By Martin Eastwood
A brace from Dan Naidole – including an equaliser five minutes from time – saw Golcar United and Emley AFC fight out a 3-3 draw at the Skye Direct Stadium on Tuesday night.
In a HD postcode ‘derby’ that lived up to the pre-match billing, the match swung either way as the two unbeaten neighbours exchanged punches in the pouring rain.
Golcar were twice in front through Kayle Price and Naidole before Emley – still with hopes of a play-off spot – pegged them back with goals from Steve Smith and Paul Walker. Sam Pashley put Emley in front at 3-2 only for Naidole to deny them late on.
The Weavers ended Emley’s nine-match winning streak but the two in-form sides stretched their unbeaten runs to 10 and 11 games respectively.
In front of 672 fans, Price broke the deadlock in the 18th minute when he found room for a shot which took a deflection off an Emley defender and looped over keeper Dec Lambton.
Emley equalised 10 minutes later when right-back Smith picked the ball up just over halfway and proceeded to head towards the Golcar area. He suddenly let fly with a left foot shot which beat the keeper and rolled into the bottom corner to make it 1-1.
Golcar were back in front shortly after when Naidole headed home from a long free-kick making it 2-1 at the break.
The Pewits hit back on the hour when Iyrwah Gooden worked his way down the left wing. He played a ball into Walker who took a touch on his right foot before he smashed a shot beyond Golcar keeper Harry Stead to level the score at 2-2.
It got better for Emley as Pashley put them ahead for the first time with a downward header from a corner in the 73rd minute.
Pewits’ fans thought the turnaround was complete but that man Naidole – a one-time Emley player – wasn’t finished.
With five minutes left Golcar thought they’d equalised when Lambton pulled off a fantastic close range save. However, from the resulting corner Naidole bagged his second of the night and it was the home team’s turn to celebrate.
Both sides looked for a winner. Emley had their chance when Donae Lawrence played a ball into Joe Kenny who blasted wide and Alex Metcalfe then did the same a minute or so later.
In the final minute Golcar had a penalty shout turned down much to the dismay of their fans behind that goal.
The two sides will do it all again in the semi-final of the League Cup on April 21.
Next up for Emley is the visit of second-placed Winterton Rangers on Saturday (March 25). Meanwhile, on the same day, Golcar host Knaresborough Town and, as it’s Non-League Day, admission at the Skye Direct Stadium is just £1.
Scroll through this gallery of images by Huddersfield Hub photographer SEAN DOYLE