Emley AFC upturn continues with impressive victory over Knaresborough Town

Knaresborough Town became the latest victims of Emley’s upturn in form as they were hammered 4-0 at the Fantastic Media Welfare Ground.

By Tony Harber
Wednesday, 9th February 2022, 11:00 am
Joe Jagger struck twice in Emley's convincing win over Knaresborough Town. Picture: Mark Parsons
Joe Jagger struck twice in Emley's convincing win over Knaresborough Town. Picture: Mark Parsons

It’s now three straight wins and three consecutive clean sheets for Richard Tracey’s men as they work their way up the Toolstation NCE Premier division table after a dismal run of no wins in eight, writes Martin Eastwood.

It means Emley now move up to 15th in the table, 14 points from the second relegation spot and can finally start looking up the table, if they beat Thackley on Saturday, they will also move about them too.

Cheered on by over 170 fans on a damp night, Emley were dominant throughout and gave Knaresborough’s defence nightmares, in the first minute, Callum Charlton had the beating of his man, but his cross was too good for everyone.

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Emley continued their good start and Alex Metcalfe could and possibly should have bagged himself a goal, after the ball wasn’t cleared, he attempted a cheeky backheel which just went over.

The visitors did manage to attack themselves, Sam Kelly was equal to a couple of shots, turning one round his post for a corner, they thought they had taken the lead but the goal was ruled out for a foul.

Metcalfe then had a couple of great chances to open the scoring, first from a deep left wing cross, he fired a volley just wide then a minute later after some great work by Ngoe down the right, he found himself in space at the far post with a free header but headed down instead of across and the chance was gone.

Knaresborough keeper Hassall was a busy boy all night, and he had to make good contact to punch away another fine cross in, this time from Tom Claisse as Emley were now finding space and holes everywhere on the field.

That dominance finally turned into a goal on 36 minutes, after being denied by a couple of last ditch efforts and offside flags, Callum Charlton finally found himself in space and after drawing the keeper, he slotted the ball past him into the bottom corner at the shed end and Emley were on their way.

No more goals and no more clear cut chances in the first half but Emley showed they might be in the mood for a big win.

The second period took a while to get going as both defences were on top, Emley’s man of the match, Niall Heaton, on his full debut stood up to anything the visitors could throw at them, while at the other end, the Knaresborough rearguard were just about keeping Emley at bay.

After Knowles was replaced by Charlie Smith, Emley were back on the attack, and Hassall made a great save from the rampaging Jagger to keep his side in it.

But not for much longer, another Emley raid sent Doyle sprawling from a rash challenge and the ref had no option but to award a penalty, Joe Jagger duly stepped up and dispatched into the bottom corner on the hour.

Metcalfe was then unlucky again, after the keeper cleared only to his feet 25 yards out, he couldn’t quite get the target right as the keeper scrambled back desperately.

Callum Charlton was given a warm reception as he replaced by Kane Swinburn on the left, before Emley’s keeper was called into action as Knaresborough sprung an attack, but Sam Kelly made a great save from a crisp, low shot.

Jagger was tormenting Knaresborough, through the middle and from the right, beating the full back almost every time, he almost had his second when a clean shot rasped past the upright.

Emley then more or less sealed the game with a decisive third 10 minutes from time, a great ball in from the right caused confusion and despite Doyle’s shot looking goalbound, it was turned home unfortunately by Craig Hall for an own goal.

With time ticking down and Emley with a comfortable lead, it became important to maintain another clean sheet which they did thanks to some calm defending from Heaton and Charlie Smith, breaking down any attacks the visitors put together and working well with Kelly.

The game was finally put to bed on ’88 after an initial attack was dealt with, the defence failed to clear properly and it was recycled to Jagger, who took aim and fizzed one into the bottom corner of the Warburton end net despite the keeper getting a glove on it.

Emley then saw the remainder of the game out relatively easily to post their 3rd win and third clean sheet in a row and have now only conceded 1 goal in 8 halves of football.

It should give them great confidence going into Saturday’s clash with Thackley.

Moxon and Co man of the match was Niall Heaton.