AFC Emley returned to winning ways with a 1-0 victory away at Hallam FC in Division I of the Northern Counties East League.
Table-toppers Emley produced an improved performance against a Hallam side who were reduced to 10 men in the second half.
Emley created the first real chance from an Alex Hallam corner which was met at the back post by Kurtis Noble who struck a first time volley just past the post.
Soon after midfielder Michael Tunnacliffe managed to get a shot away from outside the area, but his shot flew over Jack Dennison in the Hallam goal and the bar.
At the other end, Hallam’s Michael Blythen worked his way into the penalty area and fired a shot at goal, Adam Lawlor produced a good save and Sam Jerome produced a block on the rebound to turn it behind for a corner.
Emley took the lead just before the halftime interval thanks to Noble.
The winger received the ball on the right wing and cut inside to the edge of the area, before firing a left footed shot on goal through a packed penalty area, however the ball managed to nestle in the bottom corner away from the outstretched hand of Dennison.
The second half was much of the same, with both sides fighting it out in the middle of the park, trying to capitalise on any mistakes the opposition made.
Ashley Flynn created Emley’s first chance of the second half as he broke into the Hallam penalty area but could only fire his shot wide.
Emley nearly gifted the hosts a goal, when Jerome passed the ball back to Lawlor, who saw the ball roll under his foot and towards the goal line. Lawlor was able to recover just in time and managed to put the ball into touch.
A few fiery moments ensued, second half substitute Danny Claridge ran down the left wing and into the box, before going down after a tussle with Elliott Simpson, the referee pointed to the spot and issued a red card to the defender.
Captain Paul Sykes stepped up to take the penalty, however, Dennison went the right way and was able to save and hold onto the effort.
Emley had a few more chances after that with Doran Jordan breaking down the right before seeing his cross cleared by the Hallam defence. Tunnacliffe then hit the post with a long range effort. The ball swerved away from Dennison but struck the upright and bounced away to safety.
That effort sprung the hosts back into life as they searched for the equalising goal, Tom Fairweather fired a shot from the edge of the area, but found Lawlor more than equal to the effort, managing to save well and prevent the ball from squirming back into the danger area.
The final effort of the game was one that saw the Hallam players and fans believing that they had pulled off the last gasp leveller. Fairweather once again was the man with the shot, this time from within the penalty area.
His effort was well struck and came through a packed penalty area, but Lawlor somehow managed to get his hand onto the ball and was also able to get his body behind it and deny the hosts.