Farsley Celtic earn vital win against Peterborough Sports

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Farsley Celtic's Michael Coulson powers home the winning goal against Peterborough Sports. Photo: John McEvoy

By John Baron

Farsley Celtic boosted their survival chances as they ended a nine-game winless run in a dramatic afternoon against Peterborough Sports.

Michael Coulson’s first goal since December was enough to guide The Celts to victory in blustery conditions at The Citadel.

Peterborough dominated the first half and will feel the game would have been out of site by half time but for the heroics of Farsley keeper Zan Luk Leban. Farsley had the better of the second half in a much-improved display before the visitors smashed a last-minute penalty against the post.

The win leaves The Celts still occupying the final National League North relegation spot but within touching distance of six sides above them with three games remaining.

The first half belonged to Zan Luk Leban, who denied Sports striker Michael Gash first with his feet and then produced a stunning save to parry an effort from the same player.

Farsley’s best chance of the first half came when Darren Stephenson’s strike from a tight angle narrowly missed the post of Sports keeper Peter Crook.

Conor Branson’s crucial intervention kept the scores level before Leban produced a world-class save just before half time to somehow keep out a header from Brandon Njoku that seemed destined to hit the back of the net. The save would prove a pivotal moment in the game.

Early in the second half the Celts were hit by a double defensive injury blow to add to their troubles at the back, with Rudy Misambo and Lewis Turner forced off, leaving 38-year-old coach Danny Ellis to make his first appearance of the season. He was joined on the pitch by midfielder Jack Evans.

Slowly the home side clawed their way back into the game and forward Michael Coulson had a goal ruled out for a foul on the Sports keeper.

While chances at both ends were harder to come by, Farsley played some of their best football for some weeks and the breakthrough came when they won a corner with a little over 20 minutes to go.

Michael Coulson rose highest to power his header home from 12 yards and spark wild celebrations from the home support. It was the forward’s third goal for Farsley since his move from Scarborough in December.

Dan Lawlor hits the post with his last-minute penalty. Photo: John McEvoy

Chris Atkinson then shot wide when well placed as The Celts looked to add a second. However there was late drama in the 89th minute when Farsley conceded their third penalty in four games after an ill-timed challenge in the box. Captain Dan Lawlor stepped up but crashed his penalty against the right-hand post and the ball flew away for a throw in, much to the relief of the home support.

There was still time for Rory McAuley to miss another chance from close range for Sports deep into stoppage time, but Farsley held on for a vital three points.

Teams

Farsley Celtic: Leban, Carroll, C Atkinson, Misambo (Ellis, 51), Branson, Turner (Evans, 51), B Atkinson, Watson, Stephenson, Coulson, Donaldson. Subs (not used): Silva, Leverett, Morrisey.

Peterborough Sports: Crook, Tootle, Johnson, Lawlor, Jarvis, Alban-Jones, Fox, Meyer, Gash, Mcauley, Njoku. Subs: Jones, Miles, Hickinson, Pereira, McCammon.

Reaction

Danny Ellis said the wind played a critical part in the game, but hailed a gritty performance which gives the team confidence going into the reverse fixture against the same opponents.

Next up

The Celts face a trip to Peterborough Sports in a rearranged fixture on Tuesday evening at PIMS Park (7.45pm) looking for back-to-back wins to push them out of the National League North relegation zone.

Farsley will go into the game on a high, but face mounting injury and suspension problems with up to five potential absentees at the back.

Tom Allan is suspended following his sending off for two yellow cards against Southport, and centre half Isaac Assenso and left back George Smith both missed Saturday’s game. Both centre half Rudy Misambo (knee) and full back Lewis Turner (hamstring) came off injured on Saturday.

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