Emley AFC end 21-year wait to reach Sheffield & Hallamshire Senior Cup final

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Clinical Emley ended a 21-year wait for a Sheffield and Hallamshire County Cup final appearance in some style by thumping Nostell MW 7-0 in the semi-final at the Fantastic Media Welfare Ground.

Emley’s last appearance in the fifth oldest cup competition ended in a 3-0 defeat to Doncaster Rovers at Hillsborough in 2002 in what was the last of five finals in a row, now a whole generation of new Emley supporters can be a part of a cup final.

Despite Emley’s opponents playing in a division lower, they gave it their best shot and looked lively at times, particularly in the first half but Emley had far too much firepower in the end.

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Nostell registered the first real chance of the game but the shot was wide, as was Emley’s response when Gooden also poked wide.

Iyrwah Gooden scored four goals in Emley's Sheffield & Hallamshire Senior Cup semi-final win over Nostell MW. Picture: Mark ParsonsIyrwah Gooden scored four goals in Emley's Sheffield & Hallamshire Senior Cup semi-final win over Nostell MW. Picture: Mark Parsons
Iyrwah Gooden scored four goals in Emley's Sheffield & Hallamshire Senior Cup semi-final win over Nostell MW. Picture: Mark Parsons

There was a sigh of relief a minute later when the visitors had a free kick that was played into the area and then a crashing shot cannoned off the bar and out of danger, the bar still dancing for a while after that.

Gooden then saw another shot wide as Nostell really made a game of it and at one point looked the better side as Emley struggled to find a rhythm, another shot wide and then a save from Lambton served as a wake up call for the Pewits who begin to finally find their feet.

A succession of corners for Emley, Metcalfe fired over and from the next one Donae Lawrence headed over, they came closer still when Paylor headed narrowly over before Gooden blasted a long range cross shot wide.

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It was all Emley now and would stay that way for the remainder of the game and the goal most people were expecting came just after the half hour mark, another corner from the left was headed back ac ross goal by Rikki Paylor into the path of Iyrwah Gooden who fired home.

Metcalfe had a good chance to make it 2 but the keeper smothered his shot after a good burst into the area, before Emley’s 2nd goal came just before half time, a lovely ball by Smith found Iyrwah Gooden again who slotted past the keeper.

Right on half time, great play by Junayd Cassius-Gill saw the Nostell defence scramble the ball clear for a corner but Emley were halfway there.

The second half was mainly one way traffic with Emley completely dominant and they soon put the game to bed and booked their cup final place, the Nostell keeper pulled off a good save to deny Emley right at the start of the half but he was powerless just five minutes in when a defensive error allowed Iyrwah Gooden the easiest chance of a hat-trick he probably ever have, the number nine calmly rolled the ball home for his third.

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Gooden was enjoying himself and it was only a matter of minutes until his and Emley’s fourth goal, Iyrwah found himself in space on the right of the penalty area, he steadied himself before burying a low shot past the keeper.

Emley continued to pin Nostell in their own half, Lambton and the spectators down at the Warburton end of the ground didn’t get to see much action but the fans in the Richard Hirst stand were loving it, some of Emley’s play was sublime as they moved the ball around with ease.

With the ‘Ole’s’ ringing out from the shed Emley then finished the game off superbly with three more goals to finally finish off Welfare.

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First, great inter play around the edge of the box eventually saw the ball put on a plate for the night’s captain Alex Metcalfe and his crisp finish made it five.

Attack after attack rained down on the visitors who couldn’t get out of their own half and Emley looked dangerous with every attack, Nostell held out for another 15 minutes though to their credit but Emley rounded the night off with two more well taken goals.

On 85, a great, short free kick from Ross Hardaker was played into the willing runner who was Joe Clegg who tucked it back across the area past the keeper into the bottom corner.

It was almost seven a minute later when a poked effort from sub Harrison shaved a post, but minutes later and it was seventh heaven for Emley when a ball in from the right found Rikki Paylor, a touch to control, a shift onto his right foot and he blasted home from 10 yards to seal the deal and send Emley into the county cup final against either Sheffield FC or Maltby Main with the venue yet to be decided.

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It could have been so different had Nostell taken one of their early chances but it was Emley’s night and the fans and players celebrated at the end.

It is back to league action on Saturday when Bottesford Town visit the Fantastic Media Welfare Ground.