Ruben Jerome shrugged off a penalty miss to score the vital goal which helped Emley AFC to a 3-1 ‘derby day’ victory at neighbours Golcar United.
Jerome saw his second half spotkick brilliantly saved by former Emley keeper Sam Kelly but didn’t dwell on the disappointment to fire the Pewits ahead just minutes later.
Striker Jerome returned to Emley this summer for his third spell at the club and Saturday’s goal at the Skye Direct Stadium was his second of the season.
Emley boss Richard Tracey praised Jerome and said: “He has all the attributes to be an absolute monster at this level. During the game I don’t think we gave him enough to extract his real quality but that will come.
“Ruben said he changed his mind in his run-up for the penalty. It’s disappointing but he has the right attitude and he wasn’t going to let it affect him. And he got the next goal so that was great.”
All three matches between the Huddersfield rivals ended in draws last season and the first half in front of a crowd of 591 was a tight affair.
Kelly, who left Emley to join Golcar, made a good save from Iyrwah Gooden and opposite number Dec Lambton smothered a cross-shot from Kai Phillips before he produced a good stop from Dan Naidole’s powerful effort from outside the box.
On the half-hour Golcar had a great chance to break the deadlock when Lee Bradshaw won the ball in midfield and the pacy Phillips beat his man to set up Buddy Cox who sliced wide.
Emley finished the first half with a spell of pressure and grabbed the lead in stoppage time when Joe Kenny fired across the keeper and into the bottom corner.
It was a perfect time to score and Emley boss Tracey hoped his men could build victory from there but the home side made it 1-1 five minutes after the re-start when Cox forced a save from Lambton but the keeper couldn’t hold it and Naidole slotted home the rebound.
Just after the hour mark Emley were awarded a penalty and Jerome stepped up. He struck it well enough but Kelly went the right way and kept it out with a brilliant one-handed save.
The setback didn’t dent Emley’s resolve and three minutes later Jerome made amends with a close range finish. Golcar couldn’t clear their lines and Gooden got the ball to Jerome who beat his man in the box and lifted a shot over the stricken defender giving Kelly no chance.
Emley sealed the victory 12 minutes from time. Joe Clegg received the ball with plenty to do but a feint and a dart forward created the opening and his finish was clinical with Kelly helpless again.
Gallery of images by: Huddersfield Hub photographer SEAN DOYLE
Emley boss Tracey said: “We were very timid in the first half and while we controlled the majority of the ball, Golcar pinned us back in with their directness.
“To get the goal just before half-time was a great lift but coming out second half we said we don’t concede a goal – but we conceded a really poor goal. It was an unopposed header. They break on us and they score and everything we had talked about comes undone.
“Then we get a penalty that we don’t take but instead of feeling sorry for ourselves the lads stepped up with a couple of clinical finishes. In the end we rode it out quite comfortably. We are really pleased with three points away from home.”
Golcar were without injured trio Kiero Lawrence, Slater Barnes and James Hurtley and the suspended Joe Skarz and joint boss Ash Connor was left disappointed at the result.
“We gave ourselves a mountain to climb giving a soft goal away just before half-time,” he said. “We reacted quite well after that with a well worked goal from Danny Naidole but then we just seemed to stop a bit, and we are better than that.
“We have Thackley at home on Tuesday night and hopefully we can bounce back. We can’t feel sorry for ourselves. It’s a quick turnaround and we get chance to put it right.”