Farsley Celtic made it two wins from two to start the new season as they defeated league favourites South Shields 4-1 at Throstle Nest, writes THOMAS RITCHIE.
The visitors were reduced to nine men in the first-half, before Farsley were eventually able to break the Mariners down with second-half goals from Nathan Cartman, Jimmy Spencer, Chris Atkinson and Ben Atkinson securing the victory.
After a quiet opening, the game sprung to life midway through the first-half as South Shields’ Gary Brown made a late, lunging challenge on Nathan Turner and received his marching orders.
Just three minutes later he was joined by the Mariners’ captain Carl Finnigan, who made a horrific challenge on Will Hayhurst, leaving the visitors with nine men for the remaining 65 minutes.
Farsley were then able to move onto the front foot, and had the first clear-cut opportunity of the game as Lewis Turner’s effort from Will Hayhurst’s cross was saved by Liam Connell.
Hayhurst continued to be the main provider, and after a short corner he found Danny Ellis, but Connell saved well low down.
The Celts then should have taken the lead after Jimmy Spencer’s knock down, but last-ditch defending denied both Nathan Cartman and Ryan Watson.
On the stroke of half-time Lewis Turner almost broke the deadlock as his sweetly struck half-volley from the edge of the box crashed onto the crossbar.
In the 57th minute Farsley eventually broke South Shields’ resolute defence, Nathan Cartman converting Lewis Turner’s centre.
After Jimmy Spencer and Will Hayhurst both forced good saves from Liam Connell, the two linked up to double Farsley’s advantage as Spencer headed home Hayhurst’s corner for his first Farsley goal.
With eight minutes remaining the nine men of South Shields were handed a lifeline after eventually venturing into the Farsley half, Josh Gillies’ corner dropping to an unmarked Chris Hunter who rifled the ball into the top corner.
The hosts regained their two-goal advantage just two minutes later as a swift move saw Cartman find Chris Atkinson, who tucked the ball past Connell into the bottom corner.
The three points were then wrapped up in style, with Ben Atkinson slotting home to finish a superb team move after good work from Spencer and Cartman, the nine men eventually tiring after standing strong for 57 minutes.
Farsley Celtic: Hall, L. Turner, Hayhurst (B. Atkinson 77), Higgins, Ellis ©, Clayton (Baldwin 70), C. Atkinson, N. Turner (Walker 70), Spencer, Cartman, Watson. Unused subs: Bower (GK), Bett.
South Shields: Connell, Baxter, Adams (Pattinson 64), Turnbull, Morse, Brown, Wright (Hunter 71), Mouanda, Cogden (Lough 24), Finnigan ©, Gillies. Unused subs: Pearson (GK), Mason.
MOTM: Will Hayhurst