By Martin Eastwood

A brace from Iyrwah Gooden, making it three goals in two games, lifted Emley AFC up to fifth in the NCEL Premier division with a 2-0 victory over Hallam at the Fantastic Media Welfare Ground.

Gooden got off the mark for the season in the last game and is now up and running behind strike partner Joe Jagger, who is the club’s seven-goal top scorer.

Scott Smith saw an early effort saved and Donae Lawrence’s follow up shot was cleared but Emley were ahead in the 28th minute.

Smith’s free-kick wasn’t cleared and the ball fell to Gooden who – quick as a flash – controlled it and smashed home.

The Pewits were playing with confidence now and could have doubled their lead within three minutes but saves from Myles Wright in the Hallam goal denied Gooden and Joe Kenny.

Promoted Hallam, who included ex-Sheffield Wednesday, Watford and Czech Republic international Daniel Pudil in their side, pushed Emley back as they pressured the hosts. Dec Lambton was forced into a good save to keep Emley ahead.

With Emley 1-0 in front at the break, the second half was a tight affair and Emley boss Richard Tracey made changes replacing Smith with Joe Clegg, Rikki Paylor with Tom Claisse and Lawrence made way for Alex Metcalfe.

Clegg had only been on the field for a matter of seconds before he flashed a back post header wide.

Jagger was even closer a couple of minutes later, with a rasping shot from a Gooden lay off that could have broken the net had it been on target.

Emley were looking strong and dangerous on the break, another good move down the left saw Gooden cut in and fire a bending shot wide.

Hallam then enjoyed a few minutes of pressure but there was little end product.

Gooden wrapped up the victory 10 minutes from time when he received the ball after a well-worked move through midfield. He raced through on goal, shrugged off a defender and clipped the ball past the on-rushing keeper.

There was still time for late drama as Callum Charlton conceded a penalty in the 88th minute. Brandon Bradbury stepped up and blasted over Lambton’s bar, preserving the clean sheet.

Emley’s next game is on Saturday away at Eccleshill United.