Monday, 17 August 2015

See Emley Play (FA Cup Remix)

Hopperational details
Date & Venue
Sunday 16 August 2015 at The Welfare Ground
AFC Emley 7 Parkgate 1
FA Cup Extra Preliminary Round
Ground 574 for me.  I’m here because I stayed oop North after yesterday’s hop to Ashton Athletic, and I planned a leisurely drive over the Pennines to take in this game before heading back towards the equator.
Pre-match preparation
The A635 Oldham to Holmfirth road was looking lovely in the sunshine.

Yeoman Hey & Dove Stone Reservoirs
As for today’s match, it is a Step 6 v 5 affair from the Northern Counties East.  Parkgate will start as favourites – they lead their division, albeit after only two games.  This match has helpfully been moved to Sunday because the cricket team had priority on Saturday.
This match in one sentence
One word will suffice – humiliation.
So what?
AFC Emley will head off to Burscough in the next round.
The drama unfolds
Nothing in the first fifteen minutes hinted at the carnage that was to come.  I was at the end attacked by Parkgate, and although maybe Emley edged the game territorially once they settled, there were no clear chances.  Parkgate’s ambitions were stifled by a disciplined Emley defence who repeatedly caught Oliver Graham offside.  Then Alex Slack headed a good chance over for Emley before Parkgate’s Jonathan Wragg made a great defensive block.  The floodgates were about to open.

Emley scored three times in eight minutes to the delight of the hopper-enhanced home supporters.  To be more specific, Ashley Flynn scored three times in eight minutes.  For the first, he found a bit of space for a calm finish.  The second was a neat move down the right and the visiting defence lost him again.  The third triggered huge celebrations, of course.  All of this was oop t’other end, as they say in these parts.  3-0 after 28 minutes

Well never mind, I would be in good photographic position for the Parkgate comeback.  It started (and ended as it transpired) in stoppage time.  Here’s the tackle and Graham's penalty that gave the visitors some half-time hope.  3-1 at half-time

I decided to move to the other end for the second-half for two reasons.  Firstly, this is a gorgeous ground in a lovely northern setting and these things have to be done from all angles.  It’s the rules.  Secondly, I really thought that Parkgate would fight back in the second half.  How wrong could I be?  The second half was even for about 15 minutes.  Parkgate hit the bar from a corner with the keeper beaten – what might have happened if we had gone 3-2 at that point?  Flynn removed any doubts by getting his fourth goal – at the other end, of course.  4-1 after 62 minutes

With half-an-hour left in this knockout game, Parkgate were forced to commit forward but the ball kept coming back in Emley attacks.  I started wandering back to my original position and was only just past halfway before Emley started to go for a cricket score.  A great curling ball from the left flank put Kieran Ryan into a one-on-one with the keeper, and he made no mistake.  Then Jordan Coduri showed persistence to keep the ball in on the right wing, cut-inside and exchanged passes in the box before firing in a great goal, and then in stoppage time Alex Hallam added a well-crafted cherry on the top of a rout.  I have never been physically so far away from so many goals in one game.  Final score 7-1

Ground Pix

Three-sided because of a cricketing partnership, views from one end of this fabulous ground are dominated by the Emley Moor transmission tower, bringing Judge Judy, Alan Shearer, David Dickinson and the Eggheads to the north of England in fulfilment of Lord Reith's broadcasting vision.  It is the tallest freestanding structure in the UK, keeping that southern upstart known as The Shard in second place.

Match Pix

Something You Don’t Get in the Premier League

Hoppers were queueing up to photograph that price list, I kid you not.  Plus, here is a bonus link to Mike Bayly's new FB group celebrating Non-League Raffle Prizes in which Emley set the bar high with nutritional offerings of breakfast and Guinness.
Goalkeeper Top Colour Stats
Full table to follow at the end of the month, but this is a major setback for GREEN.  GREY gets the Win but not the Clean Sheet.
What Next?
Watch @GrahamYapp on Twitter for details!

The blogpost title is a hat-tip to @laurencereade – it’s standard to find that he’s been here before you but when he has already taken the same music-related pun that you wanted too... Here's the link for his April 2015 visit, which was NOT such a good day for a certain Ashley Flynn.

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