Bridlington Town 1 - 0 AFC Emley
Pendulum swings in the favour of Seasiders as Emley miss out on League Cup Final, reports Luke Greaves
AFC Emley narrowly missed out on a trip to Bramall Lane after Premier Division Bridlington Town were 1-0 winners at the Neil Hudgell Solicitors Stadium in the NCEL League Cup semi-final this evening.
The Pewits aimed to make it twelve games unbeaten against The Seasiders, who took on their first Division One side of the competition.
Despite the visitors’ counter-attacking threat, Chris Adams’ second half goal gave Bridlington a ticket to the final with Penistone Church.
It could have been an entirely different game, had the linesman not dubiously flagged top scorer Ashley Flynn as being offside in the first minute.
Emley’s goal may have been ruled out, but they certainly should have scored a legitimate goal when a loose ball fell to Tom Brennan’s feet inside the area - his volley cleared the crossbar, the fence and the promenade.
The hosts boasted a strong physicality about their side, yet it took them 36 minutes to muster a first sight of goal.
Callum Charlton made a timely block to prevent Jake Day scoring from inside the penalty area.
Flynn, who is without a goal since the Pewits’ defeat of Shirebrook Town over a fortnight ago, could have stopped the rot after a one-two with Jordan Coduri, but he blasted just wide.
It wasn’t Day’s day as Graham McLachlan had all angles covered to thwart his low drive moments later.
Coduri, who scored in Saturday’s 3-1 win against Glasshoughton Welfare, could have made it two in two but found the side-netting from the corner of the box.
Slightly against the run of play, Curtis Woodhouse’s side hit the front with little more than 15 minutes remaining.
McLachlan bravely committed to a deep cross, meaning the goal was gaping for Adams’ header to find the bottom corner.
Any hopes of a comeback for Emley may have been erased when Andy Norfolk charged towards goal, but Brennan managed to clear his effort off the line, keeping the visitors in it.
There was, however, no comeback. But there were more positives to take than negatives, after Emley competed valiantly against yet another Premier Division side.
Manager Darren Hepworth will be sat on the edge of his seat this Saturday, when Emley’s fate will be decided.
Hall Road Rangers take on Campion and Pontefract Collieries travel to Worsbrough Bridge Athletic, knowing they must both win to guarantee automatic promotion.
Defeat for either side will result in a successful day for the Pewits, who won’t have to kick a ball.