WORDS: Martin Eastwood PICTURES: Mark Parsons

It wasn’t your average goalless draw, that’s for sure! The game finished 10 men against eight after four red cards.

Emley striker Joe Jagger was sent off along with three from opponents Athersley Rec in what was a dramatic and incident-packed game which ultimately ended in stalemate.

The game at the Fantastic Media Welfare Ground passed a morning pitch inspection and Emley were good value in the first half when they could easily have been two or three goals up.

Jagger went close early on before Lewis Whitham and Joe Kenny had chances. Kenny had a rasping effort well saved and Jagger was also denied after a speculative Jimmy Eyles overhead kick.

It was a war of attrition after the break and when Kenny hit the bar frustrations started to rise.

The first dismissal came in the 63rd minute when Athersley’s Jimmy Purcell saw red after a fracas involving the two sets of players. Emley skipper Jamie Price was booked for his part in the melee.

READ MORE: Emley AFC’s 2021 review with chairman Andrew Painten and manager Richard Tracey

Emley almost made the visitors pay but chances went begging before another flare up. Jagger was clattered by Athersley’s Liam O’Brien inside the area. The Emley striker took exception and threw the ball at him, only to be kicked by the visiting full-back.

After deliberation the referee dismissed Athersley players O’Brien and Collins Oguwike and Emley’s Jagger for the incident. 

The last few minutes saw Emley’s 10 men take on Athersley’s eight and Kenny was through on goal but couldn’t find a finish.

As the game entered its 100th minute, due to the various stoppages, Emley had one final chance, but Eyles couldn’t keep his 18-yard shot down and the ball sailed over the bar, summing up Emley’s day.

Next up for the Pewits is a tough trip to local rivals Penistone Church on Sunday.