By Martin Eastwood

Skipper James Knowles scored with a stunning overhead kick as champions Emley AFC came from behind to round off their league season with a 26th win of the campaign.

The Pewits brought down the curtain on a magnificent NCEL Premier Division season with a 5-2 victory at Pickering Town on Tuesday night – and Knowles’ 90th minute contender for goal of the season was certainly worth waiting for.

Emley were a goal down and a man down within the first 15 minutes. Kieran Haigh was shown a straight red on only his second start for the club in the 12th minute and two minutes later Nathan Dyer fired home a free-kick to give Pickering the lead.

Ten-man Emley hit back and put the match beyond doubt with a three-goal burst before half-time. A James Walshaw header was brilliantly saved by the keeper but Ross Hardaker whipped the ball back in for Ruben Jerome to equalise.

Five minutes later Jerome chased a loose ball down, looked up and lofted over a lovely ball into the path of Iyrwah Gooden who let fly to put Emley in front with his 20th goal of the season.

Shortly after Nathan Curtis went down in the box and Jerome stepped up to convert the penalty for his 38th goal of the campaign to make it 3-1 at the break.

James Knowles lifts the NCEL Premier Division trophy. Image by: SEAN DOYLE

Joe Clegg drilled home Emley’s fourth before another free-kick by Dyer pulled one back to make it 4-2.

In injury time there was a late, late contender for goal of the season when Captain Fantastic Knowles produced a moment of unexpected magic.

After the ball was repeatedly blocked and then hit the post, it fell for Knowles and the wily defender casually flicked it up and, in the same movement, bicycle kicked into the bottom corner!

The skipper was mobbed by his delighted teammates and it was fitting that the man who lifted the championship trophy last Saturday should score Emley’s final league goal in their title winning season.

Emley’s season continues with a League Cup quarter-final against Bottesford Town on Saturday April 13 at the Fantastic Media Welfare Ground.

It’s all about the celebrations as champions Emley AFC lift the league title