Billy Law emerged as the hero with a late winner as 10-man Hemsworth MW pulled off a remarkable 3-2 success at Staveley MW in the Premier Division of the Toolstation NCE League.
Wayne Benn’s men showed their resilience and determination again as they took all three points on their travels despite playing almost the entire second half with a man down after Sam Jones was given his marching orders for a tackle deemed dangerous by the referee.
Both sides ended with 10 men as shortly after the winning goal Staveley also had a player red carded and the decisions summed up how scrappy the game was in the second half after it was thrilling stuff in the opening 45 minutes.
Wells struck first on 10 minutes when Jones slipped in Nick Guest whose shot somehow dribbled through the goalkeeper and a defender into the net.
Staveley were quick to hit back as a long ball caught out their usually solid back line and Tyla Bell was in on goal to round keeper Chris Snaith who brought down the striker to concede a penalty. Kurtis Morley placed the ball on the spot then into the net to equalise.
Snaith came to Wells’ rescue moments later to deny Bell after he had danced his way into the box.
It was Hemsworth who scored next, though, as Rich Collier picked out Jed Wilkinson with a peach of a ball and the youngster had two bites at the cherry to find the net.
Dom Blair came close to adding to the lead with a looping header from Guest’s flick on that hit the top of the crossbar.
But it was the Trojans who made it 2-2 when Craig Getliff hammered a volley in from 25 yards out.
The second half was not so exciting nor as full of good attacking football as the first had been and within five minutes of the restart Hemworth went down to 10 men when Jones was shown a straight red card for a late lunge.
A reshuffle was required as Robert Tonks replaced Wilkinson. The inevitable Staveley pressure came, but Wells were able to repel all attempts at their goal.
Law was then introduced off the bench, where he had been after arriving late, and he was to prove the match winner.
A poor goalkeeping clearance presented the forward with an open net and from 30 yards out he hit his shot first time to find the corner of the net to spark big scenes of celebration.
As Staveley set about trying to get a third leveller they lost a player to a red card. Liam Nelthorpe left his foot in as Snaith clutched the ball, leaving Wells’ stopper with a bloody face and both sides with 10 apiece for the remaining minutes.
After surviving the final nervy moments the final whistle went to lift Hemsworth up to eighth place in the table with games in hand on all bar two of the teams above them.
This Saturday they are back at home in the league when hosting Rainworth MW at the MDC Stadium (kick-off 3pm).
They are also in action next Tuesday, when they try a fourth time to get the second round Buildbase FA Vase tie away at Dunston UTS played.
It had been rescheduled for this Tuesday, but the heavy rain at the start of the week meant another frustrating postponement following two previous cancellations of the game against former winners of the competition.