Emley faced their inaugural league loss of the season at the hands of Hallam, who secured a 3-1 triumph at the Fantastic Media Welfare Ground on a profoundly disheartening evening.
After seizing their inaugural league victory of the season against Eccleshill the previous week, Emley aimed to secure their first triumph before their home crowd, following a draw with Garforth and a defeat in the FA Cup against Avro.
The outset was promising for Emley as they initiated attacks in the initial moments, forcing a corner and a free kick. Nonetheless, the momentum swung as the visitors gradually asserted dominance in the first half.
Despite the initial encouraging moments, Emley fans had little else to cheer about, as their team struggled to make significant headway.
Hallam relentlessly tested Emley’s defence, surging down both wings, resulting in forced corners and a few saves by Dec Lambton to keep Emley in the game. Nevertheless, Hallam persisted in their onslaught, forcing more corners and putting the Emley defence under substantial pressure.
Inevitably, Emley’s resilience faltered. A failure to clear the ball allowed Bradbury to shoot from just inside the area, beating Lambton to secure Hallam’s first goal.
Emley’s defence had to remain alert a minute later, thwarting another dangerous attack. Eventually, Emley had a chance to aim for the goal, but Donae Lawrence’s attempt went well wide.
Emley managed to exert some pressure towards the end of the first half. However, they failed to truly challenge Hallam’s keeper, Lawrie, as their shots missed the target.
Half-Time: Emley 0-1 Hallam
The second half commenced with Emley’s early attempt, a combination between Nathan Curtis and Will Norcross, resulting in a well-saved shot that led to a fruitless corner.
Ironically, within moments of that attempt, Hallam extended their lead. A long ball was pursued down the left by Watson, who managed to outpace Lambton and score.
Emley didn’t give up. Ruben Jerome’s shot demanded a save from Lawrie, and Jake Kelly’s free-kick veered wide. Despite substitutions and efforts to regain control, Emley struggled to find the back of the net.
As time waned, Hallam struck again, concluding any remaining suspense. A quick counterattack resulted in Fearon slotting the ball into the bottom corner.
With 15 minutes left on the clock, Emley put forth their best efforts but failed to alter the outcome. Jerome continued to trouble Hallam’s defence, eventually earning a penalty due to a foul inside the area. Jerome capitalised on the opportunity, scoring Emley’s sole consolation goal.
In the added time, Emley had a couple more chances to reduce the deficit, but Curtis’s header and subsequent shot both missed the mark. The referee’s final whistle signalled disappointment for Emley, who now needs to regroup for the upcoming derby clash against Golcar.
Full-Time: Emley 1-3 Hallam