Farsley Celtic returned to winning ways as Ben Atkinson struck late on to secure his side a 1-0 victory over Spennymoor Town, writes Thomas Ritchie.
The game was a scrappy affair for much of the 90 minutes, but the hosts had by far the better of the chances, and if not for Matt Gould in the Spennymoor goal the deadlock would have been broken much earlier.
Farsley Celtic Manager Adam Lakeland was delighted with his side’s response to Tuesday’s 3-0 defeat against Southport. He said:
“I thought that we were excellent and felt that we deserved it (the win).
“I criticised the players to some extent midweek after the first-half performance, because I know we’re a lot better than what we displayed on Tuesday night, and ultimately it was just about them putting in a performance.
“If you’re solid and you keep clean sheets, we’ve got players within the team who are always capable of creating a chance and thankfully we did that, and in the end I think we thoroughly deserved it.”
Both sides struggled to create any openings in the first 25 minutes, but it was the Celt Army who had the first real chance as Dave Syers turned Jordan Richards’ low cross goalward forcing Matt Gould into a save from point-blank range.
Farsley continued to have the better of the play and could well have taken the lead through Jimmy Spencer. Tyler Walton played a clever ball through to Spencer who beat the offside trap and attempted to round Gould, only to lose control just as he was about to pull the trigger.
Farsley came close again with half-time drawing nearer as the ball pinged around the box from Will Hayhurst’s corner, before Danny Ellis’ searing volley from 15-yards out produced a stunning save from Matt Gould.
Just after the hour mark Spennymoor had their first effort of the game on target when substitute Dan Ward crossed for Ben McKenna, however the former Bradford Park Avenue man headed straight at Elliot Wynne.
Gould was his side’s saviour once again just moments later. Jimmy Spencer linked up well with Ben Atkinson with the latter’s low strike parried by Gould, before the Spennymoor shot-stopper reacted quickly to superbly save Nathan Cartman’s follow-up.
With 20 minutes remaining the visitors had arguably their best chance of the game as Dan Ward’s ball dropped to Glen Taylor in space in the box, but his strike was straight at Elliot Wynne who saved comfortably.
The decisive moment of the game came with just two minutes of normal time remaining, Will Hayhurst whipping in an excellent cross from the left to Ben Atkinson who found space in the box and guided his header into the top corner.
Jimmy Spencer could have added a second almost immediately as he broke in behind the Moors’ defence and latched onto Wynne’s long ball only for Gould to race quickly off his line and make the save, however Ben Atkinson’s effort was enough to earn the Celt Army all three points.
Farsley Celtic: Wynne, Richards, Hayhurst, Higgins, Ellis (Parkin 69), Allan, B. Atkinson, C. Atkinson, Spencer (Walker 90), Syers (Cartman 61), Walton. Unused subs: Trenerry, Baldwin.
Spennymoor Town: Gould, Magnay, Brogan, Chandler, Buddle, Curtis, McKenna (Anderson 75), Henry, Taylor, Roberts (Ward 59), Johnson. Unused subs: Williams, J. Atkinson, Boyes.