Nervous times ahead for Nostell after gift to rivals

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AFC Emley played out a 2-2 draw at home to Rossington Main in the NCEL Division One on Saturday while Nostell Miners Welfare lost 3-2 at home to Brigg Town.

Emley have little left to play for this season and are sitting comfortably in 12th. Nostell, on the other hand, will be looking over their shoulders as the league season draws to a close.

Nostell’s defeat could be especially harmful as they have awarded points to a direct relegation rival in Brigg. Saturday’s defeat has meant that Brigg, who sit nine points behind Nostell, still have a chance of catching the team who they hold three games in hand on.

Nostell’s goal difference may be 13 better than last weekend’s opponents, but a win would have added three more points to their tally while knocking three away from Brigg’s. This six-point buffer would have helped assure their safety going into next season and kill off some impressive Brigg form that has seen them gain seven points in less than a week.

A consolation for Nostell, perhaps, is that East Yorkshire Carnegie, FC Bolsover and Worsbrough Bridge Athletic all sit behind them. But if each side were to win their games in hand, an unlikely scenario when considering each team’s form, Nostell will be caught.

The result may feel all the more disapointing when considering that Nostell led twice in the game. Adam Knight hit a wonderful 25-yard free-kick in to the top-left corner to make it advantage Nostell before Jonny Nichols equalised for Brigg. Some excellent persistence from Jack Owen paid off when a clearence from the back cannoned off him into the Brigg net. But Nichols would strike again, this time ghosting into the six-yard box and making no mistake with his finish.

Jake Crossland would complete Brigg’s turnaround in the 68th minute with a piece of quality to steal the points.

Emley, on the other hand, have continued the mixed form that they have held for most of the season. Winning runs have been splintered by losing streaks and sporadic draws in what has been a season of highs and lows. Saturday’s draw will feel more positive than their last outing against Rossington, which ended in a 2-0 loss away from home all the way back in Novemeber. The win keeps Emley a point and a place ahead of Rossington, although the latter do have a game in hand.

It was the away side that took the lead on Saturday with Lee Holmes dispatching a well-struck penalty into the side netting, sending the keeper the wrong way in the process. Alex Slack scored an equaliser for Emley with a nice finish before a lovely Michael Starkey free-kick put the home side ahead.

Emley appeared frustrated with their opposition’s equaliser, with hints of offside suggested. But, Craig Aspinall’s goal stood to earn his side a point.

Elsewhere in the league, Eccleshill closed the gap on leaders Knaresborough Town who could muster only a 2-2 draw at Retford United.