15:00 - Sunday 02nd January 2022
DSM Memorial Ground, Church View Rd, Penistone S36 6AT
Nathan Keightley 22, 44, 45
James Eyles 28
The rain arrived just before kick off to welcome Emley and Church to this first match of the year. The teams were separated by 9 points at the start of game played on a very soft pitch.
A bumper and new record crowd of 825 saw an entertaining match with 4 goals and many other near misses.
Church opened the match with a long through ball that the goalkeeper struggled to catch. His sliding collection of the ball took him out of the area and only some nifty footwork saved the day.
Church looked the better going forward for the first 5 minutes. However, it was Emley with the first shot that Brett Lovell deflected for a corner. The teams then looked evenly matched.
After 10 minutes it was Emley that had a dangerous looping cross from the left which eluded Chris Snaith in the Church goal and the knock back on the far post went begging.
Church immediately responded with a great move down the right with a cross that went astray. This was followed by a neat turn in midfield by Nathan Keightley that opened up the defence.
After 15 minutes a 30 yard free kick for Emley went narrowly to the right of goal. Church responded with a free kick and a series of promising moves.
After 20 minutes Nathan Keightley broke free from 30 yards out, he beat the keeper , but the made a wonderful recovery to save the chance. A warning sign of what was to come.
Goal 22 minutes.
Emley lost the ball in midfield. Nathan Keightley worked the ball across to the right of goal. He shot low across goal scoring from 15 yards to the left of the goal.
Church 1 Emley 0
A minute later Church again broke free but this time Reece High could not beat the keeper.
Goal 28 minutes.
Emley sprung the offside trap and James Eyles ran in on goal finishing low to the right.
Church 1 Emley 1
2 minutes later Emley hit the left post from a cracking header, the rebound fell kindly into Chris Snaith's arms.
The match flowed from end to end. After 35 minutes Church hit the bar from a raking 15 yard, Reece High shot.
Reece was again causing issues down the right winning a corner from his tricky wing play.
Goal 44 minutes
Keightley took a difficult ball down and moved to the right edge of the box. He scored confidently to the left of the goal.
Goal 45 minutes
Keightley broke free after the defender missed a cross-field ball. He again beat the keeper low to his left. His well taken hat trick separated the 2 sides at half time.
Half time PCFC 3 Emley 1
Emley restarted the match with 3 up front. Their more aggressive formation left them more open in midfield.
Emley worked the ball well for the first 10 minutes. Church broke the play up and moved the ball down the flanks.
Sam Scrivens was replaced by Bradley Kemp after 60 minutes.
Church were awarded a 20 yard free kick to the right of goal. The clearance fell to Jordan Coduri whose 20 yard shot sailed over the bar.
After 65 minutes Emley held the ball and created space on the edge of the box. The 18-yard shot whistled over the bar.
70 minutes and last ditch defending by Brett Lovell prevented a good Emley opportunity from developing. The 30 yard free kick to the left of goal sailed high, wide and away to safety.
Church had a great chance from a whipped cross that was narrowly missed on the 6 yard line. Church then played some lovely football down the right, but the killer pass just did not come.
Reece High was replaced by Alfie Broughton with 11 minutes to go.
With 8 minutes remaining Elliot Firth was replaced by Tom Deighton.
With 5 minutes to go Emley played the ball down the left and a couple of corners were well defended by Church.
A bizarre back pass almost let Emley in, but Chris Snaith pulled off a great save and Church cleared.
Church managed the last few minutes of the game well but a momentary lapse led to Emley opening up the Church defence on the right. The shot hit the bar and went clear.
Full Time PCFC 3 Emley 1
A great advert for non league football decided by a first half hat trick for Nathan Keightley. The frame of the goals also took a pounding with Emley hitting the post and the bar and Church hitting the bar.
This win moves Church up to 5th in the NCELP.
Many of the 825 crowd stayed on to clap the players from the pitch and then to fill the club house.
Church 3-1 Emley