Garry Thompson's superb strike downed Rochdale to give Scunthorpe their first home win in over three months.
The Dale, who had not scored in their previous five away games, should have gone ahead when Nicky Adams poked wide with the goal gaping.
Jon Parkin, on loan from Cardiff, was denied a debut goal after a fine save from Peter Kurucz.
Thompson settled affairs when he cut in from the right to rattle an unstoppable strike into the far corner.
VIEWS FROM THE DRESSING ROOM
Scunthorpe United manager Alan Knill told BBC Radio Humberside:
"They'd just rolled one across our box and you're waiting for it to hit the goal but it didn't and then we go down the other end and put one in their top corner.
"It was a great stike and everyone was pretty relieved when it hit the top of the net.
"Gary Thompson is a talented footballer and we encourage him to show us his talents so I'm delighted for him."
Rochdale manager John Coleman told BBC Radio Manchester:
"I think the game could have gone anyway, but their lad has scored a glorious goal, worthy of winning any game.
"We had a good chance ourselves but that was probably the sum total of the chances.
"We didn't play anyway near like we can play. I think I could possibly shoulder some of the blame, because I possibly should have changed the formation, given the ball and the pitch that cut up."