AFC Emley 3-0 Skegness Town- finally, a win for Emley
By Martin Eastwood
The Pewits have that winning feeling again!
AFC Emley fans are celebrating!
Saturday's 3-0 win over Skegness was Emley's first win since a 4-3 win over Worsbrough Bridge on November 17th, since then, the Pewits have been on a wretched run of form, taking only 1 point from a possible 21 which has seen them plummet down the league table and get themselves involved in a scramble to avoid the bottom 2 relegation places, this despite Emley not playing particularly bad, there have been some good performances in that period, they've just struggled to put them in or keep them out!
Emley usually get off to a good start and this game was no exception, Skegness keeper Lambley was certainly kept busy early on, a crude challenge led to a free kick just outside the area, Dan Stocker stepped up but his shot as comfortably gathered well, Lambley was picking the ball out of the net 5 minutes later, a great finish by Daniel Naidole
, but the offside flag was already up to his obvious disappointment.
But Emley weren't deterred and continued to attack the Warburton end, Arnold Ndiweni
's quick feet and low centre of gravity was causing havoc for the Skeggy defence, after skipping past a couple of backtracking defender, Ndiweni's shot was saved by the keeper.
Skegness launched an attack of their own, but George Clarke
in the Emley goals was well placed to deal with a shot from just inside the area, Skegness thought they'd finally got the better of Ndiweni, but the diminutive winger again tied the defence in knots, before a pull back for Andrew Horbury
, who shot over.
Naidole got in on the act next, firing a shot which appeared to be well saved by Lambley, but with the Welfare Ground expecting a corner, the referee gave a goal kick instead.
Skegness had their best spell of the half, Starkey and Shane Hamilton
were kept busy by a succession of crosses and corners, but had enough about them to see out the threat, at the other end, Horbury saw a header flash wide.
It was looking like the same old story for Emley, creating chances but not putting them away, but they finally broke the deadlock on 41 minutes, a challenge in the area saw Paul Pyke
brought down, and Emley were awarded a penalty, Danny Stocker
stepped up, as he had last week against Rossington and stroked the ball home, Emley had a lead, but this time, they weren't going to let it slip!
As with last week, the visitors were also awarded a penalty not long after half time, Clarke brought down the Skegness forward, but unlike last week, Clarke was no to be beaten, a low shot to his left brought out a fine save and although the visitors got to the rebound first, a flashing shot was cleared by a relieved Emley defence.
But Skegness weren't done there, and neither was Clarke!, a firm, close range header was again, superbly saved by the Emley stopper and the clearance was made, If those moments were to provide a boost of confidence for the home side, the next piece of play must surely have rocketed confidence levels.
After another Skegness break, Emley cleared downfield, Naidole picked up in front of the main stand, looked up, played a precision ball over the defence to Pyke who was at the back post, with a lovely cushioned header, he found Andrew Horbury
, who smashed the ball home, to the delight and relief of the majority of the frozen 120 crowd.
A great move and a great team goal and showed just what this Emley team are capable of, from here on in, Emley dominated the rest of the game, to their credit, the visitors from the Lincolnshire coast, battled well to try and find a way back in, sometimes illegally, as showed by 2 particularly cynical challenges late on which resulted in bookings.
Emley looked for a third to really seal the game, and Michael Starkey
thought he had done just that, a mazy run from the left, the space opened up and Starkey kept going, finally finding room for a shot from the right, but the shot went inches wide, but Emley did get a third almost on time, and Starkey was again at the heart of it all, another strong run and shot was parried by the keeper only as far as Ben Burnett
and the substitute slammed the ball home to end a miserable run of defeats and to get revenge for Emley's 3-0 defeat at Skegness in December, but the 3 points were absolutely vital to give Emley a good chance of clawing their way back up the Northern Counties East League Division 1 table, with games to come against the teams directly below them the next 2 games are also as vital!
AFC Emley- Clarke, Stocker, Starkey, Ingham, Stafford, Hamilton, Pyke, Porter, Horbury, Naidole, Ndiweni. Subs - Whittaker, Hart, Grant, Burnett, Bottomley.
Hepworth Group Man Of The Match- George Clarke