After dropping five points in their previous two games United were missing Steve Torpey, Cliff Byrne and Matthew Sparrow as they faced in-form Southend United who had won their previous three games
Despite the Shrimpers strong form, which ocntrasted to our two poor recent results, they pulled off a convincing victory to move up to third in the table.
Martin Carruther's predictably scored once more against his former club, capitalising on a defensive error by the visitors.
Daryl Sutch was beaten by a ball from Wayne Graves that was collected by Carruthers who knocked home his 17th goal of the season with a confident lob.
Six minutes later though it was all square. There appeared no real danger on the edge of the 18-yard line, but Jay Smith turned brilliantly to hammer home a right-foot shot.
United kept up the pressure and after substitute Paul Hayes, who replaced Wayne Graves who was suffering from a dead leg, had forced a fine save from Danny Gay at the expense of a corner. Andy Dawson's flag kick was met by Ian Kilford who got a final touch to put the Iron ahead in the 36th minute.
Eight minutes later Scunthorpe were firmly in the driving seat when Kilford lifted a free kick in from the left and Alex Calvo-Garcia rose majestically to head home. Calvo was only back in the side due to Sparrow's suspension, and it shows that everyone in the squad is fully dedicated to the cause.
Southend had little to offer after the break with Mark Rawle making their only real contribution with a shot that was blocked by Tommy Evans' legs.
Hayes scored a debut goal for Scunthorpe when he capitalised on a poor clearance by the keeper and shrugged off a strong challenge by Leon Cort to smash home a right-foot shot after 71 minutes.
Shortly afterwards centre-back Mark Jackson broke forward and saw a powerful header cleared from under the bar by Sutch and the defender repeated the effort two minutes from the end, again by Jackson.
The three points move United back up to third int he table, above Bury thanks to superior goal difference.
The mudrats may have Jamie Forrester now, but it was the same level of performance from them today as they were booed off the pitch following an unconvincing goaless draw at home to York City.