Brian Laws searched for some consolation after a seventh home defeat, 2-1 to Bournemouth, left Scunthorpe deep in relegation trouble.
Lewis Grabban opened the scoring and Wes Fogden notched a fortuitous second, while Mike Grella missed a penalty for Scunthorpe before Karl Hawley did score from the spot.
"When you do get a penalty, you expect to score it, but we didn't with the first," said Laws.
"Mike Grella wanted to take it and I would never criticise him for that. You have to be brave to want to step up and take a penalty.
"Then 30 seconds later Bournemouth go down the other end and make it 2-0, so it was a double whammy for us.
"In the past we might have buckled, but this time we didn't.
"We have done a lot of work with the players on the mental side of the game in the past couple of weeks and this shows me that it is paying dividends.
"Bournemouth are flying at the moment but we kept at it and had a real go at them. Karl Hawley did get us back into the game with another penalty and we might have had an equaliser.
"The result was a disappointment, but not the performance. We might not have the points to show for it at the moment, but we are definitely moving in the right direction and if we continue to play like this, we will win more than we lose.
"But we have got to stop giving away poor goals so easily. That is what is costing us dearly."