Words: Niall Togher. Videos: Thomas Ritchie
Photos: John McEvoy & Simon Cullingworth
Farsley Celtic made it back-to-back wins at the Citadel with a terrific display against National League North newcomers Banbury United.
A wonderfully creative performance by Frank Mulhern inspired the Celt Army to a well-deserved 3-1 win.
Goals from Lewis Butroid, Jimmy Spencer and Carlton Ubaezuonu gave Farsley their fourth win of the season as they were clinical in front of goal, whilst defending well as a unit to keep the Banbury frontline relatively quiet.
It was a bright opening for Farsley, but Carlton Ubaezuonu’s curling attempt just sailed past the top right corner.
However, the Celts would take a deserved lead inside the first 15 minutes. Frank Mulhern’s cross just evaded Jimmy Spencer, but Lewis Butroid was the first to react as he calmly slotted it into the bottom corner.
Check out Simon Cullingworth’s slideshow of photos below:
Within 10 minutes, Farsley had doubled their advantage. The ball was worked well down the right to Kian Scales, who managed to pick out the near post run of Spencer whose volley left Banbury ‘keeper Jack Harding with no chance.
Banbury then nearly gifted Farsley a third just after the half-hour mark. Spencer was able to pounce on a sloppy Banbury attempt to play the ball out of defence, sat a defender down with some quick feet, but was denied by a strong hand from Harding.
After the interval, it was Banbury who came out the stronger, and they were left wondering how they hadn’t pulled one back. Ben Acquaye’s cross found Slavi Spasov, whose shot hit the inside of the post and rolled across the line before Celts keeper Owen Mason managed to prevent him from tapping in the rebound.
Farsley thought they extended their lead when Spencer’s clever reverse pass found Ubaezuonu, who rolled it passed the keeper, but he was deemed to be offside.
Harding then had to be at his best to keep his side in the game, producing a strong save to deny Frank Mulhern’s free kick with just under 20 minutes remaining.
But a Farsley third would arrive, and it came after an electrifying counter-attack. Mulhern and Scales linked up well down the right-hand side before Mulhern crossed superbly for Ubaezuonu to volley home at the back post.
Banbury gave themselves a lifeline within two minutes as an unmarked Spasov nodded home at the back post.
But it turned out to be merely a consolation goal as Farsley managed the remaining 10 minutes professionally to secure another important three points.
Farsley Celtic: Mason, Turner, Butroid, Johnson, Syers ©, Allan, Ubaezuonu, Atkinson, Spencer (Osadebe 82), Mulhern, Scales. Unused subs: Parkin, Pointon, Dube, Morgan (GK).
Banbury United: Harding, Roberts, Smile, Williams, Rasulo ©, Spasov, Acquaye, Hickman (Brown 46), Radcliffe (Dugmore 87), Walsh, Reilly (Babos 62). Unused subs: Taylor, Hawtin.
Boss Russ Wilcox was pleased with his side’s performance and the way The Celts’ managed the game:
Carlton Ubaezuonu played in an unfamiliar number 10 role but was pleased to get on the scoresheet for the second game running.