By Martin Eastwood
Ruben Jerome set Emley AFC on their way to the FA Vase 5th round for the first time since 1990 breaking the deadlock just 14 seconds after the re-start.
Second half goals from Jerome, Jack Cowgill and Nathan Curtis saw the Pewits beat Charnock Richard 3-0 at the Fantastic Media Welfare Ground on Saturday.
Both sides will feel they had the better of the first half but it was Emley keeper Declan Lambton who pulled off the most important save of the game during the first half.
The visitors were playing a fast, open, attacking game which almost caught Emley out on occasions, but the Pewits’ rearguard stood firm. Emley had the first sight of goal of the game but Iyrwah Gooden’s ball in was flashed across the goalmouth with no one to receive it.
Charnock then showed their attacking teeth and a crucial header away by Ross Hardaker solved a back post problem before Lambton earned himself many pats on the back, after they broke clear it was a one-on-one between Lambton and the Charnock Richard attacker but as the Emley fans held their breath waiting for the opening goal, Lambton spread himself brilliantly to parry the shot with his leg.
Emley came into the game more but struggled a bit playing into the wind down towards the Warburton end. Charlie Barks was wide with a header at the back post after Joe Clegg forced a corner and then from a loose ball outside the Emley area, the visitors saw a shot go high and wide.
Sam Pashley was finding a bit of joy down the right flank and his cross was met by the head of Jerome but the top scorer couldn’t find the target.
To the say the second half got off to a quick start would be an understatement. Most Emley fans were still making their way to their places for the resumption of play when the first goal went in.
Straight from the kick off, the ball was played into the inside left channel where Jerome took control and buried a low shot underneath keeper Flynn Proctor at the near post. There were just 14 seconds on the second half clock when the net rippled!
Emley fans wouldn’t have long to wait to cheer again, following another wicked Metcalfe free-kick which wasn’t fully cleared. Paul Walker’s shot was deflected for a corner and from the corner on the left, Cowgill doubled Emley’s lead with a header into the corner.
To their credit, Charnock Richard didn’t just accept their fate and they did try to play themselves back into the game. Lambton was again called into action to make a vital save from a volley and other chances went begging as Richard chased the game.
Emley had a bit of luck though in the 75th minute. A free-kick was awarded in a promising position 20 yards out and the shot beat Lambton and crashed off the bar and bounced on the right side of the goal line.
Into the final 10 minutes and Emley had made changes. Donae Lawrence, who had run himself into the ground, was replaced by Curtis and Paul Walker was replaced by Jimmy Eyles as the Pewits looked to see it out, and see it out they did.
With time ticking down towards 90 minutes, Curtis played a ball into the area, the keeper fluffed his lines allowing Jerome to take possession. He played it back into the path of Curtis who rifled a stunning shot from the edge of the area into the back of the net, via the crossbar to seal Emley’s passage into the 5th round for the first time since 1990.
Jerome left the field to loud applause matched for his replacement, Joe Jagger, who made his first appearance following a serious leg injury. Jagger is back after loan spells at Wombwell Town and Shelley.
Emley’s next game is a Sheffield & Hallamshire Senior Cup quarter-final tie against Worksop Town at the Fantastic Media Welfare Ground on Tuesday January 16 (7.45). Emley are defending the trophy they won last year.
Images by: MARK PARSONS