Sheffield United had two players sent off but were still able to snatch a point at struggling Scunthorpe.
Skipper Michael Doyle was dismissed for his challenge on Mike Grella and midfielder Ryan Flynn also saw red for a high tackle on Christian Ribeiro.
A header from debutant Leon Clarke looked to be enough for Scunthorpe to claim their first win of the season.
But the Blades levelled when Neill Collins, who had earlier hit a post, nodded in Tony McMahon's free-kick.
VIEW FROM THE DRESSING ROOM
Scunthorpe United manager Alan Knill told BBC Radio Humberside:
"I thought we were pretty good for the whole game, irrelevant of what we had on the pitch.
"The attitude was really good, and the new signings [Leon Clarke and Karl Hawley] made a difference.
"I am frustrated but there's plenty of positives to take. We haven't lost, that's the most important thing.
"After four losses on the trot, you don't want five. We've got a point on the board and we've got a squad now that's capable of competing."
Sheffield United manager Danny Wilson told BBC Radio Sheffield:
"When you get a performance like that from an official, I can't understand why I'm not supposed to comment on that.
"It was a terrible game from his [the referee's] perspective. He sent Michael Doyle off for an alleged stamp and he's nowhere near the boy. Even before that, he gave some strange decisions for both teams.
"If anything, [Ryan Flynn's red card] is a booking. They've both gone for the ball.
"There's two coming together at pace. There's a ball there to be won and they're going hell for leather for it."
Sorry, we were unable to load match stats, please try again.
Live Text Commentary
Full Time The referee ends the match.90:00 +4:06 Booking
Booking Niall Canavan booked.90:00 +3:50
Niall Canavan concedes a free kick for a foul on Nick Blackman. Tony McMahon restarts play with the free kick.90:00 +3:35
A cross is delivered by Tom Newey, clearance made by Neill Collins.90:00 +2:25
Foul by Jimmy Ryan on Shaun Miller, free kick awarded. Tony McMahon takes the free kick.90:00 +2:05
A cross is delivered by Christian Ribeiro.90:00 +0:06
The ball is sent over by Christian Ribeiro, Tony McMahon manages to make a clearance. David Prutton takes a corner.88:52
Foul by Josh Walker on Kevin McDonald, free kick awarded. Neill Collins takes the direct free kick.87:38 Substitution
Substitution Jimmy Ryan joins the action as a substitute, replacing Andy Barcham.87:38
Andy Barcham challenges Tony McMahon unfairly and gives away a free kick. Free kick taken by Mark Howard.86:51
The ball is sent over by Christian Ribeiro, Kevin McDonald manages to make a clearance.86:01
Mark Duffy challenges Richard Cresswell unfairly and gives away a free kick. Tony McMahon crosses the ball from the free kick right-footed from left channel, David Mirfin makes a clearance.84:03
Effort on goal by Josh Walker from 18 yards. Save by Mark Howard.82:01
Assist on the goal came from Tony McMahon.82:01 Goal scored
Goal! - Neill Collins - Scunthorpe 1 - 1 Sheff Utd Neill Collins finds the back of the net with a headed goal from inside the area. Scunthorpe 1-1 Sheff Utd.81:49
Unfair challenge on Nick Blackman by Niall Canavan results in a free kick. Free kick crossed right-footed by Tony McMahon from right channel,81:02 Substitution
Substitution Shaun Miller joins the action as a substitute, replacing John Cofie.80:30
Shot from 20 yards from Karl Hawley. Blocked by Leon Clarke.79:51
Unfair challenge on Josh Walker by Richard Cresswell results in a free kick. David Mirfin takes the direct free kick.78:12
Shot from 35+ yards by Marcus Williams. David Prutton gets a block in.
