Rugby report: Scunthorpe 27 Newport 20
Greens got back to winning ways with a 27-20 win over Newport Salop at Heslam Park.
The home side were keen to show their fans they were capable of playing better rugby than recent results had suggested.
Adam Middleton, at scrum-half, and Steve Parker, at centre, made their first starts of the season.
Guy Mychaijluk returned from injury to start in the front row and vice-captain Nick Siddall was on the bench.
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Scunthorpe certainly looked a different outfit to the side that capitulated so badly last time out at Heslam Park against South Leicester.
They moved the ball with confidence and it took only five minutes for the first try to come when Chris Neal gathered the rebound from a Tom Foster chip to score under the posts. He converted his own try.
Three minutes later, the ball was more moved through quick hands to the left, to put Woody Viamoso in for a second try. Neal missed the conversion but the Heslam Park boys now had a spring in their stride.
Newport re-gathered and put their game plan together to bring them back into the match. Their style of play showed a preference for close-driving from their forwards and once they got into the home half they forced a penalty which fly-half Jamie Simpson converted.
Scunthorpe struck again on the counter after a clearance kick was gathered deep in their half. Woody Viamoso was able to put Neal clear on the left and he scored in the corner. The conversion was missed but Greens led 17 points to 3.
Newport battled back through powerful play by their pack and eventually drove over from close range, with prop Phil Rogers claiming the touchdown. Simpson missed the conversion and the score at the interval was 17-8.
The home side enjoyed a dream start to the second period. The visitors tried to clear from a defensive position within their '22', only for Matt Power to charge down the kick, gather and touch down with hardly a minute of the second half gone. Neal added the extras.
Moments later, Newport were awarded a penalty but Simpson struck the woodwork. Scunthorpe went up the other end and Neal converted a penalty to stretch the lead to 27-8.
Newport rallied but lost captain Neil Weston to the bin after six minutes. But before the home boys could capitalise, Callum Davies was binned for not retreating at a quickly-taken penalty.
Fifteen minutes into the second period, Newport secured a position close to the Scunthorpe line and drove over from a line-out. Simpson converted to reduce the arrears to 12 points.
The home team were still sticking to their game-plan of moving the ball at every opportunity but old habits of losing the ball in contact were undermining their resolve.
Newport again worked a position close to the home line and the ball was spun out to the left for Sam Foskett to touch down. Simpson missed the conversion but the deficit was now down to 7, with 13 minutes remaining.
Matters were further compounded when Nick Siddall was binned for using feet in the ruck.
As both teams pressed for the vital score, every penalty presented a mini-drama. Both sides had their moments. Oli Wood and Steve Parker seemed certain to score for Greens, only to be brought down short of the line. Siddall returned to bolster Scunthorpe for the last couple of minutes and they kept their lead to run out winners by 27 points to 20.
Next week sees the massive challenge of a visit to unbeaten Sutton Coldfield, who are among the favourites for promotion.