Lincoln City 3
aet; Emley win 4-3 on pens
Emley are becoming the masters of brinkmanship in the FA Cup. The Unibond League side hauled themselves back from seemingly certain defeat at the McAlpine Stadium last night to beat Third Division Lincoln City and earn an unlikely sounding glamour tie at West Ham next month.
The West Yorkshire side had never reached the second round before never mind dreamed of playing at a Premiership ground in the third, but no one can deny them their chance. They overcame Morecambe on penalties and did the same to Lincoln, their goalkeeper and former Derbyshire wicketkeeper Chris Marples saving two kicks.
Even that climax hardly does justice to the earlier drama on the snowy pitch. With 14 minutes of normal time to go, Emley were losing 2-0 thanks to goals from Jon Whitney and Colin Alcide and then had victory in extra time snatched from them by Mark Hone's equaliser in the 116th minute. In between the non-League team had scored through Deiniol Graham and Steve Nicholson twice.
If Emley has registered on national consciousness at all, it is for the television mast that dominates the skyline above the hillside West Yorkshire village. Only 2,000 people live there and when the club played Morecambe in the last round the surrounding area suffered traffic gridlock for the first time in living memory.
All sorts of inducements were put in the path of the Emley players before last night, including a rare pre-match meal at the White Horse, one of the village's two pubs. The club's first-ever overnight stop in a London hotel also beckoned if they got through to meet West Ham. Money? Even their manager, Ronnie Glavin, does not get that.
Lincoln had required a goal eight minutes into stoppage time to take the tie to a replay and at no time was their superior status evident. Steve Brown hit the post after nine minutes, but to counter that Emley's Glyn Hurst had a header cleared off the line.
The spells of Emley possession began to grow scarcer, however, and, after 64 minutes, Lincoln took the lead. Terry Fleming took a long throw, that was headed upwards rather than outwards by the defence, and Whitney nimbly turned and volleyed low into the corner.
Five minutes later Alcide bundled the ball in, but, with the tie apparently beyond reach, Graham, a former Manchester United player, scored with a header after 74 minutes and Nicholson took the match into an extra period with a deflected shot six minutes from time.
The scene was set for Marples, who dived to his left to thwart Jason Barnet at the start of the penalty shoot-out and then in the opposite direction to block Phil Stant's kick.
Emley (4-4-2): Marples; Nicholson, Thompson, Lacey, Jones; Calcutt, David, Hurst, Reynolds; Wood (Tonks, 71), Graham (Viner, 97). Substitutes not used: Johnson, Hutson, Dennis (gk).
Lincoln City (3-5-2): Richardson; Barnet, Walling, Austin; Thorpe, Hone, Holmes, Fleming, Whitney; Gordon (Alcide, 60), Brown (Stant, 105). Substitutes not used: Robertson, Bimson,
Referee: T Heilbron (Newton Aycliffe).