REPORT | AFC Emley defeated despite a late fightback

By Oliver Thompson

A late fightback from 10 man Emley was not enough to prevent defeat  against a high flying Nostell Miners Welfare in the NCEL Division One. 

AFC Emley 2 – 3 Nostell Miners Welfare

Michael Bottomley (85‘) | Kai Hancock (30′) Rhys Meynell (43′ p) Daniel Naidole (90′) Jack Owen (84′) Danny Stocker (R 42′)

KLTV’s Man of the Match: Michael Bottomley

Attendance: ~ 223

Venue: Fantastic Media Welfare Ground

PRE MATCH | The rejuvenated Pewits vs the established Flatcappers.

The last time AFC Emley registered back to back victories was a successive double against FC Bolsover in October.

Prior to kick off, AFC Emley (nicknamed the pewits) were in high spirits after registering back to back victories and successive clean sheets in the league, since early October. The introduction of a new management team for the Pewits are looking to ease tensions and fight off potential relegation fears.

Their opponents, Nostell Miners Welfare (nicknamed the Flatcappers) were also in high spirits after establishing themselves as title contenders and holding the title of ‘best defense in the league’ based on average goals, conceded per game. The Wakefield side were looking to add to their five game unbeaten run.

Both sides had yet to meet in the league but in the same fixture last season the visitors’ ran out as 2-0 victors.

1st Half – The visitors strike as Emley see red

The game began slowly as the players battled the elements from the so called ‘Storm Erik’. The first notable chance came from the visitors as Kane Reece’s effort from the edge of the box, whistled inches past the Emley goal.

As the wind and rain continued to make the pitch an increasingly difficult place to play, a mistake from the flatcappers goalkeeper Gary Stevens nearly gifted Emley with a goal as his miss kick was intercepted by Paul Pyke, who fired over the bar.

AFC Emley goalkeeper George Clarke keeping his vision clear among heavy rainfall.

The Pewits came again, courtesy of some excellent link up play from Gregg Porter and Daniel Naidole on the AFC Emley left flank, which saw the former Yorkshire Amateur player Naidole beat the offside trap but not the goal, as some excellent defensive pressure from the visitors forced his effort wide.

GOAL – Kai Hancock

As the half hour mark passed, the momentum began to shift in favor of Nostell Miners Welfare who took the initiative and went in front due to a lob from forward Kai Hancock whose strike came from the edge of the Emley box.

GOAL – Rhys Meynell (NMW)  RED – Danny Stocker (AFCE)

The flatcappers continued to apply pressure and were awarded a penalty at the closing phases of the first half. Emley’s Danny Stocker was sent off due to ‘dissent’ leaving former Gretna midfielder Rhys Meynell to calmly convert the penalty to double the visitors lead.

2nd Half – Pewits fly but flatcappers remain firm

The conditions improved as the game was dead locked in a midfield battle between both teams. AFC Emley nearly halved the deficit after a header by Naidole which was expertly saved by the former Cardiff Academy goalkeeper Gary Stevens.

Nostell Miners Welfare are now unbeaten in seven games.

Nostell hit back and almost tripled their advantage in the early stages of the second half as Lewis Akeister put through substitute Jack Owen but his effort was saved by Emley goalkeeper George Clarke.

GOAL – Jack Owen – 0-3

Club top scorer Owen tried his luck again and was rewarded with a goal as his effort beat goalkeeper Clarke to seemingly put the game to a close and instill a big victory for Nostell Miners Welfare.

Stat – Owen is now the ninth top scorer in the NCEL Division One.

AFC Emley fight back 

Michael Starkley prepares his free kick.

The resolve of the hosts’ did not falter who refused to be beaten by a large margin. Barely a minute later, Michael Bottomley ambitious attempt from outside the box bounced in front of Nostell’s goalkeeper into the back of the goal to reduce the deficit. There was no time for celebration as the players wanted to get underway as soon as possible.

Goalscorer Michael Bottomley tries to beat his markers.

The goal of the night came from Naidole as his first time volley from just inside the Nostel penalty area rocketed past the goalkeeper who had very little chance in saving the goal.

The goals came too late however as the Wakefield based side were able to maintain cohesion and hold out to take the three points in their vital bid for champion status.

Post Match – ‘Another three or four wins will see us safe.’ Darren Hepworth

Image result for darren hepworth
Former Manager Darren Hepworth has recently been appointed as Assistant Coach following the departure of Joe Howson. Photo credit Non-League Yorkshire.

After the game Assistant Manager Darren Hepworth commented:

“We had been on a bad run of form, but we was able to fix that with two clean sheets and two wins and able to come into tonight with real confidence.

“It was a game of two halves, I thought the penalty decision was harsh and we went into the break 2-0 down with a mountain to climb.

“In the second half, we were outstanding they gave everything and you wouldn’t have thought we were the side with 10 men

“After they got their third goal it looked as if it had killed us off, but we got one back and then another which was an absolute screamer.”

Speaking ahead to the next fixture against Hallam, Hepworth stated:

“We can take a lot from that second half and we look forward to facing Hallam on Wednesday, but our ambition remains the same this season which is to finish as high as we can up the table.

“There is a lot of competition at the moment and the game against Hallam will be a perfect opportunity to try out two or three new players.

“We do want to win the game, but our main focus is to get up the league and we think three or four wins will keep us safe.”

Line ups

AFC EMLEY XI: Clarke (GK), Stocker, Starkey, Ingham, Stafford (C), Hamilton, Pyke, Porter, Naidole, Bottomley, Grant

Subs: Brennan, Hughes, Ndiweni, Burnett, Townend

NOSTELL MINERS WELFARE XI: Stevens (GK), Akeister, Mole, Kilburn, Meynell (C), Almond, Teasdale, Hayton, Reece, Hancock, Wood

Subs: Owen, Horbury, Haigh, Allsop, Ferguson

Referee: Justin Carpenter Assistants: Jason Miller & Dylan Haigh

What Twitter said?


What this result means?

AFC Emley remain in 14th place and are nine points from safety. At the other end of the table, Nostell Miners Welfare remain in 3rd position just four points away from the top spot in the Northern Counties East League Division One.

What is next?

AFC Emley next host Hallam in the NCEL League Cup Round 4 in a midweek fixture. Nostell Miners Welfare who were knocked out of the cup in Round 3 continue their claim for promotion as they host mid table Swallownest at the Welfare Ground.


Photos – All photos were provided by Mark Parsons, AFC Emley club photographer.

Any sporting stories in Kirklees or in the non-league? Need an event covered? Get in contact at, follow us on Twitter @kirkleeslocaltv or phone us on 01484 512752


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