OXFORD United are still waiting for their first away win in Sky Bet League One this season – despite leading 3-0 at Scunthorpe United.

Maximum points looked nailed on when Cameron Brannagan and Curtis Nelson struck early in the second half.

It added to James Henry’s early strike in a dull first half, but an out-of-form Scunthorpe side turned the tide in an astonishing six-minute spell.

Jordan Clarke’s low shot appeared to be only a consolation, but the Iron suddenly had momentum when George Thomas made it 3-2 with an inch-perfect free-kick.

And the madcap spell was completed when Charlie Goode rammed home with almost 25 minutes still to play.

United could easily have lost the game in the closing stages, so a point which extended their unbeaten run to six league games was of some consolation.

But they will know this was a contest in which they simply should not have lost control - and the squandering of two points kept them in League One's relegation zone.

For only the second time this season, boss Karl Robinson named the same XI for successive league games.

The one change came on the bench, where Charlie Raglan replaced Samir Carruthers, who has had a setback with a knee injury.

Scunthorpe came into the game on a five-game losing streak and there were signs of their brittle confidence early on.

Twice simple passes were played out of play, accompanied by a few groans among the home fans.

Their mood darkened in the eighth minute, when United opened the scoring with their first effort of the game.

A patient move saw the ball find its way to Henry, who played a 1-2 with Jamie Mackie to get into the penalty area, where he smashed a shot high into the net past Jak Alnwick.

It was a great start for the visitors, whose priority for the rest of the half appeared to be on preserving the lead.

Scunthorpe fought their way back into the game, with Thomas sending a free-kick into the side netting after a quarter of an hour.

It was quickly followed by a substitution. Striker Ike Ugbo replaced midfielder James Horsfield in a bid to carry more of a threat up front.

The Iron also forced a handful of corners, Simon Eastwood saving a stabbed Matty Lund effort from one of them.

But while United, whose only other effort on goal before the break was a Gavin Whyte shot wide, would have wanted to carry more of a threat, they were again happy to grind away defensively.

And that rearguard action paid off when the lead was doubled with a clinical break four minutes into the second half.

Mackie held the ball up well before chipping a quality pass into the run of Henry, who showed good strength to hold off a defender before crossing low for Brannagan to thump into the net.

Within six minutes it was 3-0, when Nelson stabbed in following a goalmouth scramble at a corner.

With the points seemingly in the bag, United looked hungry to run up an emphatic scoreline.

But incredibly Scunthorpe fought back to level with three goals in six minutes.

The comeback began on the hour, when a free-kick was cut back to Clarke, whose low shot threaded through a crowded penalty area and into the net.

It had come from a Brannagan foul and the midfielder conceded another set piece just outside the area four minutes later.

Thomas stepped up and gave Scunthorpe real hope with a high-class strike which left Eastwood clawing at thin air as the ball flew into the top corner.

United were suddenly wobbling and the Iron were remarkably back on level terms when Goode crashed a low strike into the net after Jamie Hanson had cleared a header off the line.

There was still a quarter of the game remaining and United had to dig in against a Scunthorpe side with their tails up.

Substitute Lewis Butroid volleyed just wide from 25 yards, while Lund did the same with a header from two yards as the U’s hung on.

They had their moments on the break, mainly through Whyte, but could not regain the lead and had to settle for a point.

Scunthorpe Utd (4-3-3): Alnwick, Clarke, Goode, Burgess, Borthwick-Jackson (Butroid HT), Perch, Horsfield (Ugbo 20), Lund, Thomas, Novak, Colclough.

Unused subs: Flatt, McArdle, Dales, Lewis, Wootton.

Booked: Lund, Goode.

Oxford Utd (4-3-3): Eastwood, McMahon, Nelson, Dickie, Ruffels, Mousinho, Henry (Hanson 65), Brannagan, Whyte, Mackie, Holmes (Browne 71).

Unused subs: Mitchell, Garbutt, Raglan, Long, Smith.

Booked: Dickie, Brannagan, Hanson, Mackie, McMahon.

Referee: Paul Marsden (Lancashire).

Attendance: 3,665 (visitors not given).