Farsley Celtic made it three consecutive wins for the first time since early October as they ground out a 1-0 win over basement side Sutton Coldfield Town, writes THOMAS RITCHIE.
Just like last Saturday, it was a second-half Ryan Watson strike that earned Farsley the victory, whilst back-to-back clean sheets are evidence of an improving defence.
The first-half was a dour affair as both sides struggled to find any rhythm, and chances were limited throughout. The first shot on goal came courtesy of Karl Hawley after he latched onto Luke Parkin’s pass, however his strike was comfortably saved by Graeme McKibbin.
The best chance of the half fell to Farsley’s Will Wells, as his header from Ryan Watson’s corner was plucked out of the top corner by Jonathan Brown.
Despite sitting bottom of the division, Sutton Coldfield were the better side in the opening moments of the second-half, and just before the hour mark Louis McGrory’s free-kick produced a wonderful save low down from Graeme McKibbin.
Will Wells had another excellent chance for the Celts just moments after, as he headed Watson’s delivery wide of the upright.
Substitute Niall Flint then came just inches away from giving the hosts the lead after some terrific build-up play, Flint’s strike flying into the side netting, with half of the ground thinking Flint had hit the target.
Sutton Coldfield shot-stopper Jonathan Brown was then forced into action to push Ryan Watson’s long-range strike over the crossbar.
With Farsley starting to dominate, it was substitute Kurt Harris, having come on just 30 seconds earlier, who almost broke the deadlock with a little over 10 minutes remaining, glancing Watson’s corner agonisingly wide.
With the game seemingly heading towards a stalemate, it was left to Ryan Watson to win the game for the Celts, letting fly from 25-yards out, his late strike taking a deflection and finding the back of the net.
Farsley saw out the remaining minutes relatively comfortably, avenging their defeat against Sutton Coldfield in the reverse fixture earlier in the season and securing another vital three points in their play-off push.
Sutton Coldfield Town: Brown, Little, Probert, Smith, Coulson, Upton, Steele (Flint 60), McGrory (O’Callaghan 72), Richards ©, Hawley, Green (Walters 87). Unused subs: Howell, Coton (GK).
Farsley Celtic: McKibbin, Wells, L. Turner, C. Atkinson, Ellis ©, Clayton, B. Atkinson (Harris 77), Watson, Walker (N. Turner 83), Cartman, Parkin (Murray 70). Unused subs: Bett.
MOTM: Danny Ellis