Words: Thomas Ritchie
Farsley Celtic slipped to a second defeat in four days as a much-improved performance brought no rewards, with high-flying Kidderminster running out 2-1 victors.
A maiden Farsley goal for Jerome Greaves just four minutes in had Farsley dreaming of what could be, but Russ Penn’s side fought back with goals either side of the interval to snatch all three points.
Neil Ross was pleased with the reaction from his side to Saturday’s 6-0 home defeat to Darlington, as he said: “I’m really proud of the lads, obviously it was disappointing on Saturday, but they’ve gone out tonight and done everything we’ve asked them to do and more.
“Yes, it’s a disappointing result, but playing against a team that’s flying at the minute, so to go 1-0 up, play with the shape we did, it was really pleasing.
“I’d also to thank the fans who made the long trip down to support the side tonight. It’s a long way to come on a Tuesday night, and we really appreciate the efforts to come down and cheer on the lads.”
The hosts had a huge opportunity to go in front inside the first two minutes; a long ball over the top caught out the Farsley defence and Ethan Fremantle nipped in ahead of Kyle Trenerry and got past the Farsley ‘keeper, but the forward lashed his effort from 30-yards out wildly over.
It was a missed opportunity that the Harriers would be ruing just moments later as Jerome Greaves fired in his first Farsley goal.
Tom Allan flicked on Kyle Trenerry’s free-kick to Jimmy Spencer, who laid the ball off to Greaves, the Rotherham loanee showing great feet and composure to smartly finish from six yards out.
Both sides then had half-chances, Ashley Hemmings allowed too much space to run into before curling over, whilst Luke Parkin bent a free-kick just wide of the upright.
As the half wore on the pressure from the FA Cup giant-killers grew, some last-ditch defending by Adam Clayton denying Hemmings, before the leveller arrived in added time.
Farsley failed to deal with a free-kick from the left, and Mark Carrington made no mistake to finish on the half-volley from close range.
The game then swung in Kidderminster’s favour in the space of two minutes just after the interval. With Spencer baring down on goal he was hauled down by Geraldo Bajrami, who appeared to be the last man, however, the referee opted for a yellow card.
And within 60 seconds the hosts were in front, Ethan Freemantle superbly turning Adam Clayton in the box and slotting home into the bottom right corner.
Freemantle squandered a golden opportunity to double his side’s advantage, receiving the ball from Joe Foulkes in the box, but the goalscorer failed to keep his head over the ball as his strike ballooned over.
The closest the Celts came to levelling arrived on the hour mark, Spencer working the ball into Luke Parkin, with Luke Simpson having to scramble across his goal to push the ball away from the bottom corner.
A third Kidderminster goal may have killed the game off, and it almost arrived in fortunate fashion, Carrington knocking the ball wide for Foulkes whose cross evaded everyone and struck the far upright.
Farsley’s hopes of snatching something from the game were dashed with a little over five minutes remaining.
Tom Allan felled Ashley Hemmings as he broke through on goal, and the referee this time determined that a red card was worthy punishment after Bajrami had escaped with a caution early in the half for a similar incident.
Hemmings could have added the exclamation point from the resulting free-kick as his effort hit the upright, but it wouldn’t matter as the Harriers held off a battling Farsley side for all three points.
Kidderminster Harriers: Simpson, Richards, Cameron (Lowe 46), Austin ©, Carrington, Hemmings, Sterling (Dinanga 81), Foulkes (Penny 71), Martin, Bajrami, Freemantle. Unused subs: Morgan-Smith, White.
Farsley Celtic: Trenerry, Broe, Turner, Allan, Clayton, Sutton, Atkinson ©, Drake, Parkin, Spencer, Greaves. Unused subs: Kabeya, Akiotu, Westcarr (GK), Ingham, Alasttal.