Emley earn hard fought draw
By Martin Eastwood
Late goal earns a point
AFC Emley and Grimsby Borough shared the spoils in an entertaining, hard fought and ultimately,even contest at the Fantastic Media Welfare Ground.
Emley twice came from behind, with Wayne Hughes' last minute goal earning a well deserved point against the 3rd placed team.
The game started with a well observed minutes silence for victims of the Leicester helicopter crash, and no sooner had we kicked off and we were kicking off again, as the visitors went 1 up inside 30 seconds!
A lightning move in midfield was followed up with a well placed shot by Cooper which flew past Adam Ledger and bounced in off the crossbar to the surprise of most of the crowd, who were still busy adjusting their hats and coats.
Grimsby attacked again a few minutes later, but this time Ledger could watch the shot sail over his bar, Emley started to get a foothold into the game and Jordan Townend fired a shot off from the edge of the area but was easily saved.
Ben Mills then started to get a bit more involved down the right and it was his run and shot that was saved well by the 'Borough keeper, the game was now even with both sides battling it out in midfield, it was Grimsby who were next to attack, a good move and a fizzing shot was brilliantly saved by Ledger, the resulting corner was put over the bar.
Emley finally got the equaliser that their efforts deserved, a great run down the right, again, by Ben Mills and his perfect cross was met by Shane Hamilton coming in from the left who bundled the ball into the net from close range.
Jordan Townend then tried his luck from a free kick but it was turned behind the post by the keeper, the corner came to nothing.
With half time approaching and the cold winds battering the hardy souls, Grimsby almost re took the lead when a thunderous free kick from 25 yards beat ledger, and smashed off the crossbar to safety, to the relief of most of the crowd.
The home side came out quickest for the second half, Ben Mills, found himself bearing down on goal but the keeper did well to save, then, a few minutes later after a couple of corners, Wayne Hughes found himself unmarked in the box with the ball sitting up nicely for him, but his volley was put over, he would get a chance to redeem himself later!
The game once again became a midfield battle with Josh Ingham and Michael Tunnacliffe the generals for Emley, but it was Grimsby who were next to turn defence into attack, a good through ball tore the Emley backline apart and Trott, found time to stop shouting at his team mates to drill a well placed shot past Ledger, just about on the hour mark.
It was probably what the visitors deserved as they had begun to get on top by now, Ledger was called into action again soon after, saving after a goalmouth scramble.
Emley brought on Nathan Howe and George Whittaker to try and change the course of the game, but Grimsby continued to attack, after another good move, a shot was fired just wide, and that was about the last we saw of "the wilderness boys" as an attacking force as Emley dominated the last 10 minutes.
With Tunnacliffe now pulling the strings, and Stocker and Starkey raiding down the flanks, the Pewits were causing the well drilled Borough back line some real problems, so much so that they resorted to gamesmanship to try and disrupt the game, Emley, however would be rewarded for their efforts deep into stoppage time.
After another Michael Starkey run and cross was turned behind, Hughes, headed wide, a Horbury shot was scrambled clear and it looked to be all in vain for Emley, but then with almost the last action of the game, a crude foul on Whittaker saw Tunnacliffe send a near perfect delivery into the crowded area, Wayne Hughes met it with a superb glancing header that nestled into the bottom corner to the joy of most of the 128 in attendance, it was no more than Emley deserved for their battling efforts, and with a win and a draw against the teams 2nd and 3rd in the NCEL Division 1, Joe Howson can be rightly proud of his sides efforts this week.
AFC Emley- Ledger(A),Stocker, Starkey, Tunnacliffe, Wallace, Hughes, Mills, Ingham, Horbury, Townend,Hamilton; Subs used- Howe, Whittaker; Unused- Stafford, Cranswick, Kemp.
Goals- Hamilton (22) Hughes (90)
Hepworth Group Man Of The Match- Michael Tunnacliffe