Words: Martin Eastwood – Photos: Mark Parsons 

Emley’s four-match winning run ended with a 2-1 defeat against Barton Town at the Fantastic Media Welfare Ground. Boss Richard Tracey was disappointed and may have to look at options at goalkeeper as regular stopper Sam Kelly was sent off. 

Despite the Pewits taking an early lead through Joe Jagger, they were eventually pinned back and then had goalkeeper Kelly red carded as Barton came back to win the contest.

Tracey said: “I thought we were disappointing in the first half even though we went 1-0 up. I thought we turned the ball over far too easily. 

“In the second half I thought we were a lot better and had addressed some of the issues that we had talked about at half-time. Then we conceded a stonewall penalty so I’m not sure why we were protesting against it. That leads to Sam, our keeper, getting sent off. They missed the penalty but then five minutes later they got a second goal. 

“We huffed and puffed and created some chances but not enough to get back in the game.” 

On the sending off specifically Tracey added: “Sam is adamant that he wasn’t involved so we’ll have to check the video. If he was then we won’t have a chance to appeal but we’ll have to check the video. If Sam isn’t available we’ll have to look in house at options or elsewhere.”

The match started well for Emley when the ball fell to striker Jagger for a 14th minute opener. The visitors drew level within seven minutes as a direct pass upfield allowed Tom Waudby to slot past Kelly into the bottom corner.

It was 1-1 at the break and the decisive moment came in the second half after a defence-splitting pass saw a Barton player sent sprawling and the referee had no hesitation in awarding a penalty to the visitors.

But before the spotkick could be taken, there was a melee as players from both sides ran in pushing and shoving. It took the officials a few minutes to calm it down before they picked out Kelly from the crowd and showed him a straight red card.

Kelly was visibly upset by the decision but there was no turning back and goalscorer Jagger took the keeper’s jersey. His first job was to face the penalty but he didn’t need to make a save as Curtis Bateson fired well wide.

Just five minutes later, in the 70th minute, Barton found a second goal and the eventual winner as Josh Lacey stabbed the ball home in a desperate goalmouth scramble.

Emley head to Knaresborough next Saturday before a derby game with Athersley the Tuesday after.