By Martin Eastwood

Stand-in skipper Alex Metcalfe scored his sixth goal in eight games – and his third penalty in the last four matches – to put Emley AFC into their second cup semi-final of the season.

Sam Pashley, Metcalfe and Callum Charlton scored the goals as the Pewits battled to a 3-2 home victory over Thackley in the NCEL League Cup.

It was a remarkable eighth straight victory in all competitions for Emley who were pushed all the way at a freezing Fantastic Media Welfare Ground.

Ben Wignall, on his debut, shocked Emley putting the visitors ahead after just seven minutes. Thackley couldn’t build on the lead and Ross Hardaker had a chance to equalise but the keeper pulled off a good save.

Hardaker turned provider five minutes before the break when his corner was headed home by Pashley to make it 1-1.

Emley started the second half well and after a good surge into the box, Donae Lawrence couldn’t direct his shot on target and it went wide.

Within five minutes of the restart, however, Emley were level when Elliott Harrison was sent tumbling in the box and Metcalfe drilled the spotkick straight down the middle. Unbelievably it was Emley’s 16th penalty of the season and Metcalfe has taken over where the injured Joe Jagger left off.

Emley AFC images by: MARK PARSONS

Emley controlled the next 15-20 minutes and looked to put the game to bed but Harrison’s cross-shot went wide and Lawrence was off target again.

Emley duly went 3-1 up just before the hour mark when a good move down the left saw Lawrence work his way into the area. His cut back found Charlton who dinked a left foot shot past the keeper for his first goal since returning to the club.

Thackley finished the game strongly and grabbed a goal back when Aidan Chippendale unleashed an unstoppable shot into the top corner with 11 minutes left.

That set up a nerve-wracking finale and the Dennyboys almost snatched an equaliser in stoppage time when Frankie Sinfield crashed an effort against the bar.

Emley fans breathed a huge sigh of relief when the final whistle finally came and the Pewits join Huddersfield rivals Golcar, along with Winterton Rangers and Handsworth in the semi-finals.

Weather-permitting, Emley are back in league action at the Fantastic Media Welfare Ground on Friday (March 10) 7.45 kick-off when they take on Frickley.