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HomeSportBattling Farsley Celtic earn relegation lifeline after beating Gloucester

Battling Farsley Celtic earn relegation lifeline after beating Gloucester

By Josh Makin. Photos: John McEvoy

Farsley Celtic recorded a seismic victory at the Citadel on Saturday as two first half goals from Chris Atkinson and Theo Williams sealed a much-needed 2-1 win over Gloucester City in the final home game of the season.

Victory took the home side out of the relegation zone with just one game remaining – and the Celts need a point in their final game at play-off chasing Spennymoor next Saturday to guarantee their National League North status for another season.

The Celts got off to the perfect start when after four minutes. Chris Atkinson opened the scoring with a first time strike from outside of the box which deflected off of a Gloucester defender before rolling into the net.

Gloucester almost equalised instantly when Topo Obadeyi raced down the right wing before crossing to Kieran Phillips, whose header sailed marginally wide of the post.

Farsley Celtic’s Dave Syers leaps highest. Photo: John McEvoy

But it was almost 2-0 after 19 minutes, when Danny Devine’s shot hit the post and bounced to safety.

The away side were given a golden opportunity to level the score on the half-hour mark when Max Dearnley clumsily fouled Ben Morgan in the box for a penalty. Up stepped Obadeyi, who converted from 12 yards out to make it 1-1.

The match descended into chaos in the aftermath of the goal, with a brawl breaking out on the pitch which ended with Atkinson and Phillips in the book as well as a Gloucester fan being escorted out of the ground for invading the pitch.

Farsley’s Dave Syers stretches for the ball against Gloucester. Photo: John McEvoy

Six minutes later and Farsley’s advantage had been restored when Williams volleying in from the edge of the six yard box after a long throw from Dave Syers.

The start of the second half was a much calmer affair than the first, with the first effort on goal not coming until the hour mark when Phillips turned Obadeyi’s cross wide, whilst Frank Mulhern saw a volley bounce to the wrong side of Hall’s near post.

What followed was an extremely tense 20 minutes at the Citadel with Gloucester launching an aerial bombardment on the Farsley penalty area, however the Celts remained resolute and limited Gloucester to very little in terms of chances.

Farsley continued to keep the away side at bay until the final whistle eventually came which was met by a huge cheer from a large crowd at the Citadel.

The result lifts Farsley back out of the relegation zone and into 19th on 50 points, three points above Blyth Spartans, who occupy the final relegation place. Blyth have a much better goal difference.

The Celts’ final match of the season next week sees them away at Spennymoor Town where one point against the play-off hopefuls will be enough to ensure survival. Blyth entertain mid-table Hereford, Kettering travel to play-off chasing Kidderminster and Southport travel to already relegated Leamington.

Match reaction

Farsley boss Russ Wilcox praised the team’s effort and also Farsley Celtic skipper Dave Syers on his final game at The Citadel.

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