AFC EMLEY got back to winning ways after three straight defeats courtesy of a hat trick from Dean Wharam.
Their third meeting with Shirebrook Town in the space of a month brought a 3-2 victory in front of 80 at the Welfare Ground and three welcome points in the Northern Counties East League Division I.
It’s the perfect tonic for Darren Hepworth’s side ahead of tomorrow’s visit to Scunthorpe-based Appleby Frodingham (3.00), who are second from bottom.
Hepworth rested Nathan Tayo to the bench, moving Josh Ingham to left-back back and bringing in Joe Washington to the midfield.
Ex-Netherton and Golcar United man Wharam, below, regained his place in the starting line up with Alex Barnes making way.
Shirebrook’s bright start was rewarded with the lead on 17 minutes when Michael Lyall curled in a superb free-kick.
But Emley grabbed an equaliser against the run of play seven minutes before the break when Wharam seized the ball on the edge of the box and whipped in a hard, low shot.
Wharam, with his back to goal, then spun and crashed an unstoppable shot past keeper Ed Eley to give his side an unlikely lead.
Emley might even have gone in 3-1 up as Marc Townsend smashed in a shot which was brilliantly turned away.
The second half was a more even affair and more entertaining, Shirebrook equalising through Dean Cropper with a speculative long-range effort.
Emley began to play more composed football as the half progressed while the visitors looked dangerous on the break.Š
Wharam twice went close and their were Emley appeals for a penalty for handball before Wharam had yet another effort saved.
The winner eventually came close to the end, when Josh Ingham hit a deep free-kick into the penalty area which was chested down by Sean Hazelden.
He laid the ball off to Wharam, who made no mistake from 15 yards.
Wharam linked up well with strike partner Steven Kenworthy and fully earned his place back in the team.
Hopefully he will take confidence from the hat trick and add more goals to his tally.
Emley: Clark, Westney, Ingham, Washington (Tayo), Hazelden, Leech, Stuart, Townsend (Barnes), Kenworthy, Wharam, Ringrose.Subs not used: Simpkins, Reid, Dowling.