Scunthorpe caretaker manager Andy Dawson struggled to understand how his side didn’t pick up all three points in their goalless draw with Blackpool at Glanford Park.
Both keepers had already made smart saves during an end-to-end encounter, before Pool stopper Christoffer Mafoumbi pulled off the most crucial of all in the final minute to tip over a flicked header from Iron substitute Lee Novak.
Dawson said: “It was a great run and header, and a great ball in from Hammy (winger Adam Hammill) as well. Noves (Novak) ran across the centre half and I was waiting for it to hit the back of the net.
“Credit to the keeper, he made a fantastic save.
“They’re the little things that aren’t going our way at the moment, but I’m delighted with the lads.
“They showed good quality at times and when things weren’t going well and Blackpool had opportunities, they were willing to put their bodies on the line.
“I keep emphasising it, but you have to do that in football and I’m pleased that the lads now understand that.
“That’s the first clean sheet we’ve had since February and that should give them confidence.
“The reason we’re in the position we’re in is because we haven’t scored enough goals and we’ve conceded too many.
“But if we keep creating the sort of quality chances we did today, keep believing and keep working hard, we will start to take them.”
Although unable to find the back of the net, both teams had chances, with Scunthorpe keeper Jak Alnwick denying the visitors’ Jordan Thompson on several occasions, including with his fingertips just before the break.
He also reacted brilliantly to thwart Matty Virtue with an outstretched foot in the second half, nine minutes after Kevin van Veen had seen an effort blocked by the onrushing Mafoumbi – who later produced the save of the afternoon to keep out Novak and ensure the Iron were not able to pull clear of the relegation zone.
“It’s hard to believe it finished 0-0 with the amount of chances at both ends,” Blackpool boss Terry McPhillips said.
“We were excellent in the first half and I thought we were the better side all in all – but you’ve got to score when you’re on top and we didn’t.
“Scunthorpe are fighting for their lives and they asked some questions as well, so a draw was probably a fair result in the end.
“I thought both teams played for a win, it’s just we couldn’t find a goal. And for all our pressure, we needed a world-class save from Chris (Mafoumbi) to get us a point.
“I’m pleased for him, and the lads, that we got the clean sheet – we’ve not had one in a while – but we just can’t seem to buy a win at the minute.
“For all the possession we had and the nice football we play, we’ve got to turn it into goals and I’ve said that many times this season.”