By Liam O’Sullivan
Photos: John McEvoy/Leeds Shots
AFC Fylde put in a dominant second half display at The Citadel in the FA Cup second qualifying round replay, comfortably winning the game 3-0.
Farsley Celtic were outplayed by a very well-oiled Fylde team whose attacking threat proved too much to handle for the home side’s defence.
The Celts were without their talisman Jimmy Spencer, who was forced to miss the game through illness. This meant Jacob Gratton was introduced to the side as his replacement. Despite this blow, the rest of the team was unchanged from the hard-fought 1-1 draw at Mill Farm on Saturday.
The visitors showed early warning signs in the game. The first big chance came inside the second minute, when Nick Haughton found himself one-on-one with Owen Mason. There was a good chance the ball would’ve ended up in the back of the net had it not been for some heroic defending from Andy Butler.
Three minutes later, a similar one-on-one scenario presented itself for the Coasters. This time debutant Siya Leigendza was gifted an opportunity to get off the mark with his new club, finding himself with a simple finish from close range. However, a top save from Owen Mason denied the striker a debut goal.
Leigendza had a wonderful chance to redeem himself not long after, when a menacing cross from Jordan Cranston wasn’t dealt with by Frank Mulhern and gave Leigendza a glorious opportunity inside the six-yard box. However, the new signing somehow fired his effort way over the bar. A let off for the Celts.
Despite the home side escaping some close calls, their luck would run out early in the second half. The talented Nick Haughton got in behind the Farsley defence, and sublimely chipped it over Owen Mason who was off his line.
Owen Mason was kept busy in his goal, making some crucial saves to keep his team in the game. However, he would be left helpless after Leigendza was adjudged to have been tripped in the box. Haughton stepped up and fired it into the top right corner of the net, giving him his second of the match.
Fylde would put the nail in the Farsley coffin less than ten minutes later, when a wicked delivery to the back post from Jordan Cranston was met by the head of Kyle Morrison, who converted from close range to give the visitors a third.
The Celts’ best chance of the game came straight after this goal, when Mulhern thundered an effort towards the top left corner of the net, but Chris Neal was equal to it, tipping it past the post.
The Coasters were denied a fourth when both a brave stop from Mason followed by a goal-line clearance stopped substitutes Walker and Whitehead from getting on the scoresheet.
The Celts will have to put this result behind them and look ahead to the weekend, where league action returns to the Citadel. Farsley take on Spennymoor Town this Saturday at 3pm, in a game which the Celts will hope will get them back to winning ways.
Farsley Celtic: Mason, Turner, Allan, Johnson, Butler, Clayton, Syers © (Malumo 67), Atkinson, Gratton, Mulhern, Parkin. Unused subs: Ingham, Morgan (GK).
AFC Fylde: Neal, Morrison, Bird, Whitmore ©, Weston (Patten 79), Philliskirk, Hatfield (Whitehead 74), Cranston, Barrett, Haughton (Walker 79), Leigendza. Unused subs: McPartlan, Obi, Osbourne, Conlan.
Boss Russ Wilcox said he was proud of his players for taking the full-time outfit to a replay, but questioned some of the refereeing decisions last night.