By John Baron
Farsley Celtic continued their fine run of recent form with a 2-1 victory at high-flying Scarborough Athletic, in a scoreline more convincing than the scoreline suggests.
The win, which came courtesy of first-half goals from Tom Allan and Luke Parkin, lifted The Celts out of the bottom four. It was a productive end to a week which has seen the West Leeds part-timers secure a four points and an FA Trophy victory after covering 796 miles on the road.
In truth, The Celts should have been out of site in a dominant first half performance – and not just because of the foggy conditions.
Bobby Johnson, Harry Jessop and Chris Atkinson all had chances before Farsley took a 13th-minute lead when a volley from Johnson deflected off the head of Tom Allan and flew past Scarborough keeper Joe Cracknell.
Johnson and Kian Scales also went close, before the visitors went 2-0 up. Luke Parkin curled a cracking 25-yard shot through a crowded goalmouth into the bottom right corner, with the Scarborough keeper unsighted.
Jessop almost made it three before half time, with Cracknell making a super save from a shot heading towards the top corner.
It was a first half which had seen the promotion-chasing home side fail to seriously test Max Dearnley in the Farsley goal, with only a couple of half-chances to show. Boro boss Jonathan Greening made three substitutions at half time, but it was the visitors who again started the brighter, with Andy Butler somehow being denied from close-range by Cracknell on 48 minutes.
Two minutes later Tom Allan almost scored a screamer as he let fly from long range, with the busy Cracknell flying across his goal to turn over.
Converting chances has been a problem for the Celts all season and the visiting fans were left wondering whether their side would be made to pay after Ciaran McGuckin’s strike from a tight angle was deflected in past Dearnley to make it 20-1. A minute later McGuckin was clean through for the equaliser but he blazed over the bar.
Five minutes later Carlton Ubaezuonu should have restored The Celts’ two-goal lead, but he rushed his shot when through and missed the target, leaving the game in the balance.
The visitors defended well, with Butler and Allan in particular defending well at the back, but it was keeper Dearnley who came to his side’s rescue eight minutes from time, pulling off a strong save to tip Michael Coulson’s effort over the bar.
Farsley received a blow when Lewis Butroid limped off following a bad challenge by a Scarborough player, but the visitors held on, much to the delight of the travelling fans.
Following on from last week’s signing of Jessop on a month’s loan, Farsley yesterday blooded experienced midfielder Danny Devine, who has joined until the end of the season from Chester, and welcomed back Scunthorpe 18-year-old winger/wing-back Nat Wallace for a further month’s loan.
Farsley will be hoping to continue their great escape on Saturday, when play-off hopefuls Chorley visit the Citadel.