, Maris, Templeton.
Referee: Stuart Attwell (Warwickshire).