By Eddie Willis
Sam Pashley kept Emley AFC in the FA Cup with a last gasp equaliser in a 1-1 draw at Mossley in the second qualifying round.
The Pewits haven’t been as far as this in the FA Cup in more than 20 years and a replay at the Fantastic Media Welfare Ground on Tuesday (September 19) gives them a real chance to progress again.
Mossley are the third members of the Northern Premier League Division One North West to be drawn against Emley in the FA Cup this season, and they proved a tough outfit to break down, seeing the majority of possession for large swathes of the game before being sucker punched by a steely Emley at the death.
The first half of the game lacked in quality, as Mossley caused Emley’s back line plenty of issues without a goal to show for their efforts.
Much of Emley’s forward play came through James Walshaw and Ruben Jerome, who made good progress on the right flank on multiple occasions with the support of Pashley, who repeatedly marauded beyond them.
Undoubtedly, Emley’s best chance of the first half came after 40 minutes of play, as Alex Metcalfe intercepted a pass in midfield and bore down on goal with a man to either side of him. He chose to go alone but Shane Killock blocked for Mossley to keep the game goalless.
Celebrations for Sam Pashley (No2). Pic by: MARK PARSONS
Both teams came out of the tunnel in fighting spirit for a second half that produced late drama.
Mossley were dominant for the first 10 minutes of the second half and went ahead in the 57th minute through Jack Banister, who had been hard to contain on the left throughout the game. Banister finished off a good team move, taking down a cross and blasting into the roof of the net.
A goal down, Emley had no choice but to chase an equaliser to avoid an FA Cup exit but it took the introduction of Iyrwah Gooden to boost the visitors’ goal threat.
Gooden twisted and danced past his marker to cut a ball back in Jerome’s direction but Mossley did superbly to intercept.
The home side had a multitude of chances to kill the tie and were almost gifted a goal when Dec Lambton rushed out but failed to complete a clearance.
The ball dropped for Banister and, with Lambton well off his line, he tried to find the Mossley centre-forward who would have had an open goal if not for Lambton’s reflexes, as he flung out a leg to concede a corner instead.
The closing stages of the match saw a change in momentum, as Emley began to throw all they could at Mossley.
Gooden drove Emley forward as he made things happen down the left, beating his man and getting a shot on target with five minutes left.
The Pewits piled onto the Mossley defence in numbers, finding their way into the box and forcing a corner just before 90 minutes of normal time had been played.
Initially the corner looked to come to nothing but Emley recycled possession and found Gooden on the left, who jinked past a defender and chipped the ball across goal for Pashley to clip home at the back post.