U23s exit in semi-final after late goal

The U23s were beaten in the semi-final after an 86th minute Emley goal, exiting the West Riding FA Senior Cup on Monday night

Reggie Waud’s equaliser earlier in the half meant he’d scored in his sixth consecutive match, taking his tally to 15 over the period and also in total for the competition.

U18s’ Wilfred Frimpong made his debut for the U23s, replacing Sandile Masuku up-front, as a second-half substitute.

Farsley had early control of the ball and inside the 1st minute, Keanan Mannings made a forceful challenge in the middle of the park as the Celts looked to win their physical battles also.

Emley began to threaten early on, however, Farsley’s ‘keeper Rhys Toft tested in the 3rd minute by a lucky cross from the right which dropped near the goalline but the ‘keeper reached the ball first at his near post and gathered.

A second cross, on 4 minutes, again from the right flew straight over the box and was shielded out of play by Oliver Broe.

A third Emley cross, from the left this time and a much deeper angle, a minute later, dropped on the far edge of the box before being volleyed first-time, hard across goal, bouncing just wide of the far post.

Yet another cross, on 6 minutes, again from the right, was chested back to a supporting forward and half-volleyed first-time, well over the bar.

Mannings then defended a free-kick crossed into the box on 8 minutes, rising highest to flick the ball over attacking forwards and continue the ball on its flight path out for a corner. The Farsley captain headed clear the resulting corner.

Masuku ran onto a Broe pass over the Emley defence, the wing-back cutting in from the right and passing left-footed. Masuku feinted right and left and eventually chose the outside route but knocked the ball too far ahead of himself and out for a goalkick.

Emley countered from the goalkick, winning the first-ball through a header, flicking the ball into the path of a supporting forward reaching the edge of the box. Oscar Seth covered, however, poking the ball out for a corner.

The corner found an Emley head at the back post, directed goalward but straight at Toft.

The Farsley ‘keeper was tested by a second header, on 17 minutes, a deep cross from the left flicked at goal but Toft, tracking back to his goalline, tipped over the bar.

Emley opened the scoring on 19 minutes from a central strike from outside the box, rather than the numerous crosses they’d had so far.

The attacker had space and time in the middle of the park to knock the ball right and ahead of himself before shooting hard into the bottom left corner.

For the first half-hour, Emley were winning the physical battle, sending the ball long and winning the second ball, not allowing Farsley any space or time to play football further up the field.

A counter-attack on 38 minutes, after Mitchell Fox had rewon possession in the middle, allowed Farsley to counter through Masuku. His cross-field pass left ahead of Ben Henderson was crossed first-time by the wing-back but the ball flew too high for Waud on the penalty spot.

Emley almost doubled their lead as they found space in the middle again, the attacker allowing the ball to run across his body, left to right, taking a touch before shooting hard against the bar.

When Waud was fouled on the edge of the box in first-half added time, shielding the ball with his back to goal, the man himself looked to repeat his quarter-final set-piece goal but this time he hit the wall.

Emley had the first effort of the second-half, albeit a waste when the shot was mis-hit wide of the near post.

Since then, it was a totally different game to the first-half, all the football being played around Emley’s box.

Waud met Mannings’ cross inside ten minutes of the second-half but the ball was slightly behind the forward while Broe couldn’t get the ball under control, minutes later, inside the box to take a shot.

The pair combined as Broe’s cross found Waud on 59 minutes but this time it was slightly high, the forward managing to flick the ball towards the far post but an easy gather for the ‘keeper

Fox’s perfect pass over the Emley defence found the advancing Russon inside the box on the hour but an Emley defender eventually covered, able to shield the ball out for a goalkick.

Frimpong’s debut for the U23s began in the 61st minute, partnering top-scorer Waud up-front after replacing Masuku.

Emley countered Farsley’s control of possession, advancing down the left on 65 minutes but the shot from the edge of the box was weak and easily gathered by Toft.

Toft denied again a minute later, a corner aimed at the back post was headed at goal, over Toft who saved with his fingertips while tracking back to his goal but Henderson’s defensive header was necessary, off the line, clearing the ball for a corner

Waud made no doubt his goal went in from close range to level the game on 72 minutes.

A long throw wasn’t cleared from the near post and Waud, among a group of players but first to capitalise, poked in from close range.

Frimpong entered the box a minute later after beating his defender on the right and with just the ‘keeper to beat, attempted a curling effort but found the near side-netting.

The ref was open to jeers from the crowd on 74 minutes after the ball hit him and ran into an Emley attacker, 25-yards out who shot across goal but wide of the right post.

Waud had his best chance of the match on 77 minutes, in-behind, knocking the ball into the box before placing an effort towards the far post but the outrushing ‘keeper saved low with his legs, conceding the corner.

The corner also threatened, flying all the way from the left over to the far post and to Jake Boyd who side-footed a low shot back across goal but again wide.

Broe’s free-kick from the right on 82 minutes, found Waud but he doesn’t get good enough connection on his header, flicking it on its way across goal.

The Celts paid for their missed opportunities as Emley took the lead of the semi-final with just four minutes left.

A pass ahead of an Emley forward inside the left of the Farsley box was forced under Toft from close-range, the ‘keeper getting something on the ball before it going in.

Waud was forced off a minute later due to injury and replaced by Jake Bayram who clearly had instructions to play Waud’s role up-front.

Henderson tried till the end to find the equaliser, cutting inside from the left in added-time and shooting right-footed from 25-yards out but it was hooked wide of the near post.

The late defeat concludes the U23s’ season.