Emley AFC move up table after Kane Swinburn and Donae Lawrence notch first goals for the Pewits

Kane Swinburn scored his first goal in Emley AFC colours in the 3-1 win at Athersley Recreation. Picture: Mark ParsonsKane Swinburn scored his first goal in Emley AFC colours in the 3-1 win at Athersley Recreation. Picture: Mark Parsons
Kane Swinburn scored his first goal in Emley AFC colours in the 3-1 win at Athersley Recreation. Picture: Mark Parsons
Emley AFC moved up to 12th place in the Toolstation NCE Premier Division after following up their win at the weekend with another success last night at Athersley Recreation.

Despite the eventual 3-1 scoreline, Emley were made to work extremely hard for the three points in a tense and hard fought local derby in Barnsley, writes Martin Eastwood.

It all looked far from rosy until the last 15 minutes when the Pewits showed great resilience and determination to finally get a hold on the game and turn a negative result into a positive one with Kane Swinburn and Donae Lawrence notching their first ever goals in Emley colours.

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Bottom placed Athersley had lost 8-0 on Saturday and had conceded 26 goals in their previous six games, but they defended stoutly for most parts and frustrated Emley who struggled to repeat Saturday’s performance at Knaresborough.

Emley's Joe Jagger. Picture: Mark ParsonsEmley's Joe Jagger. Picture: Mark Parsons
Emley's Joe Jagger. Picture: Mark Parsons

The visitors started well and were fairly dominant for the first 20 minutes, but had nothing to show for their efforts, George Doyle flashed a header wide from a fine left wing cross and Swinburn blazed wide after a good run and shot.

Emley fans, who yet again travelled in good numbers and made up around half the crowd, probably expected their side to go on and put the Penguins to the sword, but to their credit the hosts stood firm and defended when they had to.

It was not until the 25th minute that the home side had a sight at goal and it was a header that went wide without troubling Michael Acquah in the Emley nets.

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The game became a bit of a battle, both teams struggling to keep hold of possession, neither team creating a lot, but then Emley burst into life once again, Swinburn blasted over and Joe Jagger put a deft header just over the crossbar before finding himself one-on-one with the keeper but failing to get control with the keeper saving.

Again, the game became a bit of a stalemate, with lots of niggly fouls from both sides, but then just before the break, the home side stunned the Pewits with the opening goal. There appeared little danger, but a defensive lapse ended with a ball played into the danger area and a shot from Nico Georgiou-Nicola crept past Acquah to give the hosts an unlikely lead going into the break.

Emley were out early for the start of the second half looking to hit Athersley from the outset, but again, dogged defending limited Emley to the odd wayward shot and mis-hit cross.

Both Jagger and Doyle had chances inside the area, but both failed to get sufficient contact to trouble the keeper.

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Again, frustrations got the better of both teams, Swinburn picking up a booking for a rash challenge, but Emley slowly but surely built up the pressure and started to eventually play some good stuff.

Doyle was close with a header just on the hour mark, and then Emley were awarded a free-kick in a dangerous position, the same kind of positions they scored three times from at Knaresborough, The supporters held their breaths as Jagger stepped up, but he could not repeat his two-goal trick from the weekend and the ball flew over.

With Emley making changes, Donae Lawrence departed his right wing back role to move further up the field and with Pashley on the right and Charlie Smith on the left pushing forward and causing some concern for the Athersley defence, it was Smith who was next up to try his luck, but his header went just wide.

Emley fans could possibly sense that the tide was turning in their favour now and so it eventually proved, the visitors dominated the final 20 minutes, with Athersley looking to run the clock down, their keeper was booked for taking an age to line up a goal kick.

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The vocal support could finally cheer something on 75 minutes, a long throw from the right was flicked on in to the middle of the box and Swinburn found himself unmarked to hit a superb volley into the roof of the net.

There was a sense around Sheerien Park that that would not be the end of the scoring and so it proved. By now all the attacking pressure was coming from the Pewits,

Swinburn’s first Emley goal was then followed up a few minutes later when Lawrence also bagged his first goal as a Pewit, but a lot of credit for the goal has to go to Alex Metcalfe. A left wing cross from Smith appeared to have drifted out for a goal kick, the home defence stopped, but Metcalfe was alert and knocked it back into the middle where Lawrence had the simple task of tapping home.

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There was palpable relief among the Emley contingent as they appeared to have finally broke Athersley’s resistance, that relief then turned to joy just two minutes later as the points were finally wrapped up.

After Athersley failed to clear their lines, Lawrence was in the thick of things once again as he returned the favour for Metcalfe, his dinked ball back in found the head of Metcalfe who steered it nicely past the keeper.

Athersley had finally been put to bed to cheers of delight from the good travelling support, although there was a worry as substitute Lennon O'Grady was helped off the field after getting injured in the build-up.

It was certainly far from Emley’s finest performance, but they deserve credit for showing a great determination to keep going when things were not going well and were rewarded in the end for their persistence.

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Emley now welcome second from bottom Hemsworth Miners Welfare to the Fantastic Media Welfare Ground on Saturday as they eye up a top half finish.

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