Hemsworth MW remain on course for the Toolstation NCE Division One title despite a real off day as their long unbeaten run was ended by in-form AFC Emley last Saturday.
A 3-0 away defeat saw Wells’ lead at the top cut to 11 points by AFC Mansfield, but four more wins from their remaining seven matches will guarantee them the championship and they will be looking to get the first three points towards the 11 they need this Saturday when at home to third from bottom Rossington Main (kick-off 3pm).
Manager Wayne Benn will be hoping for better luck with injuries after they played a part in the loss at Emley.
Already without Sam Jones, who had to pull out on the morning of the game, Hemsworth then lost striker Danny Critchlow to injury after just 11 minutes, leaving them short of firepower against opponents who are the highest scorers in the league.
The game was billed as a shoot-out before kick-off with both teams having notched more than 100 goals in the league this season and it was Emley who struck first through their prolific striker, Ash Flynn who notched his 71st of the campaign after being allowed too room in the area.
The loss of joint top scorer Critchlow soon after due to an ankle injury compounded Welfare’s poor start and they found themselves two down on 15 minutes.
Home skipper Michael Tunnacliffe’s surge into the box created panic in the Hemsworth ranks and Ruben Jerome latched onto the loose ball to fire home Emley’s second goal.
Nash Connolly, who came on for Critchlow, tried his best to get Wells back in the game and went close towards the end of the half, but the break came with the score still 2-0.
Hemsworth huffed and puffed in the second period, but had no joy in front of goal on this occasion as they were kept scoreless for the first time since September 19 against AFC Mansfield.
Emley added to their lead seven minutes into the second half when Kieran Ryan beat goalkeeper Chris Snaith with a header from close range, but the score ended at three.
It was Hemsworth’s first defeat for eight games and only their third loss all season, but it was no disgrace to be beaten by an Emley side that is now unbeaten in their last 20 matches.
They remain 15 points ahead of fourth-placed Emley, 11 ahead of AFC Mansfield and 14 up on third-placed Bottesford Town, who they play on the last day of the season at the MDC Stadium.