By John Baron
Battling Farsley Celtic earned a hard-fought point on the road at Curzon Ashton – but may well feel they should be returning to West Yorkshire with all three points.
The Celts twice hit the woodwork in a frantic first half which saw the home keeper in inspired form. Curzon also had their chances, but Farsley keeper Zan Luk Leban pulled off some fine saves against their promotion-seeking hosts.
It was another strong performance on the road by The Celts as they look to build another unbeaten run following narrow back to back defeats against league leaders Scunthorpe over Christmas.
Farsley were the better side in the first half. Clayton Donaldson headed over from Noah Wadsworth’s free-kick in the third minute before Tom Allan warmed keeper Mason’s hands with a 30-yard drive. The keeper then had to be alert to keep out Michael Coulson’s low free kick.
Great play from Donaldson led to Atkinson having a deflected effort which came off the post after 19 minutes, and six minutes later The Celts rattled the woodwork again. A ball into the box from Allan is headed across goal by Carroll but Coulson’s header clattered the crossbar.
Leban saved well for The Celts as the hosts slowly clawed their way into the game, but on 43 minutes there was a big penalty shout for Farsley as Allan was dragged down in the box, Moments later Atkinson had a half chance but couldn’t get a shot away.
The second half saw Curzon start the stronger. Five minutes in and Leban made a great stop to deny Richards’ free-kick and a few minutes later the Farsley keeper was out well to deny Jimmy Spencer, who was played through on goal.
Farsley came close on the hour when Allan powered a header goalwards from an Atkinson corner, but it was blocked and Curzon survived a goalmouth scramble. A Rudy Misambo header then went wide from a corner and Branson’s superb strike from outside of the area just whistled past the post.
Curzon then ramped up the pressure as the game entered the final ten minutes. Rhys Hughes’ free-kick tested Leban again, and a Curzon diving header went just wide of the post.
Leban then got down well to deny Spencer a potential winner just three minutes from time.
There was still time for Farsley to snatch it and they came agonisingly close in the 95th minute when Donaldson battled through on the right but his effort was superbly saved by Mason in Curzon’s goal.
The game ended in a creditable draw for the away side in a goalless game that didn’t lack incident or chances.
Next Saturday Farsley entertain high fliers Scarborough at The Citadel.