By Niall Togher
Farsley Celtic are still in search of their first home win of the season after they ended up on the wrong end of a 2-1 defeat to Darlington.
The Celts went 0-2 down and despite pulling one back late on through Conor Branson, they were unable to find an equaliser and had to play the last 20 or so minutes with ten men.
It was a lively start to the first half but neither team could fashion out any real goal-scoring opportunities.
Jacob Hazel had the first shot of the game on the half-hour mark when he found himself through on goal, but his low strike was tipped around the post well by Farsley keeper Zan-Luk Leban.
Bottom club Darlington took the lead two minutes later after capitalising on a slick counter-attack. Hazel was in space again down the right-hand side before he laid the ball into the path of Cameron Salkeld, who made no mistake as he swept the ball past Leban.
Farsley tested Tommy Taylor in the Darlington goal for the first time on the brink of half-time when George Smith hit his strike with a lot of venom, but it was at Taylor’s near post and was tipped behind for a corner.
The visitors doubled their lead within five minutes of the restart. Will Hatfield’s freekick from distance ended up finding a home in the back of the net after bouncing in off the post.
Darlington nearly added a third, but Salkeld was denied from close range by Leban who made himself. The ball then fell to Kallum Griffiths on the volley, but he dragged his effort wide.
The Celts came agonisingly close to pulling a goal back when Tom Allan’s flick on from a corner was met by loanee striker Dylan Youmbi, but he was denied by the crossbar.
Farsley’s chances of getting back into the game took a hit when Connor O’Brien was dismissed for a second bookable offence with around twenty minutes left to play.
Farsley continued to battle on however and eventually pulled a goal back with just over ten minutes to go. Substitute Ryan Watson’s freekick delivery was an exceptional one with a lot of pace and Conor Branson did well to use the pace on the ball to guide it into the bottom corner with a good header to restore some hope.
The drama continued soon after when substitute James Simms rounded Leban, but his shot was cleared off the line well by Allan who had anticipated the danger.
Farsley are back at The Citadel on Tuesday night when they welcome Boston United to West Yorkshire, where the Celts will get another opportunity to win their first home game of the season.
Farsley Celtic: Leban, O’Brien, Smith, Atkinson, Misambo, Allen, Chapman (Watson, 50), Branson, Donaldson, Youmba (Forshaw, 85), Silva (Stevenson, 57). Subs (not used): Carroll, Leverett.
Darlington: Taylor, Griffiths, Lawlor, Burton, Hedley, Ngandu (Simms, 65), Platt, Hatfield, Lindley, Salkeld, Hazel. Subs: (not used) Lees, Moke, Nelson, Rowe.