A LAST minute strike by Ashley Flynn secured Emley a vital 2-1 win over Worsborough Bridge to keep them in touch with the promotion pack in the Northern Counties East League Division One.
The league’s leading striker, Flynn had already netted a first half penalty to put his side back on level terms after Worsborough had taken an early lead.
Bridge had the better of the early exchanges as they looked to record their third victory over Emley.
With Flynn off the field receiving a prolonged spell of treatment Emley only had 10 men on the field when the visitors took the lead in the 12th minute.
Former Emley man Martyn Scully delivered a perfectly weighted ball into the box from a free kick for Ryan Laight to power home a header past keeper Luke Herriott.
Emley fought back and Anthony Haigh went close twice with shots from the edge of the box.
Flynn should have been awarded a penalty after being held by another ex-Emley man Andy Broadbent with the goal at his mercy.
Two minutes later referee Paul Tomes did award a spot kick as Flynn was again impeded by Broadbent and the in-form striker dispatched the kick to level the scores on 35 minutes.
In the second half Emley took the game to the visitors and Flynn went close three times in five minutes.
Soon after Laight was forced off with an injury for the visitors, a change which would help Emley’s cause as he had been excellent in central defence up to that point.
Emley manager Darren Hepworth brought on Doran Jordan and Brad Riley from the bench with quarter of an hour to go to keep up the intensity.
The pair had an instant impact with Riley whipping in a testing cross from the touchline with Jordan inches away from converting it.
Jordan then went close with a curling effort and Liam Schofield had a free kick which looked destined for the top corner cleared by a Broadbent header.
Flynn finally found a way through in the 90th minute and Riley had a huge part to play in holding off the attentions of the Bridge defenders before delivering the ball into the path of Flynn who blasted home his 34th goal of the season.
The result and particularly the second half performance sets Emley up nicely for their home FA Vase fourth round tie with Hadleigh United next Saturday.
The biggest question for boss Hepworth will be who to leave out of the starting line-up with his squad in such fine form.
Emley: Herriott, Thornton, Schofield, Leech (Ingham 83), Sykes, Cooke, Joseph, Maturine (Riley 75), Flynn, Haigh, Kenworthy (Jordan 75). Sub (not used): Cyrus.
Brighouse Town remain third in the NCE League’s Premier Division after they fought back to beat Parkgate 2-1 at the Dual Seal Stadium.
Brighouse trailed at half-time after Craig Fletcher had put the Rotherham outfit in front, but Danny Nadiole levelled for the home side before the hour and Ryan Hall netted the winner three minutes from time.