5 Stars for big Emley win!
By Martin Eastwood
Stunning first half bags the points
AFC Emley produced a stunning first half to thump Shirebrook Town 5-0 at the Fantastic Media Welfare Ground and will now look to finish their season in style, whilst adding more misery to their guests who have now suffered 8 straight defeats.
After survival was confirmed during the week, the pressure was finally off the Pewits and it showed as they produced an unstoppable first 45 minutes that left Shirebrook stunned.
Although credit to the visitors who, despite being totally outclassed in the first half, never gave in and still battled hard right to the end.
Emley's intentions were clear straight from the kick off as Daniel Naidole
fired a shot just over the bar, it didn't take long for Emley to settle into their rhythm, some neat passing and moving was already causing the visitors problems, and it was almost inevitable that the opening goal wouldn't be too long, and what a goal it was!, the Shirebrook defence misread a ball caught on the wind,the ball ended up at Paul Pyke
and he cleverly swivelled and planted a superb overhead kick into the gaping net.
Emley were beginning to make inroads into Shirebrook's defence with ease, and Dan Stocker tried his luck with a low, long range shot, but it went just wide, as did a header from Patrick Sykes
just a few minutes later.
Halfway through the first half and the Pewits were totally dominant, Shirebrook had no answer to the pace, power and guile of Emley's attack, a great move and interchange of passes between Naidole and Sykes deserved better than a shot that went wide, and Naidole was again in the thick of it, a cracking shot on the fly beat the keeper all ends up but cannoned of the crossbar, Sykes, couldn't make the follow up count, blazing over the same bar that was still trying to clear it's head!
Sykes again, had another sight at goal, this time, putting a header over from a great corner, but eventually the pressure told on Shirebrook, Michael Starkey
surged into the area and was brought tumbling, penalty to Emley, Dan Stocker stepped up and doubled the lead.
Another header went over from another great ball into the box, this time from Naidole, who, along with Sykes was running the defenders ragged, with no reward for their efforts, But despite already being totally dominant, Emley found another gear and tore the poor visitors to pieces, Starkey stepped up to a free kick some 25 yards out and lashed it superbly into the bottom right corner for 3-0, that soon became 4-0 as Sykes, again, tormented the Shirebrook backline, a delightful chip over the keeper was cleared off the line, but straight to Ben Burnett
who had the simple task of heading home, his second goal in as many games.
Emley were rampant now, and Shirebrook were desperately trying anything to stop Marlon Adams' men, another penalty was awarded for a crude challenge, and this time it was Patrick Sykes
who stepped up to bury it, just reward for a fantastic performance for Sykes.
5-0 at half time , 4 goals in 9 minutes and the crowd, along with the Shirebrook players and staff were stunned by what they saw!
It would take a lot to repeat that in the second half and so it proved, with chances at a premium, although huge credit to Shirebrook who came out and really took it to Emley and played with a lot more focus than the first half, Emley, Naturally took the foot off the gas as the game was won.
It was the beleaguered visitors who made the bright start, although their first shot of the game was in vain as an offside flag had already been raised, but they kept plugging away at it, a first meaningful shot went wide just past the hour mark, and then George Clarke
was called into action for the first time, a good save to tip and equally good shot around his right hand post.
had Emley's first and only real chance of the half, putting a header just wide, unlike Sykes, he wasn't rewarded with a goal, but can still be proud of his efforts nonetheless.
So as the game petered out somewhat predictably, with the points already in the bag and Shirebrook showing great spirit and determination, there was just one more moment of note, a good effort from the visitors, a good header rattled the bar with Clarke beaten, and went out harmlessly, a consolation goal would have been a nice reward for their effort in the 2nd half, but Emley will be extremely glad of the clean sheet in their last Saturday fixture of the season, their last home game is on Wednesday evening V Armthorpe, followed by 2 away games to round off the season.
Emley: Clarke, Stocker, Starkey, Ingham, Adams, Stafford, Pyke, Borek, Sykes, Naidole,Burnett; Subs used-Hart, Steele, Ndiweni; Unused- Hughes, Hamilton
Goals- Pyke(8) Stocker (31 Pen) Starkey (36) Burnett (38) Sykes (40 pen)
Hepworth Group Man of the Match- Lincoln Adams