Hallam FC 1 – 2 Emley AFC
The Tuesday night visitors beneath the floodlights at Sandygate were high-flying Emley AFC. A Covid-capacity crowd of 300 welcomed both teams, with tickets having sold out on release day in a remarkable 46 minutes.
It was Emley who started the brighter but as the first half progressed Hallam began to find their rhythm, and started to exert pressure of their own. However in the 20th minute some hesitant Hallam defending in their own box led to a clumsy challenge, and Emley were awarded a penalty kick. Kyle Willis duly obliged for the visitors. 1 – 0 to Emley AFC.
Both sides looked dangerous on the attack in a first half full of free kicks and half chances, but when the referee blew for half-time it was Emley who held a slender lead.
The second half started with Hallam looking the more dangerous, and in the 54th minute the Hallam faithful thought Richard Patterson had been brought down in the Emley box. The referee disagreed and no penalty was given. However just six minutes later a terrible challenge on Hallam's Patterson resulted in the offending Tom Claisse being shown the red card. Emley were down to ten men.
Unfortunately Hallam struggled to make their extra man count, and in the 69th minute Emley doubled their lead through James Eyles.
A magnificent long range shot from Hallam's Matthew Birks in the 80th minute suddenly brought the game back to life, and delivered the Countrymen a lifeline. For the next ten minutes Hallam piled on the pressure, but despite their endeavours they were unable to conjure up an equaliser. At the final whistle, it was Emley who took all three points away from Sandygate.
Hallam FC Media Team
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