Farsley Celtic secured a massive three points on the road at Gloucester City as the Celts responded to their midweek thrashing at Blyth.
Despite playing in over 30 degree heat on the hottest day of 2023 as well as a long coach trip down to Gloucester, Farsley showed plenty of resilience and determination to leave the TigerTurf Stadium with all three points as well as a clean sheet.
It’s all very different from the same fixture 11 months ago, when the Celts were thrashed 5-1 on their travels, leaving the loyal travelling Celt Army licking their wounds. The folks at Gloucester are always a friendly and welcoming bunch, and Saturday’s game – won by a George Smith strike in the first half – was no exception.
The first opening ten minutes saw both sides willing to attack from the off as Jordan Carroll saw his shot from the edge of the box blocked before Gloucester’s Danny Wright almost nudged the home side in front when he found space in the box before firing wide of the near post. The Celts then went close through Ben Atkinson.
The game then seemed to quieten down in the heat, with neither goalkeeper being tested until the half-hour mark. George Smith received the ball on the left-wing before driving through and smashing a cross/shot goalward which rebounded off of the post and onto the back of Gloucester goalkeeper before dribbling over the line and into the net.
Gloucester immediately set about trying to find an equaliser and they almost had one five minutes before the break when Harry Pinchard’s cross met the head of Wright, who somehow directed the ball wide of the far post.
Wright would continue to be involved throughout the match and after the break he thought he had levelled the score after winning a header at a corner which, but a combination of the post and Rudy Misambo somehow kept the ball out.
The Tigers would continue to bang on the door and dominated possession 0- but the Farsley defence continued to stand firm, with Michael Acquah rarely tested in the dying embers of the game as the Celts went on to grind out an impressive 1-0 win to respond to their midweek 4-0 trouncing at Blyth Spartans.
The result sees Clayton Donaldson’s side rise up to 13th in the table with Farsley now having won three of their opening five away matches in the National League North. Saturday was a much-needed win after The Celts had claimed just one point out of the last nine after a positive start to the season. It was their first goal after three blanks in a row.
Up next, it’s a break from league action for all teams in the division as the focus turns towards the FA Cup. Farsley will host Yorkshire rivals Scarborough Athletic at The Citadel on Saturday, 16 September in the Second Qualifying Round of the competition. Secure your tickets for the fixture by clicking here.
Gloucester City: Jeacock, Ram, Reckford, McDonald, Dawkins, Pinchard, Hanks, Richard-Everton, Parker, Smalley (Williams 46), Wright (Freemantle 67). Subs not used: Armstrong, Richards, Emmett.
Farsley Celtic: Acquah, Carroll (Watson 83), Sheridan, Misambo, Allan, Smith, Branson, C Atkinson, B Atkinson (Leverett 85), Stephenson (Donaldson 75), Forshaw. Subs not used: Robinson, Silva.
Head coach Clayton Donaldson hailed his side’s character to bounce back after Tuesday’s drubbing at Blyth – particularly in the blistering hot conditions:
Gloucester manager Tim Flowers – the former Blackburn and England keeper – blamed his side’s slow start. He told Gloucestershire Live: “We killed ourselves in the first half and it was clear how Farsley set up, in a low block, we kept going up to Danny Wright and you won’t get a lot of change with three big centre halves.
“Second half we changed the shape to 4-4-2, we didn’t travel with the ball fast enough, the second half was more proactive and creating chances, but the problem today was that we created the chances but we missed them, and we also gave away an awful goal. Really disappointing.”