Words: Thomas Ritchie
Images: John McEvoy, firstname.lastname@example.org
Farsley Celtic and Kidderminster Harriers were forced to settle for a share of the spoils in an entertaining 2-2 draw at the Citadel.
A chaotic five minutes in the first-half saw Farsley take the lead before the visitors roared back to move 2-1 in front, but it was a strike from Farsley’s Carl Johnston early in the second period that saw the game end level.
Adam Lakeland was ultimately delighted with the fight his side showed against full-time opposition, saying:
“I thought that we deserved something out of the game, I think it would have been harsh if we didn’t have anything to show for our efforts.
“I can only applaud the players and give them so much credit, because when I walked in the dressing room it was like someone had passed, after missing the penalty, starting well and finding ourselves 2-1.
“Considering how things have gone for us this season it would have been easy for us to come out and wilt and lose the game, but they rolled their sleeves up and showed spirit.”
The Celt Army started on the front foot and the first opportunity was carved out 10 minutes in by Jimmy Spencer, his curling effort pushed away by Luke Simpson, before he gathered at the second attempt.
Farsley would deservedly take the lead, Paddy Lane whipping a corner under the crossbar where Tom Allan was in position to bundle home after a slight scramble.
However, Kidderminster were behind for only a minute as Sam Austin fired home a spectacular equaliser from 25-yards out.
And a stunning counter-attack less than 60 seconds after the leveller saw the visitors complete the turnaround, Omari Sterling-James sweeping home at the back post.
It could have got even better for the Harriers when Amari Morgan-Smith latched onto a ball over the top, but the former Telford striker dragged his effort across goal and wide.
On the stroke of half-time, Farsley had the chance to draw level when Tom Allan was bundled over in the box and referee Paul Cooper pointed to the spot.
But with the final kick of the half Jordan Richards crashed his penalty against the inside of the right upright and away to safety.
At 2-1 down, having missed a penalty and playing against one of the most in-form teams in the division, many sides may have gone into their shell.
That was not the case here, and Adam Lakeland’s side were level less than two minutes after the restart. Jimmy Spencer did superbly well holding off a challenge as he broke into the box from the right, with his strike parried only as far as Carl Johnston who made no mistake.
It could have got even better when Spencer turned on the edge of the box to set-up Lane, but the on-loan forward’s strike was blocked as Kidderminster threw bodies in the way.
Russ Penn’s side rarely troubled Steven Drench in the Farsley goal thereafter, and it was the Celts who were pushing for the winner late on.
It almost came in the final minutes when Jimmy Spencer cut in from the left and let fly from 15-yards out, but his curling strike flew over the crossbar.
Farsley Celtic: Drench, Richards, Smith-Brown (Hayhurst 56), C. Atkinson, Allan, Clayton, Lane (Heath 80), Johnston, Spencer, Syers, Walton (B Atkinson 86). Unused subs: Charles, Parkin.
Kidderminster Harriers: Simpson, Penny, Richards, Maxwell, Lowe, Montrose (Prosser 90), Austin, Morgan-Smith, Hemmings (Arthur 67), Sterling-James (Freemantle 77), Taylor. Unused subs: Palmer, Moyo.
Referee: Paul Cooper.
Assistant Referees: James Unwin & Samuel Wright.