Andy Barcham gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Richard Cresswell. Kevin McDonald restarts play with the free kick.71:40 Dismissal
Dismissal The referee shows Ryan Flynn a red card for serious foul play.71:05
Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Christian Ribeiro by Ryan Flynn. Sam Slocombe takes the free kick.67:20
Ryan Flynn crosses the ball, David Mirfin makes a clearance.67:20 Substitution
Substitution Richard Cresswell replaces David McAllister.67:20 Substitution
Substitution Marcus Williams joins the action as a substitute, replacing Matthew Hill.67:20 Booking
Booking The referee cautions David Mirfin for unsporting behaviour.67:07
David Mirfin concedes a free kick for a foul on Nick Blackman.63:46
Inswinging corner taken by Ryan Flynn from the left by-line played to the near post, Neill Collins takes a shot.63:16
Tom Newey delivers the ball, Kevin McDonald makes a clearance.62:58
The ball is crossed by Tony McMahon, clearance by David Mirfin.61:37
Effort from long distance by David Prutton goes wide right of the goal.60:54
Mark Duffy delivers the ball.59:10
Mark Duffy provided the assist for the goal.59:10 Goal scored
Goal! - Leon Clarke - Scunthorpe 1 - 0 Sheff Utd Leon Clarke scores a headed goal from inside the penalty box. Scunthorpe 1-0 Sheff Utd.59:10
The ball is swung over by Mark Duffy,58:25
Nick Blackman gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Christian Ribeiro. Free kick taken by David Mirfin.56:56
Leon Clarke challenges Ryan Flynn unfairly and gives away a free kick. Matthew Hill takes the direct free kick.55:29 Substitution
Substitution Mike Grella goes off and Leon Clarke comes on.55:29 Substitution
Substitution Connor Jennings leaves the field to be replaced by Karl Hawley.54:09
Foul by Mike Grella on Matthew Hill, free kick awarded. Ryan Flynn crosses the ball from the free kick right-footed from left wing, Sam Slocombe makes a comfortable save.52:42
Shot from long distance by Mark Duffy misses to the right of the target.50:27
Free kick crossed right-footed by Ryan Flynn. The referee blows for offside. Indirect free kick taken by Sam Slocombe.50:27 Booking
Booking Christian Ribeiro receives a yellow card for unsporting behaviour.50:11
Ryan Flynn fouled by Christian Ribeiro, the ref awards a free kick.48:17
The offside flag is raised against Andy Barcham. Free kick taken by Mark Howard.47:53
The ball is crossed by Christian Ribeiro, Tony McMahon manages to make a clearance.47:38
The referee blows for offside. Niall Canavan takes the indirect free kick.45:55
A cross is delivered by Tom Newey, clearance made by Harry Maguire. Inswinging corner taken by David Prutton from the left by-line, Harry Maguire manages to make a clearance. Corner taken right-footed by David Prutton, Kevin McDonald makes a clearance.45:01
The match restarts for the second half.45:00 +2:06 Half time
Half Time The ref blows to signal half-time.45:00 +1:37
Shot by Mike Grella from a long way out goes over the net.45:00 +0:51
The ball is sent over by Christian Ribeiro, Neill Collins makes a clearance.44:24
Josh Walker produces a right-footed shot from just outside the penalty box that goes wide left of the target.39:45
The referee blows for offside against John Cofie. Tom Newey restarts play with the free kick.39:15
Tony McMahon takes the free kick.39:15 Booking
Booking David Prutton shown a yellow card.39:03
David Prutton concedes a free kick for a foul on Nick Blackman.38:47
Centre by Christian Ribeiro, clearance by Neill Collins.38:09
Corner taken right-footed by David Prutton, Harry Maguire makes a clearance.37:40
Tony McMahon sends in a cross, Sam Slocombe makes a comfortable save.36:39
Mark Duffy sends in a cross, clearance by David McAllister.35:24
The ball is swung over by Kevin McDonald, clearance made by David Mirfin.35:05
A cross is delivered by Tom Newey.34:19
David McAllister takes a shot. Niall Canavan gets a block in.33:14
Mark Duffy crosses the ball.32:13
Ryan Flynn handles the ball and concedes a free kick. Free kick crossed by David Prutton, clearance by Neill Collins.29:41
Nick Blackman takes a shot from 12 yards. Blocked by David Mirfin.28:15
A cross is delivered by David Prutton, save made by Mark Howard.26:38 Booking
Booking Tom Newey goes into the referee's book.26:11 Booking
Booking Tony McMahon receives a caution for unsporting behaviour.25:25
The assistant referee signals for offside against Tom Newey. Mark Howard takes the indirect free kick.24:58
A cross is delivered by David Prutton, Kevin McDonald gets a block in.24:17
Free kick awarded for a foul by David Prutton on John Cofie. Harry Maguire takes the free kick.23:17
Tony McMahon delivers the ball, save made by Sam Slocombe.20:55
Foul by Connor Jennings on Matthew Hill, free kick awarded. Neill Collins takes the free kick.20:05
The ball is sent over by Mark Duffy, blocked by Matthew Hill. Corner taken short by David Prutton.19:43
Mike Grella sends in a cross, clearance made by Harry Maguire.18:59
Mark Duffy crosses the ball, Neill Collins manages to make a clearance.18:33
A cross is delivered by David Prutton, clearance by Neill Collins.17:00
Unfair challenge on David McAllister by Tom Newey results in a free kick. Matthew Hill delivers the ball from the free kick left-footed from own half.16:43
The ball is delivered by Tom Newey, Neill Collins manages to make a clearance.14:21
Sam Slocombe restarts play with the free kick.14:21 Dismissal
Dismissal Michael Doyle sent from the field by the ref for serious foul play.14:05
Michael Doyle concedes a free kick for a foul on Mike Grella.12:56
David McAllister challenges Tom Newey unfairly and gives away a free kick. Free kick taken by Sam Slocombe.10:41
David McAllister gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Niall Canavan. Sam Slocombe restarts play with the free kick.10:09
Josh Walker has an effort at goal from outside the penalty box which goes wide right of the target.6:43
Unfair challenge on Neill Collins by Connor Jennings results in a free kick. Mark Howard takes the free kick.2:53
The ball is crossed by Ryan Flynn, Tom Newey manages to make a clearance. Ryan Flynn takes a outswinging corner.0:00
The referee gets the game started.
Live data and text provided by our data suppliers