Newcastle clinched a narrow 13-11 win over fellow Premiership strugglers London Irish on Sunday at a windy Kingston Park.
In a tight opening half, Ofisa Treviranus' touchdown and Ian Humphreys' penalty gave Irish an 8-6 lead at the interval.
Two Rory Clegg three-pointers was the Falcons' response before the break, but they found themselves further behind in the second period with yet another Humphreys' kick.
But Powell was the hero when he crossed the whitewash. Phil Godman added the conversion which secured a vital win for Newcastle.
This was a match between two sides who were tipped to be near the bottom of the table at the end of the season.
However, both teams have made solid starts to the campaign having gone into the encounter with two wins each from their first five games.
Although Clegg missed the chance to register three points, it was Irish that looked the more threatening in the early stages of the match.
Brian Smith's men showed intent from the kick-off to move the ball wide, despite the poor conditions, and they duly opened the scoring when excellent hands saw Treviranus touch down.
Newcastle hit back through the boot of their stand-off and successive penalties gave them a 6-5 advantage after 30 minutes. But, with the last kick of the half, Humphreys restored the Exiles' lead with a three-pointer of his own.
The visiting pivot then extended the gap to five points with a second from the tee with a quarter of the game left.
However, the Falcons applied the pressure and were camped on the away team's line before Powell found a gap in the opposition rearguard to go over.
That ended up being the winning score, but it wasn't assured until the final whistle when Shane Geraghty's late effort missed.
Pens: Clegg 2
Pens: Humphreys 2
Newcastle Falcons: 15 Alex Tait, 14 Tom Catterick, 13 Danny Barnes, 12 Adam Powell, 11 Ryan Shortland, 10 Rory Clegg, 9 Mike Blair, 8 Ally Hogg (c), 7 Mark Wilson, 6 Dom Barrow, 5 Fraser McKenzie, 4 Carlo del Fava, 3 Oliver Tomaszczyk, 2 Scott Lawson, 1 Rob Vickers.
Replacements: 16 George McGuigan, 17 Grant Shiells, 18 Kieran Brookes, 19 Scott MacLeod, 20 Will Welch, 21 Warren Fury, 22 Phil Godman, 23 James Fitzpatrick
London Irish: 15 Topsy Ojo, 14 Alex Lewington, 13Fergus Mulchrone, 12 Eamonn Sheridan, 11 Sailosi Tagicakibau, 10 Ian Humphreys, 9 TomÃ¡s O'Leary (c), 8 Chris Hala'ufia 7 Ofisa Treviranus, 6 Blair Cowan, 5 Bryn Evans, 4 Ian Gough, 3 Leo Halavatau, 2 David Paice, 1 John Yapp.
Replacements: 16 Mike Mayhew, 17 Matt Parr, 18 Jamie Hagan, 19Bryn Evans, 20 Jebb Sinclair, 21 Guy Armitage, 22 Shane Geraghty, 23 Darren Allinson
Referee: Greg Garner
Assistant referees: Luke Pearce, Gordon Goodliffe
TMO: Keith Lewis