A flawless performance from The Celts as they defeated Kendal Town 5-0 wasn’t enough to earn promotion as Lancaster City lifted the trophy, writes Thomas Ritchie.
Ultimately it was entirely out of Farsley’s hands, and by half-time Lancaster had both hands on the trophy after they raced into a 5-1 lead.
The Celts did all they could, aided by the return of top scorer James Walshaw, as they produced one of their best performances of the season, giving them some much-needed momentum heading into the playoffs.
Farsley relieved any final day pressure early on as Paul Walker scored his tenth goal of the season. James Walshaw crossed the ball into Jordan Deacey who’s effort was blocked before Richard Marshall’s follow up was fantastically saved by Will Kitchen, however it fell to the feet of Walker who tapped home.
Kendal then had their only real chance in the first half as they looked to draw level, Matt Dudley playing in Charlie Bailey, who had his shot well blocked by Aiden Savory.
Lewis Nightingale doubled Farsley’s lead after a period of delightful build up play, as he received the ball from Paul Walker before playing a one-two with him and slotting into the back of the net.
On the stroke of halftime Farsley extended their advantage further. Adam Clayton’s long ball forward found James Walshaw who squared to Richard Marshall, with Marshall finding the back of the net past Will Kitchen for his 20th goal of the campaign.
The game was all but over as a contest as just five minutes into the second half. James Walshaw got onto the score sheet, being played in by Lewis Nightingale and picking out the bottom corner.
Farsley then made a trio of changes with Ryan Watson, Ross Daly and Chris Atkinson entering the fray, the latter forcing a fine save from Will Kitchen shortly after coming on.
In the space of five minutes Farsley were twice denied their 100th league goal of the season as some heroic Kendal defending kept the score at 4-0. First Ryan Watson had an effort blocked on the line, and then Chris Atkinson played in James Walshaw, with the Farsley frontman denied his 48th goal of the season by Josh Wardle on the goal line.
The 100th goal of the 2016/17 season did come midway through the half as Lewis Nightingale played a swift one-two with Walshaw before slotting home to secure his brace.
Kendal didn’t give in however, and fashioned two late opportunities. Substitute Matt Poole picked out Matt Dudley in the box, and it looked easier to score but Graeme McKibbin made an excellent save to preserve his clean sheet. Dudley had another chance moments later, however he headed over Callum Hoctor’s cross.
Farsley comfortably played out the remaining minutes to earn a 5-0 win, the 7th time they have scored five or more goals in a league game this season.
The Celts will welcome fifth-placed Colne to Throstle Nest on Tuesday for the playoff semi-final.
Scarborough Athletic will host Ossett Town in the other tie.
Kendal Town: Kitchen, Aspin, Thomas, Grundy, McDonald (c), Wardle (Freeland 67), S. Bailey, Draycott (Hoctor 53), Dudley, C. Bailey (Poole 53). Unused subs: Gudgeon.
Farsley Celtic: McKibbin, Hardy (c), Howarth, P. Davidson (Atkinson 53), Clayton (Watson 53), Savory, Nightingale, Marshall, Walshaw, Deacey, Walker (Daly 53). Unused subs: Turner, Morgan.
MOTM: Lewis Nightingale