A CHANGE of pitch with 10 minutes remaining and an unfortunate coin toss had Luctonians reeling after title favourites Scunthorpe took a last ditch victory.

Knowing they had to win the game to pull back into the promotion race Lucs came from behind to lead 15-14, however a change of pitch saw the advantage swing and the hosts kicked a last minute penalty.

"I was disappointed with the result but really proud with how the lads performed," said Luctonians head coach Ryan Watkins.

"We didn't quite get the rub of the green as we had to move pitches after 70 minutes due to one of their players needing an ambulance.

"We had competed against the wind in the first half and in the second half we didn't get our fair share. When we moved across pitches we lost the coin toss and swapped sides.

"So it was a repeat of the first half for the last 10 minutes and we found it hard to get out of defence."

Despite playing against the conditions it was Luctonians who went ahead early on as John Morris used his strength to cross the whitewash.

Table-topping Scunthorpe replied with a converted effort to give them a 7-5 lead at half-time.

Despite playing against the conditions the hosts slowly made ground with their experienced pack before scoring a second try.

Sam Boxhall kicked a penalty to draw Watkins' side back to 14-8 behind before Boxhall cross crossed the whitewash himself and kicked the extras to give his side a point lead.

Scunthorpe took advantage of the pitch swap and piled pressure on their visitors resulting in a penalty kick scored to give them a 17-15 victory.

The win leaves Scunthorpe 11 points above Luctonians, who dropped to fifth, with eight matches to play.

However, the leaders do have to travel to second place Newport (Salop) next week.

"Both teams knew there was a lot at stake and it sets them up well for a tough game at Newport," added Watkins.

"We're not completely out of it as there are eight games remaining and bonus points. But the difference is now 11 points and I would expect the top teams to beat most of their opposition.

"So they aren't going to lose three or four if we are being realistic. We've got to keep our feet on the ground and reset our goals."

Luctonians have a weekend to recover from their battle at Scunthorpe and welcome Sheffield next to Mortimer Park on February 6.