Emley downed in Derbyshire
By Martin Eastwood
Dronfield Town 1-0 AFC Emley
A single goal on the stroke of half time was the only difference between the sides in a well fought contest.
Emley, although beaten, battled well throughout and will feel disappointed that they weren't more clinical in a game of relatively few chances in front of goal.
Emley started the brighter of the 2 sides, with Shane Hamilton and Nathan Howe both looking lively down the flanks and George Whittaker looking to break from midfield.
It was Hamilton who had the games' first real opening, firing a shot wide of the right hand post, Howe also saw a good run come to an end before he could get a shot away.
Dronfield then started to get a foothold into a game that had pretty much been dominated by Joe Howson's men for the first 15 minutes, Adam Ledger, who had barely touched the ball, made a smart save from a close range shot.
Wayne Hughes then looked to repeat last week's Beckenbauer impression, with his twinkle toes, and storming run, but the shot this time went wide.
Emley were still looking the most dangerous side and another chance went begging when smart play between Whittaker and Hamilton, saw a shot from Whittaker go just wide.
The home side, looking to go 4 games unbeaten weren't going to lie down and let the visitors have it all their own way though, and Ledger again was called into action to tip a cracking curling shot over the bar.
As half time approached and most people were making their way to seek warmth, Dronfield took the lead, a fierce shot, was parried by Ledger but the rebound fell to top marksman Mark Fereday and he made no mistake in burying the rebound, it was tough on Emley who had been the better team in the opinion of many.
The second half was really one to forget for most of the 123 hardy souls, who were feeling the temperatures drop by the minute!
Again though, Emley started the better and a good spell by Nathan Howe on the left, saw him whip in 2 good crosses, unfortunately there was no one in yellow and green to make more of them, Emley continued to probe and look for an equaliser but poor decisions and final balls were frustrating for the good number of fans who came to support them and for the management team.
Equally, Dronfield were having the same problems, a couple of poor decisions ended some promising attacks.
When they did get it right though, Ledger stood up well in the Emley nets, a one on one was well dealt with by the Emley stopper and a few minutes later after a clean break, Ledger was quick off his line to narrow the angle and as a result, the attack was well dealt with by the Pewits' defence.
Howson looked to change things around and brought off the hard working Hamilton, Ingham and Howe and replace them with Townend, Burnett and Cranswick, Burnett looked to make an immediate impact but couldn't latch onto a good ball after a great move involving Starkey and Tunnacliffe.
Emley tried everything to get an equaliser but Dronfield's defence stood firm and they managed to see the game out and bag all 3 points.
AFC Emley- Ledger, Kemp, Starkey, Tunnacliffe, Stafford, Hughes, Hamilton, Whittaker, Horbury, Ingham, Howe; Subs used- Burnett, Cranswick, Townend, Unused- Wallace
Hepworth Group man of the match- Michael Starkey