Adams and Hepworth's merry men return with the points!
By Martin Eastwood
Massive 2nd half bags the spoils.
AFC Emley returned from Sherwood forest territory a band of merry men after a well deserved 2-0 win at Ollerton Town, their 2nd win and 2nd clean sheet in a row as the Pewits look to drag themselves out of a potential relegation dogfight.
Second half goals from Michael Starkey
and Andy Horbury sealed the win, a vital win, as both teams were locked on 26 points in the bottom half of the table.
In all fairness, the game itself was pretty poor, the second half being slightly better than the first, as the wind and rain made conditions hard at Ollerton's fairly open ground.
It was the home side who thought they'd made the perfect start though, as within a couple of minutes the ball was in the net, but the flag had already been raised for offside to Emley's relief. it was another 10 minutes before the next real action, a free kick from Ollerton was easily dealt with by George Clarke
The game then descended into a nothingness, until Emley finally had their first and only real chance of the half,Gregg Porter
found space to get a shot away but was saved by the Ollerton keeper, and that was about as much action as the 105 crowd saw in a dreary first half.
The second half started a bit more livelier with both teams looking to break the other one down, but to no avail, a midfield battle ensued, Josh Ingham
flew into tackles to break up any potential attacks, and when they did occur, Captain James Stafford
and Shane Hamilton
at the back were solid, and the home team could find no way through.
The introduction of Michael Bottomley
off the bench seemed to spark the Emley attack, his directness and movement was starting to cause Ollerton problems, and it was no surprise that it was the visitors that finally broke the deadlock on the hour mark, and what a way to do it!
Right back Danny Stocker
was brought down 25 yards out, left back Michael Starkey
stepped up to take the free kick and he duly fired an unstoppable shot into the top corner, a goal that would have graced any level of football!
Emley now had a goal, but more importantly, confidence, the busy Arnold Ndiweni
was given a rest and Ben Burnett
was just as lively and direct, and Ollerton were now on the backfoot as Emley looked for a second.
But it was Ollerton who were next on the attack, a good move down their left and a shot which sailed wide, that was probably the home sides best chance of the game which went begging, and Emley punished them a couple of minutes later.
A good move through midfield saw the ball crossed in from the right, as with last week, Paul Pyke
, got a touch to play Andy Horbury in, who's well placed shot beat the keepers despairing left hand to the delight of the strong travelling Emley contingent, 2-0 up and confidence soaring by now, Marley Grant
was brought on for Horbury, and like the other 2 subs, his directness caused Ollerton problems, in fact, he will probably feel he could have added a third, but twice he was thwarted by the keeper.
The Pewits were now well on top and Danny Stocker
tried to emulate Starkey by scoring from a free kick, but he couldn't match his team mates efforts as his shot just cleared the bar, by now the game was drawing to a close and the wind and rain battered anyone who stood out in it, but Emley had one final scare, a free kick from just outside the area was tipped onto the crossbar by George Clarke
, and somehow Emley managed to avoid conceding in the goalmouth scramble that ensued, the ref blew up, and Emley knew they had stolen the points from where the legendary Robin Hood is said to have roamed.
"A massive second half" was Emley assistant Darren Hepworth's take as he took the applause of the fans at the end.
Emley goal(s) Starkey 60mins, Horbury 70
AFC Emley- Clarke, Stocker, Starkey, Ingham, Stafford, Hamilton, Pyke, Porter, Horbury, Hart, Ndiweni; Subs used- Bottomley, Burnett, Grant, ; Unused- Howe, Hughes
Hepworth Group man of the match- James Stafford