SIX GOALS, a man sent off, an injury to a key player and a new signing making his debut.
This was the action-packed story of AFC Emley’s 3-3 draw against Teversal at the Welfare Ground in the Northern Counties East League Division I.
A victory seemed likely for Ray Dennis and Nicky Bramald’s side with only five minutes left to play, but a late goal for their opponents sealed a point.
Joint coach Dennis said he was disappointed with the result and the referee’s decision to show defender Andy Battye the red card.
He added: “When we were two goals up we should have gone on to win but we’re learning.
“If we would have kept 11 men on the field I’m sure we would have held out. It killed the game really because we had to take our strikers off.
“I thought the referee spoilt the game.”
The Emley coaching staff also had to deal with the disappointment of in-form striker Steve Kenworthy hobbling off the pitch with an ankle injury.
Kenworthy, who limped off just before half-time, had scored six goals in four games before the Teversal encounter – three of which came on his debut three weeks ago.
Teversal, who are now top of the table following the draw, took the lead after one minute through Andrew Woodcock.
But Emley captain Sean Hazeldon equalised on 19 minutes with a thoughtful, precise shot which he powered into the bottom corner of the net.
Just before half-time, Gavin Birmingham put Emley ahead through a delightful half-volley which looped over the head of the Teversal goalkeeper.
And the home side doubled their lead two minutes into the second half. Marc Townsend made the score 3-1 by striking a shot into the bottom corner of the goal.
Marc Scott gave the visitors some hope shortly afterwards by weaving his way around Emley’s defence and slotting the ball home.
Then with just five minutes left in the game, Teversal equalised through a Woodcock header.
For all the game’s drama, this must be one of the most memorable debut appearances for new signing Daniel Cliffe, who moved to Emley from an Australian club.
Reflecting further on the result, Dennis said: “We need to kill games off.
“They are, however, high up in the league so they are not a bad side, but we’ve probably got to be a bit more professional.”
Dennis said he hopes Kenworthy will make a swift return to action.
He added: “He picked up a problem with his ankle. We’ll assess it further but hopefully he will be back soon.”
Emley, now 12th in the 17-team section, travel to struggling Pontefract Collieries, who are 16th, on Saturday (3.00).