By Martin Eastwood
In-form Ruben Jerome made it seven goals in three league matches as Emley stretched their unbeaten run to 16 games with hard fought 2-1 win over Thackley at the Fantastic Media Welfare Ground.
In a close contest, Jerome’s clinical finishing was the difference as Emley secured a sixth consecutive league win to move within a point of leaders Campion. Jerome scored both goals to follow up his hat-trick against Maltby Main on Saturday.
The visitors from Bradford undoubtedly had the better of the first half but missed chances cost them.
An early Jake Kelly free-kick from distance was caught by the keeper before Thackley started to control the early stages. They had three decent chances in the first five minutes or so but, luckily for Emley, they left their shooting boots in the changing room.
Emley got themselves into the contest, though, as following a dangerous corner, Jerome fired narrowly wide and Iyrwah Gooden was twice denied.
Dec Lambton had to be alert to pull off a good save down low and less than a minute later another glorious opportunity for The Dennyboys was wasted and another effort was blazed over as the half ended goalless.
The second half was barely two minutes old when Emley found themselves with a good chance. After a corner wasn’t cleared the ball fell to Tom Haigh who crashed a shot inches wide.
A Haigh ball into the box sailed over the bar and Alex Metcalfe headed just wide but the flag was already up.
Emley finally broke the deadlock in the 68th minute. After some fine play in midfield by Joe Clegg and Metcalfe, the ball was played in for Jerome who casually took the ball away from the keeper before slotting home.
They almost doubled the lead minutes later as a scramble in the box saw the ball find its way to Clegg who let fly but a brave defensive block cleared the danger for Thackley. Following good work by Gooden on the left, which earned a corner, Charlie Barks saw a volley go wide.
But then Thackley’s persistence paid off with an equaliser 12 minutes from time. The ball was worked in from the right and Tom Greaves was on hand to prod home.
Emley pressed for a winner forcing Thackley’s keeper Luke Wilson into a double save from Ross Hardaker and Jerome from the rebound.
The winner came in the 82nd minute after a corner that wasn’t cleared and a great ball to the back post was met by Jerome who planted a header beyond the keeper for his ninth goal in five matches.
Emley moved to within a point of leaders Campion with three games in hand. Next they welcome West Didsbury & Chorlton to the Fantastic Media Welfare Ground on Saturday December 2 in the FA Vase third round.
Main image: MARK PARSONS