By Martin Eastwood

Charlie Smith grabbed an equaliser three minutes from time to secure a point for Emley AFC from a game where they showed great resilience.

There was little between Emley and AFC Mansfield for much of the contest at the Fantastic Media Welfare Ground. Tom Cropper put the visitors ahead in the 52nd minute but Smith struck late to ensure honours ended even at 1-1.

The Pewits, however, will feel they might well have done enough late in the game to have won it.

Jimmy Eyles had a first half shot saved by Adam Revuelta and the keeper then made a tremendous save to deny Alex Metcalfe who was through one-on-one.

Metcalfe found himself in space again as he fired a shot goalward, but it went just wide. Tom Claisse was the next to try his luck – his long range shot was a cracker – but Revuelta was equal to it once more.

George Doyle also went close just before the break but it was goalless at half-time.

While Emley will have fancied their chances in the second half they were hit by a sucker punch as Mansfield took the lead.

Emley broke down the right but the move collapsed and the Bulls were quickly on the move and skipper Cropper was in the right place to find a smart low finish.

The Pewits almost conceded a second a minute later but the home side, marshalled by James Knowles at the back, regained their composure and Eyles and Smith both had chances to get Emley back into the game.

Max Tweddle and Kane Swinburn were brought on as Emley went with four attackers, they had no trouble getting into the final third but came unstuck when it came to finding a finish.

Eyles again shot wide, before pulling away superbly from his marker but planted a header beyond the upright.

Emley’s pressure was finally rewarded when a free kick was floated in from in front of the main stand and Smith was there to volley home from close range to the delight and relief of the Emley fans.

There was still time for Emley to snatch all three points but Eyles was twice off target and Doyle headed wide.

Whether it was a point gained or two points lost Emley showed their resilience and battling qualities.

Emley’s next game is also back home against Maltby Main on Saturday.