Emley 3-0 Thackley – Yorkshire League Division 1

January 2, 1971

Emley have a long history of playing current Northern Counties East rivals Thackley, dating back to the 1970-71 season when the teams faced each other in the Yorkshire League Division 2.

The first home game was the first game of 1971, the two teams had met in Emley’s last game of 1970, just before Christmas, at Thackley’s ground.  That game ended in a 3-1 victory for Thackley and Emley were now looking for revenge, especially as that had been Emley’s third defeat in a row.

The game was played on a bone hard, frozen pitch, which would probably not have gone ahead these days.  Stephen Battye, who had been promoted from the reserves, turned out to be the hero of the day.  He opened the scoring on 30 minutes when Kettlewell held the ball on the right before chipping over a couple of defenders for Battye to leap above the defence and head the ball home.  Five minutes before the break, Battye added a second, again an excellent header from a free-kick by Morley.

Emley wrapped the game up 20 minutes into the second half when Brookes brought a save out of goalkeeper Smith but Morley nipped in to tap in the rebound.  Battye could have had a hat-trick when following a fine move involving Brookes he was blatantly obstructed outside the box when he would have been clean through.  As offence that would result in a red card under today’s rules.

At the end of the previous season, 1969-70, Emley had finished second, but weren’t promoted due a reorganization of the league into three, smaller, divisions rather than two. This season Emley finished fourth and were promoted as the Yorkshire league expanded its top division to include 16 teams rather than 14.  Thackley finished runners-up in the league and were also promoted.  The two teams would go on to face each other many times over the following seasons as both clubs established themselves in the Yorkshire League and Northern Counties East.

Team: Casson; Clayton, Ellam; Wood, Cartwright, Matley; Morley, Skirrow, Brookes, Battye, Kettlewell.  Sub: J Hall.

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