By Thomas Ritchie
Farsley Celtic were a little over two minutes away from a second win of the season, before a last-gasp strike from Lewis McNall snatched a point for Blyth Spartans.
The Celts had taken the lead in the final quarter of an hour courtesy of a fine strike from Kian Scales, and seemed as though they were on their way to what would have been a significant victory.
However, McNall’s strike in added time saw the contest finish 1-1, and leaves the Celts towards the bottom of the table, still searching for a second win of the season.
It was a much more assured performance from the Celts than last time out, a 4-2 defeat at home to Scarborough, and they started on the front foot, dictating the opening stages of the game.
Jimmy Spencer did have the ball in the back of the net inside 10 minutes, lashing home from Dave Syers’ knock-down, however, the assistant referee had raised his flag with Syers adjudged offside.
The first half was devoid of clear-cut opportunities, with Farsley ensuring most of the game was played in the hosts’ half without ever troubling Alex Mitchell in the Blyth goal.
That was, until the final action of the half, when Mitchell had to be alert to deny Farsley.
Jimmy Spencer brought down Owen Mason’s long ball for Frank Mulhern who burst into the box, the ball eventually falling the way of Dave Syers with only Mitchell to beat, but the Blyth shot-stopper produced a stunning save as he tipped Syers’ effort round the upright.
The second half would remain a tight, scrappy affair, however, both sides seemed to find that extra bit of quality in the final third as opportunities arrived with much greater regularity.
Blyth had a wonderful opportunity to break the deadlock when Lewis McNall went racing through on goal, but the forward flashed his strike inches wide of the near upright.
Farsley then began to cause problems for the Spartans at the other end of the pitch, with Spencer at the centre of the action.
On the hour mark, the forward combined with Syers to win the ball high up the pitch, before firing in a dangerous cross that was deflected just over.
And just minutes later he almost fashioned the opener again as he played a delightful ball into the box for Luke Parkin who, on the stretch, could only divert the ball straight at Mitchell.
Then came, with 13 minutes remaining, what seemed to be the decisive moment.
A defensive mix-up from Blyth, as they failed to deal with a long ball, allowed Parkin to work the ball into Kian Scales in acres of space in the box, and he kept his cool to superbly slot home his second of the season.
But in the second of three added minutes, McNall’s low, driven strike found the bottom corner past 18-year-old debutant Mason to ensure a share of the spoils.
Blyth Spartans: Mitchell, Liddle, Nicholson, Richardson, Hickey, McNall, O’Donnell (Main 71), Elsdon, Deverdics, Bodenham, Barlow (Gillies 71). Unused subs: Evans, Buddle, Cornish.
Farsley Celtic: Mason, Turner, Scales, Johnson, Butler, Clayton, Allan, Atkinson, Spencer, Mulhern (Parkin 62), Syers © (Pointon 62). Unused subs: Morgan (GK), Gratton, Dube.
Celts’ boss Russ Wilcox felt it was yet another case of the visitors failing to translate a positive performance into the points it deserved: