Ruben Jerome rescued a point for 10-man Emley AFC who had James Walshaw sent off early in the second half.
Jerome struck the equaliser eight minutes from time in a 1-1 draw at Knaresborough Town on Saturday.
The home side’s Danny Edwards escaped a red card for a challenge after just two minutes that forced Tom Haigh off the field.
Edwards was yellow carded but stayed on the pitch to put Knaresborough ahead in the 10th minute.
A long throw wasn’t cleared and, as Emley goalkeeper Dec Lambton tried to mop up behind, Edwards was able to slot Knaresborough ahead.
A shellshocked Emley tried to get a grip of the game but it was difficult on a claggy pitch and with the hosts’ game plan seemingly intent on preventing much football being played with fouls – big and small – and deliberate time wasting.
Emley did have chances, though. A mini-scramble after a Ross Hardaker cross from the left saw Sam Pashley strike but goalkeeper Thomas Brown was on the spot to scoop off his toes. It wouldn’t be the last time Brown was the Town hero.
A similar move a minute later saw Jerome cross but this time Brown was first to the ball to snuff out the danger.
The foul count overtook the number chances as the first half drew to a niggly finish – with referee Hawkins eventually deciding to brandish a card for a robust challenge on Joe Kenny.
The second half saw Brown called upon early to maintain his team’s lead, collecting another pair of crosses as Emley continued to try and exploit their pace on the flanks.
The third such move in quick succession saw the game’s next flash-point. Brown narrowly beat the on-rushing Walshaw to the ball but Walshaw arrived with a foot up and made contact with the goalkeeper, and this time it was a red card.
The 57th minute dismissal seemed to move the Emley team up a gear and near constant pressure from the Pewits brought its reward – eventually.
Before Jerome’s equaliser, he had an effort sail just wide from 20 yards out, a Pashley header also went agonisingly the wrong side of the upright and the keeper made a string of good stops.
As the clock ran down, Brown’s luck ran out and, after misjudging a cross from the right, Jerome bundled home.
With the equaliser, Knaresborough looked a spent force and Emley pushed for all three points but were thwarted by more timewasting and keeper Brown making a good save from substitute Jimmy Eyles.
Emley’s next game is against Charnock Richards in the fourth round of the FA Vase at the Fantastic Media Welfare Ground on Saturday January 13 (3.00).
Image by: SEAN DOYLE