Joe Jagger scored his first goal for Emley AFC since his return from a career-threatening injury as the Pewits came from behind to beat Louth Town 2-1 in the League Cup.
On an atrocious night in Lincolnshire, Jagger marked his comeback with the equaliser, 11 months on from a double leg break which could have ended his career.
The weather proved a real leveller as Emley overcame lower league opposition to reach the quarter-finals with the winner coming from skipper James Knowles.
Louth took the lead on seven minutes with a direct but well-executed move through the middle. A long ball was controlled, and slid into the path of Jordan Smith who put the White Wolves ahead with a neat finish. Emley’s defence were convinced of an off-side but the assistant was unmoved.
A gale-force wind hampered both sides but as the game progressed, Emley grew into it. A neat passing move down the right involved about half the team but the resulting cross/shot was deflected into the arms of a grateful home goalkeeper.
That showed Emley their best route to goal and there was a similar move down the right that presented Paul Walker with an opportunity to shoot from just outside the box.
When the ball crashed off the bar and back into the danger zone, Jagger was on hand to slot home the equaliser just before the half-hour.
Jagger nearly secured his second with a header almost from the restart, but it was tipped over with a good reaction save from the Louth goalkeeper.
The second half started with Emley stopper James Randall making a crucial save as Louth looked to regain the lead.
At the other end, Emley had a penalty given for a foul on Nathan Curtis but the referee was vociferously encouraged to consult his assistant who agreed with protesting defenders and the referee changed his mind.
After a heavy downpour, Emley scored what would turn out to be the winner. Ross Hardaker took a free-kick on the left just inside the Louth half.
His ball in posed questions for the defence that they thought they had answered with a clearance but the ball was soon back in the danger zone where Knowles had stayed lurking. When the ball landed at his feet he was able to poke it goalwards and it somehow squeezed, squirmed and even squelched into the back of the net!
There were still 25 minutes left and Emley had another couple of chances with Curtis having one cleared off the line and Jagger fired wide from distance but they’d done enough to go through.
Emley return to league action on Saturday January 27 (3.00) when they visit Thackley.