Emley 2-0 Sheffield – Yorkshire League Division 1

May 5, 1978

Emley won their second Yorkshire League title on a rainy evening in May 1978 with a victory against the world’s oldest football club, Sheffield FC. Emley had finished runners-up on goal average the previous season to Winterton, but a win here would put them beyond the reach of their rivals.

Sheffield came to Emley full of confidence having secured the Yorkshire League Cup a few days earlier.  The match was nearly called off as torrential rain battered the Welfare Ground and turned the pitch into a treacherous mud patch.  That along with fading light due to the heavy overcast conditions (this was pre-floodlights) meant the team had to adapt, but they were up to the job.

Emley started steadily, getting used to the conditions and giving little away.  Steve Fielding, who gave one of his best performances of the season, and Stuart Greaves were revelling on the greasy pitch.  Steve Hemmingway too was a constant headache for an uncertain Sheffield defence and Pamment used all his experience to pull them out of shape.

In the 10th minute Fielding demonstrated his ability moving with speed down the left flank to put a first time cross in for Stuart Greaves to net and give Emley the lead.  Minutes later the Sheffield keeper had to pull off a great one-handed save to prevent the second.  In the 19th minute, it was two.  Fielding again advanced, dazzled the defence with his skill and fired a lethal shot into the far corner of the net.

Emley continued the intense pressure on the Sheffield defence, who conceded three quick free-kicks to keep the home side at bay.  When they finally broke out, Sheffield found Kettlewell solid at the back.   The only clear chance they had was from a free-kick which flashed across the goal.

In the second half Sheffield showed more threat and Dennis in the Emley goal had to pull off a brilliant full stretch save to keep them out, and Ingham and Skirrow held the line to prevent more threats.  Emley did create more chances as they managed the game to its end.  Hemmingway made a fine run and his fierce shot rebounded from the keeper’s body, and another shot from the same player was grabbed by the keeper at the second attempt with the Emley forwards ready to pounce.

The Emley defence remained solid as the Sheffield tried in vain to get back into it, and at the end it was jubilation as Emley claimed the win and the league title.  The championship shield was presented to Steve Skirrow by the Yorkshire League President, Jock Jackson.

Team: Dennis, Barker, Fielding, Kettlewell, Ingham, Skirrow, K.Dyson, S.Greaves, Hemmingway, Cook, Pamment; Sub: Brookes

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

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