Sunday, 12 August 2012

AFC Emley 0 v Chadderton 2 - FA Cup Extra Preliminary Round

Sunday 12th August 2012, at the Welfare Ground, Emley
FA Cup Extra Preliminary Round
AFC Emley (0) 0
Chadderton (1) 2
Niall Sultan 2, Joe Jacombs 90+
Admission £4, Programme £1, Attendance 152
AFC Emley:
Mick Clarke, Matt Thornton, Liam Schofield, Anthony Haigh, Sean Hazelden, John Cyrus, Mark Stuart, Jordan Doran, Dean Wharham, Ashley Flynn, Curtis Roberts.
Subs - Steve Kenworthy, Josimar Bradshaw, Chris Wdowczyk, Paul Banton, Danny Lyness.
Dale Latham, Benjamin Fletcher, Chris Pauley, Benjamin Greenside, Tim Buxton, Michael Cheetham, Sean Nolan, David Glynn, Niall Sultan, Joe Jacombs, Joshua Lynch.
Subs - Andrew Kremmer, Gareth Buckley, Ryan Lyons, Nathan Connor.
A North East Counties League v North West Counties League encounter on AFC Emley's 3 sided ground.
The temporary fencing that usually forms a barrier between the football and cricket grounds wasn't up today, which explains why the pitch looks so wide on some of my photographs.
At the conclusion of this afternoon's game, everybody in the Welfare Ground was left asking the same question ... how on earth did AFC Emley manage to lose?
I mean, give them their dues, Chadderton dug deep and defended well and their goalkeeper Dale Staham had an outstanding game.
But, in between the 2nd and 92nd minute, when the visitors scored their two goals, I could count on my thumbs the amount of times they pushed forward and offered anything even resembling a minor threat to the Emley defence.
Woo hoo! I can see the Emley Moor mast from here!

To say the home side dominated the remainder of the game, wouldn't be stretching a point, as it was mostly played out around the Chadderton box, where a combination of some lacklustre finishing, a huge slice of luck (for the vistors) and a man of the match performance from the NCWL side's keeper, conspired to see the Oldham based side through to the next round of the cup and bag them the £1000 prize money into the bargain.
Straight from the kick off, Chadderton were on the back foot, when Doran Jordan set up Ashley Flynn, but the home side's striker shot narrowly wide.
From Latham's goal kick, the visitors broke forward and the ball was floated into Emley's penalty area.
Benjamin Fletcher and Niall Sultan played head tennis across the front of a static defence and the latter nodded the ball home to open the scoring.
AFC Emley had tried going for goal while Chadderton's defence was still getting settled into the swing of things, but had been hit by a carbon copy sucker punch at the other end.
The visitors then had to withstand a fair amount of pressure as their West Yorkshire hosts went in search of an equaliser, but alas, as the game reached half time, my hastily scribbled notes all either said '(insert name) was narrowly off target when he should've done better' or 'Latham (yet again) thwarted (insert name) with another good block'.
The visitors keeper had definitely turned up at the Welfare Ground with a determined 'they shall not pass' mindset.
Orthodox saves, blocking the ball with an outstretched leg as Ashley Flynn almost put an unmissable effort in by the left hand upright; Latham had a whole repertoire of tricks in his arsenal.
And as the second half unfolded, he became even more determined, as chance after chance came to nothing for the home side.
At one point, Latham pulled off three quality saves within a minute.
I'm led to believe the Chadderton goalkeeper is still only 20 years of age, judging by his performance today, he's got a great career ahead of him in the game.
Mark Stuart air kicked at a Curtis Roberts cross from the left wing as the home side piled on the pressure and Matt Thornton cut in from the right and fired over instead of crossing, as urgency rather than deliberation, began to take over the Emley players efforts.
As the game entered injury time, with the home side still unable to force the issue and grab the equalising goal that would keep them in this season's FA Cup competition, Chadderton counter attacked. Josh Lynch got on the end of a neat through ball and homed in on Emley's goal area.
Just as he squared up to shoot Tony Haigh upended him from behind, right on the edge of the box.
Haigh had no alternative and though I'm not condoning what would be classed as a 'professional foul', Lynch had looked odds on to score and at 2-0 down in injury time, the game would've been over for Emley.
The home side seemed to have cleared the free kick, justifying Haigh's moment of naughtiness and began advancing up the pitch to save the result, but Chadderton regained possession and the ball fell to Joe Jacombs inside the area, who scored with what was only the second shot on target his side had had all afternoon.
As percentages go, a 100% strike rate for Chadderton saw them through to the next round, where they will face either Maltby Main or Cheadle who drew 1-1 yesterday (Cheadle equalised in the last minute), the replay is at Muglet Lane on Wednesday night.
As the overall match statistics go, AFC Emley lost and they were bloody unlucky.