Emley's home season opener yielded a maximum 3 points after a Rob Bordman wonder strike settled an entertaining, at times, tetchy game with both teams giving their all and sparing nothing.
On a warm, dry night and with the Welfare Ground pitch looking lush, the Pewits looked to get on top early on and they almost got a dream start, just 2 minutes had elapsed when a right wing cross found Dom Riordan who watched his header drop agonisingly close before being cleared off the line.
John Lufudu was finding space on the right and Jimmy Eyles was shifting the defence around, but Emley couldn't find the breakthrough their play deserved, Alex Metcalfe tried his luck from inside the area, but his shot went wide, then, after good work from Bordman and Jamie Price, Jimmy Eyles tried an ambitious lob from 20 yards but it went harmlessly over the bar.
At the other end, Chadderton, mounted a good attack, with play spread wide to the right wing, a cross was met by the head of the striker but George Clarke watched it go over.
The visitors were coming into the game strongly,and some of the tackles were pretty hefty too!, another headed chance for the visitors, was gratefully cleared off the line for a corner.
The came one of the games most controversial moments, Emley's defence were caught napping and Clarke raced off his line, the Chaddy player sprawled in the area, the referee awarded a free kick just outside, to Chadderton's protest she deemed the challenge was outside the box and also that it wasn't a goalscoring opportunity, most people were expecting a penalty and a card of some colour for Clarke, but lady luck looked down on Emley, the resulting free kick was hammered into the wall twice to the relief of most of the crowd as the half time whistle blew.
Emley's last 2 home openers had seen a total of 17 goals, tonight, there was no chance of a goal fest, despite both teams playing decent stuff, defences were on top, Chadderton were the better team in the early stages of the 2nd half, but couldn't find a way past Riordan and Stafford in the Emley rear.
The game then entered it's most fractious period, a couple of strong challenges either way went unpunished before Bordman got involved with a Chadderton player, who appeared to grab the Emley man by the throat, the melee that followed afterwards took a bit of calming down ,order was eventually restored and a couple of bookings later the game was back underway.
But it wasn't long before the crowd were talking about the main focal point of the game, Emley's winning goal,and what a goal it was! there was nothing really on as Rob Bordman took possession some 40 yards out, but with a quick look up and seeing the keeper of his line, he unleashed a dipping shot that flew over the keeper and into the back of the net, to the delight of the Emley supporters in the Shed end the keeper probably applauded too!
Emley were now on top and looking to wrap the game up, John Lufudu was put through but the keeper did well to save, Bordman tried to repeat his antics from a mere 20 yards, but didn't get it quite as spot on and the keeper tipped over the bar, then after a goalmouth scramble, Jamie Price hit a shot on the half volley wide.
Chadderton almost stunned the 216 crowd with an unexpected equaliser, when George Clarke had to be at full stretch to turn a defensive header over his bar.
Emley managed to see the game out though and took the applause of the crowd as they had picked up a valuable 3 points to get them going in the NWCFL Division One North.
EMLEY- Clarke, Cooper, Gibson, Price, Riordan, Stafford, Lufudu, Metcalfe, Bordman, Eyles, Walker: Subs used- Farrar, Unused- Nicholson, Ingham, Glavin, Sandhu.
Goal- Bordmam '62
Hepworth Group Man of the Match- Rob Bordman
Emley's next game is Saturday 10th August, 3pm, away at Bacup Borough