Emley 2-1 Frickley Athletic – Sheffield Senior Cup Final

April 30, 1981

The 1980-81 season saw Emley chasing three trophies much the same as this season.  They were still in the Yorkshire League Cup and aiming to retain the Yorkshire League Division One title.  Coincidentally Winterton Rangers and North Ferriby were also in that race, though it was Leeds Ashley Road who would turn out to be the eventual champions.

In the end Emley had to settle for just one of the trophies – the Sheffield Cup.  The final was played before the League was decided.  In it Emley faced Frickley Athletic, then in the Alliance Premier League – then the equivalent of the National League Premier Division, one step below the Football League.

Frickley’s team featured seven players with Football League experience and they were strong favourites for the cup, which in those days probably had a higher status than it does now.  The game was played at Woolley’s ground rather than a Football League ground, which possibly helped Emley who went into the game on a poor run of form.

Form went out of the window though as Emley gave a performance reminiscent of the great Amateur Cup days.  The early part of the match did not give much of a clue of what was to come however, as Frickley took the lead in a flowing game.  After 13 minutes Woodall rose to head home a Wadsworth cross and Frickley looked comfortable.  They could have had two when Peter Howey, a former Huddersfield Town winger rattled the crossbar.

Emley did show promise though and Fielding showed great skill and talent in the midfield to match the Frickley players.  They did nearly get one back after 32 minutes when Marron turned a deep free kick back across the area for Daryl Brook to pivot and slam a shot against the post from eight yards.

The second half started off in a feisty fashion with Brookes and Lumb booked along with Frickley’s Gill.  The referee was struggling to keep control and this seemed to suit Emley and unsettle Frickley.  As the game wore on Emley asserted themselves more and more, but it appeared the Frickley defence which, though it was creaking, would hold firm.

Then after 76 minutes Emley got the equalizer.  Dennis threw the ball out to Lumb, who pumped it deep into the Frickley half.  Brook headed into the path of Cook, who reached the by-line and crossed to the far post for Marron to rise majestically to head home.

Emley then scented they could win this, and continued to pile pressure on Frickley.  Just as is it looked like extra-time would be necessary, with 30 seconds to go, Emley grabbed the winner to send their sizable support into raptures.  This time Marron set it up, drawing the ball into the area, before laying it out to Schofield who measured a perfect cross for Cook to head down into the net.

Emley went on to lose the Yorkshire League Cup Final replay to Winterton and then an away defeat and home draw with Barton, played in the space of two days, effectively ended their hopes in the League.  But the Sheffield Cup win against prestigious opponents was the memory that would linger.

Team: Dennis, Bramald, Lumb, Brookes, Quinn, Fielding, Schofield, K.Dyson, D.Brook, Cook, Marron. Sub: Mear

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

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