Farsley Celtic grab first point of season thanks to Dearnley’s heroics

Farsley Celtic's Max Dearnley saves from the spot against Alfreton. Photo: John McEvoy

Words: Thomas Ritchie

Photos: John McEvoy/Leeds Shots

Farsley Celtic picked up a first point of the season as they played out a goalless draw with Alfreton Town on a scorching day at the Citadel.

The visitors could have picked up all three points but for squandering a chance from the spot in the second half, as man-of-the-match Max Dearnley stood firm to deny Tom Denton.

farsley celtic keeper max dearnley
Man of the match – Farsley goalkeeper Max Dearnley pulled off several fine stops, including saving a penalty. Photo: John McEvoy

The first opening of the game went the way of Alfreton inside the opening two minutes, Fraser Preston glancing a header wide from a Dayle Southwell cross.

Both sides were largely restricted to half-chances in the opening quarter, with Bailey Hobson flashing an effort wide for the visitors, and Frank Mulhern heading wide for Farsley.

Alfreton were then perhaps fortunate to keep all 11 men on the pitch when Tom Denton clattered into Andy Butler, with Farsley claiming the forward led with his elbow.

That incident seemed to kick the Celts into gear, and they could have gone in front before the break.

Farsley Celtic defend an Alfreton attack on a sultry day at The Citadel. Photo: John McEvoy

A Jimmy Spencer flick found Adam Clayton who headed inches over, before Spencer himself came close, striking the crossbar with an outside-of-the-foot effort from 18-yards.

Farsley picked up where they left off, starting brightly after the break; Spencer came close as he linked up with Luke Parkin, before flashing a strike over.

However, after that, it was Alfreton who looked to kick on, and Max Dearnley had to be sharp to deny Bailey Hobson at his near post.

Turner heads away from Alfreton danger-man Tom Denton. Photo: John McEvoy

Billy Heath’s side then had a golden opportunity to break the deadlock, as Lewis Turner was adjudged to have felled Dayle Southwell in the box. But keeper Dearnley guessed correctly, diving to his left to smother a weak effort from Tom Denton.

Alfreton would come close again at the death following an almighty goalmouth scramble, Dom Smith hitting the bar before Conor Branson and Denton both failed to apply the finishing touch from close range.

The Celts entertain promotion hopefuls Blyth Spartans at The Citadel on Tuesday, kick off 7.45pm.

More photos from the game can be found here.

Dearnley punches clear as Farsley Celtic mount a rear-guard action in the second half to secure their first point of the season. Photo: John McEvoy


Farsley Celtic: Dearnley, Turner, Butroid, Johnson (Hornshaw 80), Butler, Clayton, Gratton (Malumo 86), Atkinson ©, Spencer, Mulhern, Parkin. Unused subs: Hutchinson, Morgan (GK), Ingham.

Alfreton Town: Willis, Lund, Wilder, Cantrill, Smith, Wiley, Preston (Dockerty 72), Branson ©, Denton, Southwell, Hobson. Unused subs: Whitham, Preston, Brown, Askew.

Attendance: 502.


Assistant Manager Steve Thornber took control of the game in manager Russ Wilcox’s absence yesterday. Here’s his reaction to the goalless draw with Alfreton Town. Tom Ritchie asks the questions…

Shot-stopper Max Dearnley said it was ‘massive’ for The Celts to get their first point of the season – and keep a clean sheet after last week’s opening-day 4-0 reverse at Leamington:

For ongoing coverage of the Celts this season, check out our new Farsley Celtic section here, featuring match previews, news and match reports.

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