Scunthorpe manager Russ Wilcox said a point at Port Vale felt like a win after his side twice came from behind.
The point moved the Vale into the play-off places but they were frustrated after George Miller’s 90th-minute header earned the visitors a 2-2 draw.
The task for 18th-placed Scunthorpe was made harder as they lost Abo Eisa just before the break, and fellow forward Kevin van Veen just after, but they overcame those injuries to deny the Vale.
Mark Cullen put Vale in front on 16 minutes but Alex Gilliead levelled on 71. Nathan Smith seemed to have won it seven minutes later before Miller headed home John McAtee’s cross.
Wilcox told his club’s official website: “The players have shown tremendous character, coming to a place like Port Vale who’ve lost one game at home all season. Going behind twice and then coming back, I can’t speak highly enough of the players.
“I said to them after the match, it feels like a win. Especially when we went behind again after equalising. We wanted to be solid at 1-1, but then when you go 2-1 down, and a lot of teams would probably buckle under that pressure, but we stood firm and got a deserved point.”
As for the late equaliser, Wilcox said: “There wasn’t long left, so it became about getting balls into the box. McAtee put a great ball in, George found some space and got the slightest touch. Saying that I thought it was a well-earned point – we deserved it – they (Port Vale) have beaten many teams here.
“The main thing that shone today was the character of the group.
“The team that ended the game was a young one, and that’s going to be the way forward. We’ve got to help them learn but you can’t coach character, belief, or hard work, it’s got to come from within. The players showed that in abundance, and hopefully the fans that travelled went home happy.
“I don’t think many people will have given us much chance today. We lost (Abo) Eisa quite early in the game, and Kev early in the second half, who are two outstanding players. The young lads stepped up to the plate today though, and performed really well.”