Sat 12
St Helens Town
1st Team
J Clark (45'), H Kamara (45')
A Metcalfe (35'), R Bordman (63'), F Donovan (90')
St Helens Town 2-3 Emley

St Helens Town 2-3 Emley

By Andrew Painten
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Emley were last at this ground only a month ago when they suffered injury time heartache against Pilkington. This time, it was Emley’s turn to experience the last gasp euphoria as substitute Finn Donovan calmly finished to claim all three points.

In a topsy turvy game where Emley were first on the front foot- starting with a trademark Rob Bordman lob from his own half that dropped agonisingly wide. Moments later, good work down the right from Declan Dawson and his cross broke to Conor Glavin who controlled well on the chest but blazed over from just inside the box.

St Helens Town were restricted to mid- to long-range searching balls with the Emley defence equal to most of what they dealt.

Bordman was involved again when his shot from a free kick rebounded off the wall and, deciding to use the second attempt to cross found a melee of Emley and St Helens Town players around the penalty spot. An unknown head made a connection but it went over.

It looked like a frustrating afternoon might be on the cards with wayward chances but the breakthrough came on 36 minutes. Good work from Dawson on the right earned Emley a corner. Callum Charlton knocked it to the back post where Dom Riordan headed back into the danger area leaving Alex Metcalfe to nod in simple as you like.

The game looked to be going Emley’s way but a crazy 10 minutes going into the break swung the game, temporarily, in the host’s favour. It started with solid centre back Andy McManus leaving the field with a hamstring injury - all eyes back on the artificial surfaces that have been a thorn in the side of Emley since the first day of the season.

Three minutes later, as the clock ticked towards the end of the 45, St Helens were level direct from a Joseph Clark free kick. Things went from bad to worse as, with only seconds of the half remaining, Emley gave the ball away cheaply on the edge of their own box and Henry Kamara shot on sight and to the right of an unsighted George Clarke.

2-1 to St Helens Town at the break and Emley were looking a little shellshocked by the turnaround.

Emley were quick to try and make amends at the start of the second half with half chances created by Metcalfe for Bordman and Glavin for Rose.

Up the other end, St Helens nearly benefitted from a ridiculous deflection as a shot from distance was heading wide to Clarke’s right but it took a big touch to swing all the way left and the ‘keeper was quick to scramble onto the ball as it dinked back off the post.

Breathing a huge sigh of relief turned to cheers of celebration in the next Emley attack on 63 minutes which resulted in a free kick almost central and close to the D of the St Helens’ box. Bordman stepped up and the keeper got a hand to it but not enough to stop the ball hitting the back of the next for the equaliser.

Playing central Charlton had been busy and bustling without any clear chances until mid way through the second half when two went begging, the first shot going over and the second chance well saved.

In between those changes Emley were doing most of the pressing while St Helens were could only muster long range efforts that were of no concern to Clarke in the Emley goal. The hosts steadily made their three substitutions which disrupted the flow of Emley’s game but it was the Pewit’s second sub that had the final say.

Finn Donovan, impressive for the Under 19s and returning to Emley’s senior team after a spell with Brighouse Town, was introduced with around 20 minutes remaining. Donovan and Dawson started to link up well on the Emley right without finding much change from the opposition.

It was different in stoppage time though. Dawson played in Donovan who was bearing down on the St Helens’ goal, calmly took a touch and slotted in to the roar of the Emley faithful.

Emley last tasted defeat in the league at this very ground five games ago but three points keeps them in touch of the top four with Daisy Hill only a place ahead on goals scored.

It’s two home cup games back to back for Emley, starting with St Josephs in the Sheffield FA County Cup on Wednesday followed by NWCFL Premier Division Squires Gate on Saturday in the Macron Cup.

Hepworth Group Man of the Match Declan Dawson

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Match details

Match date

Sat 12, Oct 2019






First Division North

League position

Emley AFC
St Helens Town
Declan Dawson

Player of the match

Declan Dawson