By Martin Eastwood

Emley are through to the 3rd round of the NCEL League Cup after beating Athersley Recreation 4-3 in what was a humdinger of a game at the Fantastic Media Welfare Ground. 

Emley twice had to come back from a deficit and were also pegged back after taking the lead for the first time by their opponents from a division below. However it was striker Joe Jagger who grabbed the winner in the 70th minute in what was an intense game. 

It was the visitors who scored first on the 12th minute, silencing the Welfare Ground with a stunning strike. Right-back Cole Patrick made his way to the edge of the Pewits area and, from a tight angle, rifled a shot past Declan Lambton.

Emley equalised with five minutes of the half to go. An Emley ball into the area caused problems and Athersley thought they’d cleared the danger, but the referee and his assistant had already seen the ball creep over the line. The goal was awarded to Sam Pashley who got the last touch from a scramble.

The half ended with both sides looking for improvement in the second half as the score stood at 1-1. The first half had its moments but was hardly classic stuff, but the second half was a far more entertaining spectacle with five cracking goals for the 215 fans to enjoy.

It didn’t take too long to get going either in the second period with a goal coming five minutes in to it. It was the visitors who again struck first, Patrick again found himself in space in the box and he again beat Lambton with a crisp, low finish to make it 2-1. 

The fun then started, with four goals in a chaotic six-minute spell. Emley got the first in the 58th minute, a ball into the back post was brilliantly attacked by Hayden Webster whose shot was saved, but the ball found its way into the path of Paul Walker and his well-placed shot nestled in the bottom corner to make the score 2-2. 

The Pewits took the lead for the first time in the 65th minute with Walker scoring his second of the match. 

Within two minutes, the game was back level at 3-3 with another cracking goal from Lee Garside as Athersley looked to not give up the game too easily. 

Three goals in four minutes would soon be four goals in six minutes as Emley scored a beauty of their own.

A free-kick on the right was played in low, Pashley ran towards it, but stepped over it leaving the space free for Jagger to bury his 18th goal of the season in front of the vocal Emley fans in the Shed End.

With that winning goal and some good defensive structure to see the game out, Emley managed to secure themselves a place in the third round and stretch their unbeaten run to 14 games.

The Pewits are back in action on Friday night as they go to Hemsworth Miners Welfare (7.45pm) .