Words: Martin Eastwood – Image: Mark Parsons
Magnificent Emley marched into the FA Cup second qualifying round for the first time in over two decades with a thumping home win over Widnes AFC at the Fantastic Media Welfare Ground.
Emley’s in-form frontmen Ruben Jerome, Donae Lawrence and James Walshaw did the damage again as the Pewits beat the Northern Premier League side 4-1 on Tuesday night.
It follows the last round 5-1 hammering of Lower Breck and last weekend’s 1-1 draw at Widnes, in which Emley could have easily won the tie.
Since being reinstated into the competition when opponents Avro fielded an ineligible player, Emley have proved unstoppable.
They now go to higher league opposition again in NPL side Mossley AFC on Saturday September 16.
Emley went ahead after 30 minutes when the Widnes defence failed to clear their lines and, under pressure from Walshaw, Will Bell turned the ball into his own net.
Emley doubled the lead shortly afterwards when the Widnes defence was found wanting again and Ross Hardaker drilled in a low shot which was deflected home by Jerome.
Jerome, who caused problems all night, was then involved in a collision with Widnes keeper Cameron Terry who received treatment, but only made it to half-time before being replaced.
Before going off, Terry saved from Jerome and the visitors pulled a goal back in first half stoppage time when James Steele tapped home from a breakaway where Stevie Smith was down, lying prone and injured on the ground.
Emley protested and tensions rose and then, in a melee at the end of half-time, a red card was show to a member of the coaching staff from both sides.
The game got a bit feisty early in the second half but Emley got some breathing space, stretching their lead on the hour mark when Jerome surged down the right and found Walshaw who struck a delightful shot in off the bar to make it 3-1.
Six minutes later, it was game over when Paul Walker teased and toyed with a defender before spotting a lovely bursting run from Lawrence who, without breaking stride, slotted neatly past the sub keeper.
After a break for cup action, it’s straight back to the NCEL for Emley with a home game against Knaresborough Town on Friday September 8 (7.45).