AFC Emley 2 - 0 Knaresborough Town
Brennan and McLachlan buoy Emley onto crucial win
AFC Emley’s hopes of automatic promotion stayed alive after beating play-off chasing Knaresborough Town 2-0 at the Fantastic Media Welfare Ground this afternoon.
Tom Brennan’s first half brace earned Emley three crucial points against difficult opposition.
Knaresborough may have felt hard done by not to have scored, but a stellar performance from Graham McLachlan kept the visitors quiet.
Top scorer Ashley Flynn scored the first goal on Tuesday night against Dronfield Town and should have done the same against Knaresborough. As he attempted to round Ben Ledger, the big shot-stopper stood up big to keep the game level.
From one blown opportunity to another – Brennan’s short header back to McLachlan was picked up by Colin Heath, but he couldn’t find the net from close range.
Callum Charlton scored his second Emley goal against Dronfield and could have had number three today, though his audacious chip from a tight angle grazed the crossbar.
Brennan got his name on the scoresheet for the first time since December after cropping up at the back post to nod Liam Schofield’s corner in.
Schofield and Brennan linked up again just five minutes later to create a carbon copy of the first goal, giving Emley the upper hand at half time.
Knaresborough went in search of a vital goal that would push the door ajar for a comeback, but Heath’s low drive was parried by the diving McLachlan.
McLachlan was required once again to smartly push Tom Hesketh’s long range howitzer past the post after scrambling across his goal.
His hands came to good use again in the closing stages when Brad Walker’s whipped effort was pushed behind for a corner.
As Pontefract Collieries cantered to a 4-0 win in a huge promotion race clash with Hall Road Rangers, manager Darren Hepworth will be delighted that automatic promotion remains in touching distance.
The Pewits must remain focused for the remaining four league matches, beginning with a trip to Worsborough Bridge Athletic next Saturday.