The Greens squad that travelled had a more settled look with most of the injured players now returned, with the exception of James Dyson who will not be available until mid to late December and Si Wellor who is still going through the concussion protocols.
The game started in mild and dry conditions with the home kick-off going directly into touch. This gave the home days an early opportunity to test the Scunthorpe mettle in the tight. This original contact was fairly gentle and gave no indication of what was to come. The Greens made the first impact when from a threequarter movement going right to left, saw Steve Johnson brake through the home defence, taking play into their ‘22’ and from the resulting offence at the break-down, Johnson put his side ahead with only 2 minutes on the clock.
The Gate came straight back and for the next 10 minute period they pinned Scunthorpe into their own ‘22’. There then followed a series of penalty awards to the home side from which they opted to play to the corner and attempt to drive The Greens over their own line. The defence was outstanding and they were repulsed on each occasion. Ollie Cole was to the fore during this period and managed to wrench the ball away from the opposition maul and clear up-field.
Scunthorpe did manage to get into the home half and when they gained another penalty, Johnson converted with a great kick from near half-way to give his team a 6 points to nil advantage after 12 minutes. Referee, Mr Ben Davis had so far demonstrated that he was not shy with the whistle and for the next quarter of the game there followed a succession of awards against The Greens which kept them pinned close to their own line. Will Robinson was sent to the bin after 22 minutes and the home pack managed to get a penalty try awarded two minutes later from a scrummage, that they seemed to wheel rather than push in a straight line. This and the subsequent conversion, put The Gate in front by 7 points to 6 after 24 minutes.
With the penalty count still very disproportionate, Scunthorpe nonetheless managed to fight the way up-field and once more the Johnson boot struck from a long way out to re-take the lead for The Greens by 9 points to 6 in the 32nd minute and just before half-time he once more repeated the exercise to take his team into the break with a 12 points to 7 advantage.
Scunthorpe now refreshed, started to play a lot more in home territory. There was another yellow card awarded when Guy Mychajluk was binned after 13 minutes of the second period. It was The Greens though that went further ahead with another Johnson penalty from an acute angle for a 15 points to 7 lead 19 minutes into the second half. The Gate did come back strongly and after 24 minutes they drove over from close range with a try for No. 8 Tim Heaton converted by Charles Morgan. The game was now very evenly balanced at 15 points to 14 in favour of the Lincolnshire boys. With 16 minutes left on the clock. Scunthorpe once more made an incursion into the home ‘22’ and once more they won a penalty which the now golden boot of Johnson converted for a cushion of 18points to 14 after 31 minutes.
The Gate now mounted a series of strong challenges but were repulsed by some very stern defence but after 36 minutes the work of Gareth Mist was judged to be illegal and he was duly despatched to the bin. So once more down to 14 men Scunthorpe had their travelling support on chewing their finger nails as they managed to see the game out and claim victory.
Match Report by LWJClayton