Twenty is plenty as Emley remain unbeaten with win at Frickley

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Emley notched up another 3-1 victory at Frickley Athletic on Tuesday night to make it five wins on the spin and 20 games unbeaten in all competitions.

It was the same scoreline and almost the same pattern as the FA Vase game against the same opponents two weeks earlier with the meeting this time in the Toolstation NCE Premier, writes Martin Eastwood.

The Pewits once again started the game well, although Frickley had the first real attack which was off target.

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After a flurry of early free-kicks for both sides, from one came Emley’s first chance, Hardaker’s lovely ball in was header over by Niall Heaton.

Ross Hardaker put Emley in front as they made it five wins on the trot in their league game at Frickley Athletic. Picture: Mark ParsonsRoss Hardaker put Emley in front as they made it five wins on the trot in their league game at Frickley Athletic. Picture: Mark Parsons
Ross Hardaker put Emley in front as they made it five wins on the trot in their league game at Frickley Athletic. Picture: Mark Parsons

Heaton was off target again shortly after when Frickley keeper Preston failed to catch a cross and the big defender reacted well but could not direct his shot.

Emley were playing some great stuff, moving the ball around well and creating space, but just could not find the killer edge up front.

It was then Frickley’s turn to attack as they enjoyed a spell of pressure that put the Pewits on the back foot, a good move down their right saw the ball played in perfectly for the attacker to strike and put the hosts 1-0 up, but Dec Lambton flung himself at the ball to make a brilliant save and the danger was cleared.

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Paul Walker was next to try his luck for Emley, but his shot went wide and then the men in yellow spurned a glorious chance to break the deadlock.

Another good move through midfield saw Irywah Gooden break the offside trap, his shot was saved but deflected into the path of Walshaw who somehow saw the ball cleared, almost off the line.

Walshaw was thwarted again 10 minutes later as a deep throw from Heaton landed perfectly on the striker’s head, but it was again cleared by the defence.

However, Emley did finally break the deadlock and a strange way they did it after another siege on the home goal. After being awarded a corner Ross Hardaker whipped the ball in from the right and it curled over everyone into the net with a hand from the keeper.

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Gooden then burst through from the left and was unceremoniously felled by what seemed to be the last defender just outside the area. A yellow card was issued, but many thought it could have been red. However, the free-kick came to nothing before the referee brought the half to a close.

In the Vase game a fortnight ago, Emley were quick out of the blocks in the second half with a first minute goal. There would not be another early goal, but Emley were soon back on top.

Gooden had a great chance on 50 minutes after a cracking cross from Walker landed plum on Iyrwah’s head, but his header was well saved by Preston.

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It almost came back to bite Emley as Frickley attacked well, Lambton was forced into two terrific saves, coming right to the edge of his area to deny the hosts an equaliser.

Those saves proved even more crucial just a few minutes later when the Pewits doubled the lead, after Sam Pashley was denied with his header over, the ball was back out wide and after a teasing ball into the danger area was not cleared it fell to James Walshaw to stab home his fifth Emley goal.

Emley continued to press home their advantage and another header, this time from Heaton went over, as Emley rang the changes, Walshaw replaced by Clegg.

But the hosts were looking dangerous on the break and they finally struck back on 75, a sweeping move from left to right saw them find space for Charlie Clegg to drill past Lambton.

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This gave the hosts a lift and they looked for an equaliser, but calm defending from Emley’s vastly experienced back four kept them at bay.

Joe Jagger had a fairly quiet game by his standards, although his general play and work rate was good, he finally got a sight at goal, but his shot was well saved.

Jake Kelly replaced Walker as Emley looked to wrap the game up and Kelly was straight into the action, causing problems down Frickley’s left edge.

With the seconds ticking down towards another Emley victory, Kelly decided not to bother taking the ball into the corner, instead he set off on another run and turned the defence inside out before playing a perfect ball into the path of Joe Clegg who rifled home the clincher to the delight of himself, his teammates and the band of vocal travelling support.

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Emley then played a bit of keep ball for the last few minutes with the ‘ole’s’ ringing out from their supporters as Frickley’s headed for the exit as Jagger was replaced by Dec Dawson.

With North Ferriby’s game at Barton postponed, the win means Emley are now just two points behind the league leaders with a chance to progress further in the FA Vase on Saturday when Squires Gate visit the Fantastic Media Welfare Ground.