Emley 2 Bishop Auckland 2 – FA Amateur Cup 4th Qualifying Round

November 18, 1972

After their incredible success in the Amateur Cup in their first two seasons – reaching the last 16 on both occasions, Emley had struggled to build on that success with defeats at Spennymoor and Sutton Coldfield in the following years.  In the 1971-72 season however Emley progressed to the 4th qualifying round and were drawn at hope to Bishop Auckland.

Bishop Auckland were a massive non-league club at the time with a rich history in the Amateur Cup, having won it 10 times, the first in 1896.  So Emley went into the game as underdogs despite their seven game unbeaten run in the Yorkshire League.

Emley started the game strongly, impressing the big crowd of just under 1000 with a blistering display of skilful football, which had the Bishop Auckland defence mesmerised.  Bishop Auckland had an impressive ground in the centre of the Town with stands all around and took a while to get used to the small Emley ground on top of a moor, with the crowd breathing down their necks.

Emley scored after just 4 minutes with a bizarre goal.  Forrest fouled Stuart Greaves just inside Bishops’ half and Atkinson floated the ball into the Bishops’ area.  Their ‘keeper McNulty simply stopped and watched it hit the foot of the post and roll into the net, presumably mesmerised by the flight of the ball.

McNulty made some amends, stopping a blistering drive from Stuart Greaves and it wasn’t until the 15th minutes they had their first meaningful attack.  Slane chasing a ball through from Hussey, but Cooper cleared the danger. Then Alex Brook made a point-blank save from Boylan before S.B. Greaves hit the post with a snap shot that had McNulty beaten.

The game continued end-to-end with a header from a Bishop Auckland corner hitting the bar and a shot from Stuart Greaves being deflected for a corner by Watson.  Then hesitation in the Emley defence allowed Slane in and after a melee in the area the ball fell to Shoulder who fired an excellent cross shot into the corner of the net.

Emley hit back and Watson had to resort to hacking Brookes down and earning himself a booking.  Shoulder then headed down a cross for Slane who pulled a fine save out of Brook to deny the visitors.  Then right on half time Stuart Greaves passed the ball into Brookes who stabbed the ball home to give Emley the advantage.

The second-half was only 6 minutes old when the visitors cancelled out this advantage.  After a period of pressure, Slane drew Brook out of his goal and Wier nipped in to make sure the ball went in.

The game now got tetchy and Cooper was booked for a foul on Shoulder and Emley lost their fluency as Bishops broke up play.  Burke, Stuart Greaves and Brookes created a neat opening only for Hussey to stop the play with a foul on Brookes.  Stuart Greaves was also booked for a foul on Weir and S.B. Greaves brought another good save out of McNulty.

As the game headed for a draw with 5 minutes left Bishops thought they’d won it when Slane had the ball in the net, but the linesman was flagging for offside.

In the replay the following Saturday, Slane was to get his revenge as his heavily disputed goal (Slane flattened Alex Brook challenging for a header) was the only one of the game and saw Bishop Auckland into the first round proper.

Team: Brook, Cooper, Steele, R.Wood, A.Wood, Atkinson, Burke, S.Greaves, Brookes, Kettlewell, S.B.Greaves. Sub: Skirrow.

Headlines and some photographs courtesy of Huddersfield Examiner and the Huddersfield and District Chronicle


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