AFC EMLEY manager Darren Hepworth will be looking for an instant response from his team when they entertain Maltby in the Sheffield Cup tonight (7.45pm).
Albion Sports inflicted a 3-1 Northern Counties East League Division I defeat at the Welfare Ground – a second consecutive home reversal that put a dent in Emley’s promotion hopes.
Emley made a good start but, as before this season, failed to capitalise on early chances and then paid the price being punished by a side who were more ruthless in front of goal.
In those promising early stages leading scorer Ashley Flynn, striker Stephen Kenworthy, Anthony Haigh and winger Doran Jordan all had good chances but failed to convert.
Albion offered very little in response until the 35th minute when they broke the deadlock, and it was a superb piece of play from Daniel Facey.
Facey, brother of former Town player Delroy, who was watching in the crowd, took the ball round two Emley defenders before blasting an unstoppable angled drive past Luke Herriott into the roof of the net.
Emley responded well and Flynn flicked a long ball past his marker but could only blast the loose ball at Albion keeper Aaron Brian.
Emley managed to claw back an equaliser on 56 minutes as Flynn unlocked the Albion defence before rounding Brian and dragging the ball back for Haigh, who slotted home from the edge of the six yard box.
However, Albion went back to the other end and Facey, who continued to prove a handful, was only denied by a last-minute intervention from Emley’s Paul Sykes as the powerful frontman struck at goal.
Albion regained the lead on 70 minutes and manager Hepworth will be asking questions of his defence as a deep corner landed straight at the feet of James Stansfield unmarked at the back post for a simple tap in.
Emley fought back and almost forced another equaliser with 10 minutes to go as John Cyrus saw a header from a corner blocked.
Substitute Brad Riley also went agonisingly close after beating two men but his angled drive flew across the face of goal with Brian beaten.
Albion finally wrapped the game up with two minutes remaining when Graeme Sykes smashed a shot into the roof of the net.
Emley: Herriott, Thornton, Schofield, Ingham, Sykes, Cyrus, Joseph, Jordan (Levi Maturine 81), Flynn, Haigh, Kenworthy (Riley 68). Subs (not used): Cooke, Leech.
Albion Sports: Brian, Lyn, Hussain (Stamer 66), Flaherty (Singh 65), Stansfield, Brown, Lee Maturine, Jones, Facey, Jackson (Sykes 68), Cusack.