AFC Emley’s run in the FA Vase came to an end as they lost 4-2 at North Shields, however it was a fighting performance and one to be proud of, writes James Holder.
Emley started the game well, forcing the hosts onto the back foot and earning a string of corners.
From one of these, the visitors almost took the lead, Sam Jerome rising highest to meet a cross with a thumping header, but Chris Bannon in the North Shields goal
pulled off a great save to deny the big centre half.
North Shields then had their first attempt at the Emley goal, Denver Morris cutting inside afor a shot, but the ball drifted narrowly wide with Adam Lawlor having the strike
The hosts did break the deadlock moments later, though, when Morris broke into the Emley box, rounded Lawlor and squared it to Dean Holmes for an easy finish.
The visitors restored parity shortly after, Jordan Townend getting his name on the scoresheet.
Some neat passing in the Emley midfield led to Alex Hallam playing a through ball for Townend to run onto, and he slotted the ball past the on-rushing keeper.
AFC Emley then went close to getting a second just before half time. Antony Leech strode out of midfield and to the edge of the box before unleashing a shot just wide.
The hosts began the second half in the ascendancy, making it 2-1 within minutes of the restart. A long direct ball was mis-controlled by Jerome, allowing Gareth Bainbridge to score.
Alex Hallam went close to getting the equaliser for Emley, turning in the box, but found his effort deflected behind for a corner. From the resulting kick, Jerome redeemed himself by winning the initial header, which was blocked on the line, but pouncing to poke the ball over the line before a clearance could be made.
Once again, however, the hosts took the lead in the tie and once again it was courtesy of a long ball that split the Emley defence. This time it was James Luccock who ran on to net.
North Shields then managed to get a two-goal cushion in the match, Benjamin Richardson becoming the fourth player to get his name on the home scoresheet.
The goal came about following some neat play down the North Shields left, resulting in Holmes crossing into the box and Richardson tapping the ball home at the back post.
The scoring may have ended, but both sides had chances to grab another.
First Ryan Brook managed to clear an effort off the line after Richardson had rounded Lawlor. then Emley were denied several times in a goalmouth scramble.