AFC Emley 3-2 Harworth Colliery
By Martin Eastwood
3 more vital points for the Pewits!
AFC Emley got the winning feeling back again after a hard fought 3-2 win over Harworth Colliery at the Fantastic Media Welfare Ground, this, despite the sending off of Captain James Stafford
in the first half
After 2 narrow defeats to promotion hopefuls Nostell and Hallam(in the league cup) in the last week, Saturday's win over second bottom Harworth certainly eased any lingering relegation doubts Emley might have.
But it all started so badly for the Pewits, Harworth were straight onto the front foot and looking to attack, and some neat play created the first chance but the shot was tame and easily saved by Emley keeper George Clarke
, but the visitors persisted and were rewarded on 6 minutes, a lovely through ball beat the Emley defence and Dale Featherstone coolly slotted home past Clarke for a tidy finish.
Emley weren't about to lie down and give it up though, Josh Ingham
let fly with a shot from distance which went over the bar, and then Paul Pyke
tried his luck from a free kick from outside the area, same result, just over, but Pyke and Emley would soon be celebrating.
, as always, was starting to cause the Harworth defence problems and it was his jinking run that forced a foul and the referee blew for a penalty, Pyke stepped up and calmly placed the equaliser to the keepers left and parity was restored.
Emley, now looked to seize the initiative and had the visitors defence reeling, a whipped cross from the right evaded everyone when any kind of touch could have been number 2, but the Welfare Ground faithful wouldn't have long to wait for that second goal, again, a great ball came in from the right, but this time Daniel Naidole
was on hand to steer the ball over the line, Emley had a lead they were never to relinquish.
They didn't have it all their own way though, a minute later,on the next attack, Harworth once again beat Emley's defensive line, but having been beaten to the ball, James Stafford
pulled the Harworth attacker down, he was last man so the referee had no choice but to show him the red card, Emley would now play the remaining hour or so with 10 men, from the resulting free kick, George Clarke
pulled of a great save, and the corner was cleared.
But the Pewits still managed to grab a 3rd and ultimately winning goal,another foul on Ndiweni, another superb delivery from the right and Wayne Hughes
crashed a header into the back of the net to the joy of the Emley fans.
The game became tetchy towards the end of the half, and tensions were high, so much so that Harworth's manager Lee Needham was sent from the dugout.
Emley knew they would have to defend for their lives for the 2nd half as Harworth looked to make their man advantage count, and in all fairness, it was mostly a battle of wits with very little action, as Emley, defending the Warburton end goal, kept getting pushed back by Harworth's raids, it made for some engrossing stuff for the purist, Emley had to keep their defence firm and Harworth had to find a way through that stubborn defence.
But Emley did manage a few attacks of their own, Pyke and Ndiweni caused the visiting defence problems all afternoon, Ndiweni fired a shot over the bar and then had another chance but couldn't sort his feet out when in range.
But still the Orange waves kept coming from the visitors and at times it was "anywhere will do" for the men in Claret and Blue, but they were determined to not let the 3 points slip.
They were dealt a blow to those hopes when a push inside the area was spotted and Robinson slotted home the penalty to bring the away team to within a goal, and the desperate defence continued, just a minute or so later, a flashing drive flashed past Clarke's right upright to the relief of most of the crowd.
Emley, still kept trying to attack themselves,to kill the game off, but either took the wrong option or Harworth's defence stood firm, with the clock ticking past 90 minutes and Emley desperately holding on, it was a great cheer of relief that greeted the final whistle after what seemed like an age of added time, but Emley's 10 men had held on to a vital win that puts them 12 points clear of Harworth who stay 2nd bottom and moves the Pewits up to 12th.
AFC Emley- Clarke, Borek, Steele, Ingham, Stafford, Hughes, Porter,Pyke, Naidole, Bottomley, Ndiweni. Subs used- Hamilton, Burnett, Brennan. Unused- Grant, Hart.
Goals- Pyke 15(pen), Naidole 27, Hughes 40.
Hepworth Group Man of the Match- Paul Pyke