Match report and pictures courtesy of Emley AFC
Emley AFC goalkeeper Liam Lovell saved an 85th-minute penalty to make sure the Pewits headed back to West Yorkshire with a point from a goalless draw.
Having travelled to Winterton, Emley knew it would be a tough first test for them. That proved the case but two missed penalties by the home side proved decisive in the score staying goalless.
Emley had enjoyed a promising start with Callum Charlton crossing from the left, although Alex Metcalfe couldn’t quite rise to the ball. Jack Bennett, who led the line throughout the afternoon found himself one on one with the Rangers keeper, however the shot was saved.
Whilst Emley had the best of the opening five minutes, Luke Cranswick soon had to make a timely challenge at the other end, before the hosts blazed their first real chance over the bar.
The home supporters soon had something to cheer about, with the referee awarding Winterton their first penalty on fifteen minutes. Winterton’s Josh Walker struck the crossbar with the kick.
READ MORE: Follow Emley AFC this season on Huddersfield Hub – catch up on what you’ve missed here
As the contest approached the half hour mark Bennett was next to try and break the deadlock as he latched on to a great overhead ball. Sadly his shot was equally high and went well over the crossbar.
Charlton, whose lightning breaks down the wing have brought Emley much joy in recent times, was guilty of giving Rangers a chance with a stray pass. Thankfully Lovell saved his blushes with a relatively routine save.
With half-time looming Winterton had several more chances. The first a dangerous corner from the left found their number six at the far post, but he headed wide before number two had a decent shot from the edge of the box.
Emley would be next to spurn a chance, with a free kick sailing over resulting in a goal kick. This would be the last chance of an entertaining first half.
In the second period both teams had chances but the attempts weren’t taken.
With just over 20 minutes left on the clock Emley boss Richard Tracey could see changes would be needed if the deadlock was to be broken and sent his substitutes out to warm up.
Before those dice were rolled Emley made a great break down the left, with Bennett forcing the Winterton keeper to tip wide.
Lovell would match his opposite number with a smart save at full stretch just before the first change on the 76th minute with Lennon O’Grady replacing Max Tweddle.
Emley’s number one then claimed strongly and rolled the ball out rapidly as he attempted to start an attacking move which fizzled out.
Then Lovell became the hero of the game when Winterton’s Paul Grimes saw his penalty saved.
Lovell managed to get a foot to the ball deflecting it onto the crossbar. Emley certainly had the woodwork to thank this afternoon.
A tense four minutes of added time followed before the referee finally blew up to the elation of the travelling Emley support. There may have been no goals, but just the opportunity to witness Premier Division football will have been enough for both sets of fans after the frustration of the last few months.
For Emley the magic of the FA Cup beckons next weekend as they welcome Congleton to the Fantastic Media Welfare Ground.