Words: Thomas Ritchie
Farsley Celtic’s FA Trophy campaign came to an end with a 4-0 defeat to National League side Solihull Moors.
Preparations for the contest were less than ideal, with the game shifted to a 3G surface just 45 minutes before the scheduled kick-off due to the referee deeming the main pitch at Damson Park unplayable.
Despite that, the Celts matched their higher-ranked hosts for much of the game, before a controversial second goal with 20 minutes remaining set Solihull on their way.
Farsley Manager Adam Lakeland was disappointed with the result, saying:
“I think 4-0 is a harsh scoreline, I’m not saying that we deserved to win the game, because we didn’t, but I think 4-0 flatters them a little bit.
“It looks like we’ve had a right tonking, and I don’t think it was the case, I felt the first half was very even.
“But I’ve no real groans with the result, I’m just a little bit disappointed with the scoreline, and we’ve just got to draw a line in the sand and go again.”
The first opening of the game came to Solihull’s James Ball when he raced in behind down the left, cut in, and curled just wide of the far upright.
Tyler Walton then came close for the visitors, driving at the Moors’ defence before unleashing a strike that Ryan Boot did well to palm to safety.
Farsley continued to pose a threat and came close on three occasions in quick succession, Tom Allan glancing wide either side of efforts from Jimmy Spencer and Luke Parkin that Boot saved comfortably.
Midway through the first-half Solihull came agonisingly close to opening the scoring as Joe Sbarra broke the offside trap and attempted to lob the onrushing Steven Drench, but his effort drifted inches wide of the upright.
However, it would be the hosts that would edge in front when 6’ 9” forward Kyle Hudlin received the ball 25-yards from goal, and curled a peach of a strike into the top corner.
The best chance for the Celts to draw level came five minutes after the interval when Tyler Walton played an excellent ball through to Spencer, whose rasping half-volley was smartly saved by Boot.
Solihull then doubled their lead somewhat against the run of play, Cameron Archer prodding home a Jamie Ward corner after what appeared to be a foul on Spencer as he challenged for the ball.
Within minutes the hosts stretched further in front, Archer finishing off a neat move by firing into the bottom corner.
Farsley’s fading hopes were killed off with 10 minutes remaining, as Mitch Hancox added a fourth following a swift counter from the Moors.
Solihull Moors: Boot, Williams, Cranston (Pearce 46), Sbarra (Donawa 76), Gleeson, Ward, Maycock, Piggott, Ball, Hancox, Hudlin (Archer 65). Unused subs: Osborne, Coxe, Clayton, Usher-Shipway.
Farsley Celtic: Drench, Richards (B. Atkinson 77), Hayhurst (Smith-Brown 77), C. Atkinson, Allan, Clayton ©, Walton (Charles 72), Johnston, Spencer, Syers, Parkin. Unused subs: Kelly (GK).
Referee: Aaron Jackson
Assistant Referees: Scott Chalkley & Timothy Walker
Fourth official: Andrew Ellis