Emley miss out on Sheffield and Hallamshire Senior Cup semi-final
Emley suffered a second cup knock out blow in less than a week as they were humbled by Parkgate in the quarter-finals of the Sheffield and Hallamshire Senior cup in the last of four consecutive away games, writes Martin Eastwood.
Despite being a league lower, Parkgate eventually came through a tie that could have so easily gone Emley’s way on another night.
Following Saturday’s FA Vase defeat at Newcastle Benfield, it means Emley’s sole priority is now the league and looking to pick up points to avoid getting caught up in a scramble at the bottom.
Despite the defeat, there were positives from the game, not least, the performance of Emley’s talented youngsters who once again got a chance to shine and match fitness for the likes of Alex Metcalfe and Jimmy Eyles.
Parkgate started the better of the sides and Sam Kelly was forced to make a save as early as the 2nd minute, then was called upon to make a fine save, the hosts finding a way through the Emley defence, but Kelly was on hand to save well from a one-on-one situation.
Emley did eventually get some foothold in the game but could not create a meaningful chance or test the home keeper.
After another Parkgate chance, this time a header over from a corner, the hosts took the lead on 15 minutes, a fine low shot from Rippon, hit both posts and went in.
But that goal seemed to wake the Pewits up, their yellow kit glowing bright under the lights, within two minutes they had earned a couple of corners after good work by Charlton, Metcalfe and Jagger.
Jimmy Eyles started and almost finished off the next move, playing into feet on the right on half way, he moved over to the left where he was found by a lovely through ball but he could not quite find the angle for the shot as it went just wide.
Emley were on top midway through the half and looking for an equaliser, Joe Jagger found an opportunity for a shot, but it was saved by the Parkgate keeper.
The Pewits were then dealt another injury blow, as with Saturday, it was an injury to an experienced defender midway through the half meaning Emley had to reshuffle, this time it was Tom Cadzow, just returning from a three-match ban, who limped off, replaced by Owen Thomas.
It meant that Emley’s back line now included youngsters Sam Kelly in goal, Charlie Smith, Josh Calvert and Owen Thomas as well as the more experienced Callum Charlton on the left.
Despite their inexperience, the visitors defended well for most of it and can be proud of their efforts.
Within a minute or so of the reshuffle, Parkgate managed a shot which went wide, but Emley then had a purple patch of possession and attack but came up empty handed.
A free kick from Metcalfe was blocked by the wall, the rebound was cleared, Max Tweddle found a way through the home defence but his shot was well saved, Doyle also saw a shot blocked amidst a scramble and Eyles fired a shot over from distance.
Emley probably did enough to have warranted an equaliser but it wasn’t to be as the teams went off for half-time.
The Pewits started much the better team in the second half and took the game to the hosts, there was a sense of purpose about the team, they were closing down, harrying and being nuisances in the face of Parkgate possession.
Within two minutes they found themselves breaking out of their own half following a home attack, Hayden Webster, again shining in midfield, picked the ball up and after a run, hit a long range shot that went wide.
Emley fans, who again travelled in numbers and helped boost another home team's coffers, were soon cheering as their team did eventually find their equaliser.
After a couple of fruitless attacks down the right involving another impressive youngster in Josh Calvert and Max Tweddle, the latter stepped in field and hit a shot from just inside the area which looked to be heading for the bottom right corner of the net, instead it took a deflection and wrong footed the keeper and nestled in the left corner.
It was nothing more than Emley deserved, they had probably been the better side for 20 minutes either side of the break.
Parkgate responded with an attack of their own, but the shot went well over Kelly’s goals before the game became a bit of a midfield tussle with not many chances created for 10 minutes.
Emley then felt aggrieved when Eyles broke through and slotted home, but the referee had already blown for a free-kick just outside the box, aggrieved, because he had allowed advantage previously which came to nothing, and when they did want an advantage, he blew straight away.
The men in yellow were still continuing to probe and with the introduction of Jack Bennett and Lennon O’Grady for Eyles and Jagger, and also a move to a more attacking formation, they also injected some freshness and pace, and both of the youngsters were straight into the action and causing problems.
Hayden Webster scored a cracking goal with a curling shot in a previous round and he tried his luck again from 20 yards out but this time it went wide.
O’Grady was everywhere in the few minutes he’s been on the pitch, and he chased a ball down into the right corner which led to a superb cross from Tweddle, but it zipped past both Bennett and Doyle as they looked to force it home.
Parkgate were still in it though and despite being under the cosh for the last few minutes and it was an ambitious 25 yard shot that sailed just wide that reminded Emley that they were still in the game and dangerous, and so that proved just 2 minutes later.
Emley were caught out in defence and lost possession, a right-wing cross inch perfect and Tracey had the task of slotting home past Kelly for what turned out to the winning goal with less than 10 minutes left.
The goal seemed to deflate the Pewits who for the most part had been the better side, they could not find a way to get back into the game despite their best efforts, Parkgate almost had a third, but this time Kelly was relieved to see the shot go wide.
Emley did have another good chance, with a ball pumped in from the left, the keeper spilled it and a goalmouth scramble ensued, with bodies all over the place, it looked like a yellow socked foot was about to sweep the ball into the net, but as ever with these situations the referee saw a foul on the goalkeeper somewhere, which prompted assistant manager Steve Nicholson to ask the referee if it was the invisible man he had seen commit the foul!
Despite the humour which brought laughter, Emley were out of the cup and left to that old cliché, to concentrate on the league now, the next game is at home to Winterton Rangers on Saturday.