A youthful Emley side showed second-half courage and resilience despite being on the wrong end of a 6-0 defeat against a strong Liversedge FC outfit in their latest pre-season friendly.

Despite the result not going Emley’s way, it will have been valuable experience of a first team environment for a lot of the players, some who were part of the U23’s cup winning side.

Despite the heavy defeat, the players showed some good character in the second half as they limited their Northern Premier League opponents to just a single goal – a penalty – after finding themselves 5-0 down at half-time. It was a tough pre-season challenge against a very strong and skilful Liversedge team.

Emley AFC v Liversedge pre-season Credit: Mark Parsons

Liversedge were on the front foot immediately, sending a shot wide of goalkeeper Sam Kelly’s post. They had another couple of shots blocked before settling down and gaining the upper hand.

The first goal came when a corner was bundled over the line by an Emley player who was under pressure. Before a powerful 20 yard free-kick beat Kelly for goal number two.

Emley couldn’t get out of their own half as ‘Sedge’s big forwards pinned them back and forced them into errors.

Emley AFC vs Liversedge pre-season Credit: Mark Parsons

It was an Emley error that led to Liversedge third goal, a close range shot was buried into the goal. Emley’s keeper Kelly then made a couple of good saves from close range before another shot rattled the post.

Emley tried desperately to get a foothold in the game but their attacks broke down far too often, Liversedge’s experience kept Emley on the back foot.

A free-kick from ‘Sedge on the right wing, it evaded everyone and went in for number four before Emley finally worked some chances.

Good work by Luke Cranswick on the right to split the defence and the Liversedge keeper made a good save. Then more good work happened in midfield, Emley’s Cranswick went through in goal but again, the keeper did well coming out and smothering the danger.

Emley AFC vs Liversedge pre-season Credit: Mark Parsons

Liversedge then added salt to the wound by going down the other end and Kelly was beaten again with a strong shot from close range.

Emley brought on Callum Charlton and Jack Bennett at half-time and they both had a hand in getting Emley on the front foot. Bennett in particular was causing the defence a few problems and he had a half chance but the defence scrambled clear.

Another one of Emley’s impressive youngsters, Hayden Webster was finding space in midfield and he almost exploited a gap in the defence but his shot was saved.

Liversedge continued to attack but Emley, to their credit held firm for the majority of the second half. Emley’s Sam Pashley and Danny Lowe added a bit of experience to the back line and Seb Carole and Matt Sykes, likewise up the top end of the field.

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However, a lack of concentration at the back saw Emley concede a penalty which was duly dispatched for 0-6. It was a bit harsh as the Pewits were enjoying a good spell in the middle of the second half.

Emley deserve credit for not giving in even though the scoreline was a bit rough on them, Webster and Cranswick continued to search for opportunities in midfield and Bennett, and later on, Jimmy Eyles worked the ‘Sedge defence, who stood firm to see the game out.

Despite the scoreline, it was a good workout against good opponents. Emley now travel to Worksop Town on Saturday (2pm) for another tough test.