Farsley Celtic maintain unbeaten start with fine Bishop’s Stortford win


By John Baron | Additional reporting Josh Makin

Clayton Donaldson’s Farsley Celtic revolution continued as a first half goal from Darren Stephenson earned a deserved 1-0 away win for the Celts at Bishop’s Stortford.

The Celts, sporting a new-look side and management team this season, headed into the game with an unbeaten record after the first three matches of the new season. And a solid performance against newly promoted Bishop’s Stortford saw the Celts finish the day in sixth place in the National League North.

While the Celts – with their small but vocal die-hard backing – had to withstand some pressure from the home side, goalkeeper Zan-Luk Leban barely had a shot to save and the visitors are now one of only of only ten sides in the entire National League to remain unbeaten.

As may have been expected due to the four-hour journey down to Hertforshire, Farsley started off the slower of the two teams and could have been behind after ten minutes when George Sykes turned a volley wide from the edge of the six-yard box.

After absorbing the early pressure, the Celts took the lead just after the half-hour mark when Darren Stephenson latched onto a long ball forward from Harry Sheridan before rounding Jack Giddens and finding the roof of the net at the third attempt to put Farsley in the driving seat.

The second half did not produce much in the way of chances either, with Stortford launching an aerial bombardment on the Farsley defence to no avail, with the excellent Rudy Misambo and Jack Leckie staying resolute and keeper Leban ably coping with a number of dangerous crosses.

Conor Branson will wonder how he didn’t double Farsley’s lead with 20 minutes to go when he met Chris Atkinson’s out-swinging corner, powering a header goalwards forcing a superb reflex save from Giddens to keep the home side in the game.

That would prove to be the final major chance of the match, as the home side continued to try to find an equaliser and fail, before the final whistle blew to seal another impressive three points for the Celt Army.

It’s been an impressive start to the season, with such a high player turnaround – only Chris Atkinson from last year’s team was in the squad – new management team and a new playing style.

The Celts will be pleased to have eight points in their first four games as sterner tests in a long season await. The only blemish on the day was goal-scorer Stephenson hobbling off which the Celts will hope isn’t a bad injury.

Line ups

Blues: Giddens, Haines, Morrell, Henshaw, Foxley, Olufemi, Sykes, Howard (Thomas 84), Walker (Godfrinne 67), Regis (Ogunwamide 46), Peters. Subs not used: Shogbeni, Alexander. Booked:Howard 40, Thomas 87

Farsley Celtic: Leban, Leckie, Smith, Branson, Misambo, Sheridan, Carroll, C. Atkinson, Stephenson (Robinson 76), B. Atkinson (Watson 84), Blair (Donaldson 55). Subs not used: Wilson, Silva. Booked:Leckie 20, Smith 73, Watson 90

Attendance: 533

Match reaction

Clayton Donaldson was pleased with his side’s fighting spirit against a newly promoted side which beat highly fancied Chester in its last home match.

Next fixtures

Up next, it’s a return to The Citadel for Farsley as they welcome another newly promoted side in Tamworth on Saturday 26 August with a kick-off time of 3pm. Tickets for the match are available here. Farsley then travel to Chester on the Bank Holiday Monday.

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