Yorkshire Amateur 0 - 3 AFC Emley
Handicapped Emley pull of remarkable away victory.
9-man AFC Emley scored three late second half goals to beat Yorkshire Amateur 3-0 and extend their unbeaten run to five games at the Southerns Stadium this afternoon.
Josh Ingham and Kieran Ryan were sent-off, along with Yorkshire midfielder Chris Hitching, following an altercation midway through the first half.
Despite Emley’s handicap, Ashley Flynn and Matthew Jackson’s goals sent the travelling fans into delirium.
The Pewits remain 2nd and four points off the top in the Toolstation NCEL Division One table, but 3rd placed Hall Road Rangers are two points off with two games in hand.
Head coach Darren Hepworth made just one change to the side that beat Campion 4-1 last week.
The injured Aaron Joseph was replaced by versatile midfielder Jordan Townend.
Since Tom Robinson’s mid-season arrival from Thackley, there’s been a breath of fresh air on the right wing and he could have opened his Emley goalscoring account but for Suwara Bojang’s diving save to thwart a deadly half-volley.
Joel Hughes should have put the hosts ahead when he rounded Emley goalkeeper Graham McLachlan, but the angle was too tight for him to squeeze the ball home.
A relatively cool first half soon became engulfed in flames when young referee Jack Hall was given a baptism of fire.
Ingham caught Ammas’ Freddie Swales late, but the defenders’ reaction sparked a mass brawl.
Ingham was sent for an early bath after the challenge, whilst Ryan and Hitching were shown reds for violent conduct.
The referee and his assistants lost control of the game and sent Emley assistant manager Joe Howson to the stands.
Emley held onto a goalless draw at half-time and changed the system in the second half.
McLachlan has made some huge saves in recent matches, but none more important than his stop to deny a clear goalscoring opportunity from Matty Dalton just six yards out.
That was the vital moment in the second half, which gave Emley the belief they could go for the smash and grab.
An exhausted Jordan Coduri’s lung-busting run took him halfway up the pitch, where he squared to an unmarked league top scorer in Flynn at the back post – he needed no second invitation to tap in to an empty net.
Jackson replaced Flynn and two minutes after doing so bagged a crucial second goal. Bojang couldn’t keep out the bobbling effort and Hepworth ran the line to join the celebrations. His passion was not of the referee’s liking and joined Howson in the stands, much to the displeasure of the Emley fans.
That didn’t matter, however, as super-sub Jackson claimed his second in the 85th minute after going one-on-one with Bojang.
There’s little time for Hepworth’s men to recover, though, as a trip to face Dronfield Town awaits the Pewits on Tuesday evening.
Play-off chasing Knaresborough Town travel to the Fantastic Media Welfare Ground next Saturday as Emley hope to keep their automatic promotion hopes alive.