Emley secured yet another victory, extending their unbeaten streak to 15 games. They also achieved their 11th clean sheet of the season, preventing a lacklustre Maltby Main side from scoring, even denying them a consolation goal. This marked Emley’s 11th win of the season, sending the visitors back to Maltby with their eighth consecutive defeat.
Right from kick-off, Emley aimed to display their intricate passing skills. Following an early free-kick, Hardaker directed the ball towards the goal before the opposition defence was ready. However, he applied a bit too much power, leading to the ball being cleared for a goal kick.
Maltby attempted to counter with a hard-working approach. Just 30 seconds later, Lambton had to swiftly clear a loose ball, with the resulting throw-in landing straight in his grasp.
In the 6th minute, Emley had a promising chance as Hardaker delivered a deep cross to the far post. Unfortunately, Curtis, positioned on the back post, narrowly missed connecting with his head, squandering the opportunity to put the Pewits in an early lead. Eight minutes later, Emley finally broke through the Miners’ defence.
Jerome sent in a cross from the left, met by an attacker. The keeper parried it into the path of Clegg, who had an empty goal to aim for, giving the hosts a 1-0 lead.
Following this, the visitors began to unravel. They struggled against Emley’s high defensive line, and their attackers frequently found themselves offside, leading to disagreements among the players, ultimately harming their performance.
In the 21st minute, Maltby’s number 9, Nathan Perks, managed to stay onside, forcing a somewhat acrobatic save from Lambton. Despite the ensuing corner coming close to crossing the line, the referee dismissed the claims amid animated protests from fans, players, and coaches.
This further fueled the opposition’s displeasure as Emley continued to showcase the same class and charisma displayed throughout the season. Maltby grew increasingly frustrated as their style of play yielded no significant results, while Emley shut down any promising chances.
HALF TIME – EMLEY 1 – 0 MALTBY MAIN
Throughout the majority of the second half, Emley dominated possession, preventing Maltby from making significant progress in the game.
Just three minutes into the second half, Emley extended their lead to 2-0. In the 48th minute, Jerome fired a shot that Owen palmed into the path of a Pewits attacker, allowing Jerome to blast a shot past the rooted Owen.
At this point, the overall pace of the game slowed down. Emley remained superior, but the style shifted towards a counter-attack/relentless pressure approach, as Maltby sought to salvage something from the game, and Emley avoided taking too many risks.
In the 62nd minute, Emley’s new approach paid off as a fast-paced move and a pinpoint through ball reached Jerome, who secured his brace, increasing their advantage to 3-0.
In a remarkable five-minute span, Emley swiftly transitioned from 2-0 to 4-0. Two minutes after Jerome’s brace, he completed his hat-trick from the penalty spot, sending the hosts into a 4-goal lead.
Following the fourth goal, Emley cruised through the game, conserving energy with the points secured. Ruben Jerome, after a man-of-the-match performance, was substituted in the 82nd minute to a round of applause and a standing ovation from the Emley faithful.
Emley maintained their defensive strategy, and despite many changes and good goalkeeping, numerous favourable chances were not converted, such as in the 85th minute when Lawrence’s pass to Eyles resulted in a straightforward save for Owen.
In the third minute of added time, Mirza found himself in a 2-on-1 situation, poking the ball to Eyles, who smashed it into an empty goal. The referee ended the match seconds later, concluding the visitors’ misery and allowing the unwavering Pewits support to rise in ovation as the teams left the pitch.
FULL TIME – EMLEY 5 – 0 MALTBY MAIN