As Storm Aileen battered Throstle Nest, Farsley Celtic blew away Grantham Town with an impressive 3-0 victory, writes Thomas Ritchie.
Goals from James Walshaw, Ben Atkinson and Paul Walker, who scored from inside his own half, were enough to seal the three points, despite James Pollard being sent off with 20 minutes remaining.
Both sides struggled to adapt to the difficult conditions early on, and it was Grantham who fashioned the first opportunity after 25 minutes, as Danny Meadows fired a low shot wide from 30-yards.
Ryan Watson then came close for Farsley after winning the ball in midfield before forcing Kieran Preston into a terrific save, flinging himself to his right to parry Watson’s strike. The rebound was then ballooned over the crossbar by James Walshaw.
James Walshaw then came close moments later as he dragged his shot inches wide of the upright, after he was fed by Paul Walker.
Farsley did find the breakthrough shortly after as Ben Atkinson played in Walshaw who dinked the ball over Preston and into the goal.
Grantham almost responded immediately and would have been level if not for Graeme McKibbin’s sensational finger-tip save to deny Jordan Hempenstall, after the ball was played in by Lee Shaw.
The visitors were left to rue that miss as in first-half stoppage time, Isaac Baldwin’s throw eventually dropped to Ben Atkinson who swept the ball into the bottom left corner first time.
Grantham came out fighting in the second-half and Rhys Lewis saw an effort cleared off the line by Isaac Baldwin following Curtis Burrow’s corner, before McKibbin eventually corralled the ball.
The hosts then came close to extending their lead following an exquisite move, with Paul Walker passing to Walshaw who flicked the ball around the corner to Chris Atkinson, with his curling effort palmed away by Preston.
Grantham were then given a route back into the game as Jordan Hempenstall backheeled the ball through to Lee Shaw who was fouled by James Pollard when through on goal, with the Farsley defender receiving his marching orders.
With just minutes remaining it was left to Paul Walker to snatch the headlines, as with Preston off his line he attempted an audacious effort from a free-kick in his own half which hit the back of the net, to secure the victory in glorious style.
Farsley did have one final chance on the counterattack as Richard Marshall played a one-two with Walshaw, however his effort was wonderfully saved by Preston, with The Celts ultimately running out 3-0 winners.
Farsley Celtic: McKibbin, Porritt (Harris 69), Baldwin, C. Atkinson, Pollard, Clayton, Priestley (Marshall 17), B. Atkinson, Walshaw ©, Watson, Walker. Unused subs: Parkin, Deacey, Trenerry (GK).
Grantham Town: Preston, Purcicoe (McMenemy 71), Luto, Baker, Galinski © (Wright 59), Lewis, Meadows, Everington (Shaw 64), Hempenstall, Shaw, Burrows. Unused subs: Hollingsworth, Thompson.
MOTM: Paul Walker