Words: Tom Wiggan

Emley AFC manager Richard Tracey praised matchwinner George Doyle as his side made it back-to-back wins with a 1-0 victory at Handsworth on Saturday. 

The Pewits completed a double over Handsworth and moved up to 16th in the NECL Premier Division. 

Tracey said: “I thought we deserved the win. We got our noses in front early on. Disappointingly we missed four or five great chances to extend our lead. It was tough conditions out there but it’s brilliant to get the three points. 

“The performances of late have been good, we just need to get our noses in front early on like in this game and that’s the key I think. In the last two games we have got the first goal and once you get that, you can then relax a little bit. That means you can then go and impose yourself on the game a bit more. 

“I think everyone did well. I thought George led the line well and scampered after every ball. I thought the three lads in the middle worked really hard. It’s hard to pick just one player who played well as they all did well.”

Although the Pewits eventually got the win they did ride their luck especially in the first and final few moments of the game. 

Emley keeper Sam Kelly had to make a wonder save in the 1st minute from a low curling free kick.  

The Pewits took the lead in the 4th minute when a corner was sent into the box, which was failed to be cleared by Handsworth, giving the in-form Doyle chance to turn and hammer the ball into the back of the net – his third goal in two games. 

Emley nearly doubled their lead two minutes later. Max Tweddle showed persistence and lovely footwork to send a low cross into the box, which Handsworth failed to clear, that fell to the feet of Kane Swinburn, who blazed the ball over the bar on the half volley.

The Pewits went close again in the 23rd minute, Tweddle played a sublime through ball for Swinburn to get on the end of. With one defender to beat, Swinburn decided to take aim at goal, however he narrowly curled the ball past the post.

Emley comfortably saw the first half out, with centre-half Sam Pashley and James Knowles rarely being troubled at the back. 

Emley controlled much of the second half, however Handsworth had their chances hitting the woodwork twice. Mitchell Dunne smashed a shot off the outside of the post in the dying seconds.