By Tom Wiggan

Emley AFC left it late to take all three points against Hemsworth Miners Welfare at the Fantastic Media Welfare Ground on Saturday. Whilst it was Sam Pashley who grabbed the winner, boss Richard Tracey reserved special praise for keeper Michael Acquah.

Acquah, who is only 17 and on loan from Huddersfield Town, was brought in to cover for regular keeper Sam Kelly who was sent off against Barton Town last month. 

On Acquah’s performance against Hemsworth, Tracey said: “He came and took things in the box, he made two incredible saves and maybe got a hand to a third one. He’s only 17 but he is showing fantastic potential.”

On the victory he added: “I don’t think we were great, I thought it was a pretty even game. It was tight at both ends with both teams fighting and scrapping for things. 

“We knew Hemsworth would come and fight for their lives. I was disappointed we conceded two or three chances actually. We managed to dig in and clear our lines with Michael in goal making some good saves too.”

Michael Acquah in action

It was a must-win game for both teams who are facing different league situations. Hemsworth desperately needed three points in their fight against relegation, whilst Emley’s hopes of a top half finish would have been dented if they hadn’t have got the victory. 

Despite the game being end to end there was a lack of clear cut chances in the first half. The game was 0-0 at the break. 

In the 65th minute Acquah pulled off the first of two unbelievable saves to keep it goalless. A long range shot was beaten away by the Emley stopper. 

In the 70th minute, the game saw its first sight of controversy, but not on the pitch. An altercation between Emley manager Tracey and Hemsworth manager Shane Kelsey resulted in the away side gaffer being shown a red card by referee Liam Smith for a shove on Tracey. 

With five minutes of the game remaining, the odds looked in Hemsworth’s favour, with an amazing chance. However, Emley’s keeper and Man of the Match Acquah kept the scores level with his second spectacular save. 

With the points looking to be shared it was Emley who found the winner in the 89th minute. A floated ball in by Tom Claisse went straight onto the head of an unmarked Pashley who put the Pewits in front. 

Hemsworth had one final chance in the dying seconds of added time with a deflected shot hitting the post and the rebound being stopped by Acquah.

A seventh win in eight matches lifted the Pewits up to 10th in the league table.