Emley 3-3 (3-1) Morecambe – FA Cup 1st Round Replay

November 26, 1997

Emley had reached the first round of the FA Cup for only the second time and been drawn away at Morecambe – then a high-flying Conference team – much to the Club’s disappointment.  However, a 1-1 draw saw Emley earn a replay at the Welfare Ground on a foggy and drizzly November night.  2,439 people squeezed onto the ground for the game, the biggest for six years, hoping for a victory that would see Emley travel to Lincoln City in round 2.

Most of the match was a tense affair. Morecambe got off to the better start, taking the lead early on with a fine move down the left, culminating in an unstoppable header from Mayers. Emley gradually got going though and equalised before half-time when Banks hit a low hard shot towards goal, and Glynn Hurst steered it inside the post.

The second half was fairly even, though Morecambe probably had the better chances. It was still very tight and we entered extra-time with the prospect of penalties being required. The inevitable came with the score still at 1-1 and the first fifteen minutes continued in the same vein.

As the second half of extra-time commenced, the teams started to tire, and in the 111th minute the deadlock was finally broken. Hurst broke clear and finished well inside the far post. With just 9 minutes to go the game could be over. But it was tense and four minutes from time Morecambe’s full-back Takano cut across field, as he had done before. That time he didn’t shoot, but this time he took a chance and lashed the equaliser in just under the bar from 25 yards. Penalties now looked inevitable. In the last minute though, even that prospect looked to have gone, as Morecambe snatched the lead. From another break Monk seemed to have lost it when he fell over. But he laid the ball off whilst on the floor, got up, took the return and slotted it past Marples.

Emley fans were distraught – from winning 9 minutes ago to losing with only extra-time injury-time left.  A large number of people started leaving to beat the inevitable traffic. One last attack however and Mark Wilson won a corner. Banks took it perfectly and despite Morecambe’s Hughes getting a head on the ball it fell to substitute Garry Marshall, who had only been on a few minutes, on the penalty spot, unmarked. He picked his spot and put it just inside the right-hand post. Those heading for their cars turned round on hearing the roar.

Penalties came, Morecambe took the first one and Marples pulled off a terrific save to stop it. Banks stepped up and coolly slotted home Emley’s first. Then Marples made one of the best penalty saves we are likely to see, diving to his right and getting a hand to a fierce shot to divert the ball onto the post and out. Deiniol Graham fired home an excellent spot kick to put Emley two up.

Morecambe got their third, and Steve Nicholson buried our third to make it 3-1. Morecambe now couldn’t afford to miss.  For their fourth Marples went the other way and guessed right, saving low to his left, and claimed the match-ball for a hat-trick of penalty saves as the clock ticked on to 10.41pm and the crowd invaded the pitch.

Emley went on to an epic second-round tie with Lincoln City and of course their appointment with Premier League West Ham.  But this match, which burned slowly but exploded into life at the end, was one of the most incredible nights the Welfare Ground has witnessed in the Club’s history.

Team: Marples, Nicholson, Jones (Wood 95), Thompson, Lacey, Tonks (Calcutt 79), Banks, Hurst, Graham, Wilson, Reynolds (Marshall 112). Subs not used: Hutson, Dennis.

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

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