EMLEY’S frustrating away form continued with a 1-1 draw at Yorkshire Amateurs.
On what had to be the worst playing surfaces witnessed in the current NCE League Division I campaign, the visitors failed to adapt to the rutted, rock hard surface.
Lee Hill returned to the midfield with a knee support in evidence and young Josh Nodder was given his full debut after impressive performances from substitute in the last two games.
Barrick continued up front with Kenworthy, Clarke remained between the posts.
After a cagey opening the home side created the first opportunity, the ball played into the centre of the box and headed down well near the penalty spot. Fortunately the ball was blasted well wide of the post.
Emley’s first chance fell to Steve Kenworthy. A Nodder corner was well placed and flicked on by Hill to the leading scorer at the back post. The bounce was awkward and the ball spooned over the bar from his shot.
Emley were doing well down the right flank with Kenworthy, Danny Clapham and the forward runs of Antony Leech causing danger.
A corner on 12 minutes was again well delivered by Nodder, the ball this time fell for Barrick whose header was well saved one handed by the keeper at the far post. The home keeper made another brave important save at the legs of Barrick on 22 minutes following a clever triangle from Kenworthy and Clapham who put the final ball in.
Just a minute later Emley were a goal down.
Keeper Michael Clarke came for a corner and was unable to get any meaningful contact. The ball dropped favourably for the home side in the area and was poked into the corner of the net.
The goal gave Amateurs the impetus, with the remainder of the half Emley being restricted to shots from the edge of the box which failed to threaten the goal.
Into the second half those who stopped in the bar to watch the Grand National will have missedEmley equalised within 60 seconds of the start of the second half.
The impressive Nodder made good progress down the left wing and his pin-point cross put the ball on to Hill’s head at the far post.
His header took a slight deflection but nestled into the far corner of the net with the keeper rooted.
On 53 minutes Nodder yet again put in Kenworthy at the far post beating the offside trap. Kenworthy was caught in two minds as to whether to shoot or square the ball for Barrick, in the end he did neither and the keeper collected the ball easily.
On the hour mark Yorkshire Amateurs were denied by the bar, their big number 10 did well to get the wrong side of the Emley defence.
With the goal wide open the ball struck the bar and went over.
With Emley appearing to be tired the home team were again denied by the cross bar with 10 minutes to go.
Sean Hazelden was put under pressure following an uncontested ball in midfield. With Clarke committed and off his line the hooked half volley again struck the bar and went over.
It was the home team who had the only remaining chance of the game two minutes into stoppage time.
A cross from the wing went across the face of the Emley goal untouched.
Emley’s style of football was always going to be hindered on this surface, when the ball went through the centre it was like the dust created when buffalo are on a charge. The ball bobbled, jinked and squirted everywhere. In the end Emley were lucky to get a point.
Emley: Clarke, Armitage, Leech, Fulton, Hazelden, Nodder, Townsend, Clapham, Kenworthy, Barrick, Subs: Clayton, Thomas, Stuart (all subs used at 89 minutes for Barrick, Armitage and Hill)
Attendance 58Emley’s final home game of the season is against Hemsworth MW tomorrow at 7.45pm. When the two sides met last September Emley ran out 1-0 victors with a goal from captain Andy Farrell.