Farsley Celtic won back-to-back games for the first time in 2018 as they ground out a 1-0 victory over Stafford Rangers, writes Thomas Ritchie.
Farsley should have won the game more comfortably, Stafford failing to create enough opportunities in the final third after Ryan Watson had given Farsley the lead early in the second-half.
The Celts started the game quickly and Nathan Cartman came close to breaking the deadlock, his delicious, curling effort from the edge of the box striking the post.
The visitors had their best chance of the game minutes later, as Kyle Perry broke in behind only for Graeme McKibbin to make an excellent save when one-on-one.
The woodwork then came to Stafford’s rescue once more, as Adam Clayton’s glancing header from Luke Parkin’s terrific cross hit the upright.
Danny Ellis was the next to come close for the hosts midway through the half, as his half-volley from Ryan Watson’s cross flew just over the crossbar.
Stafford shot-stopper Adam Whitehouse produced two wonderful saves just before half-time to keep the scores level. He firstly saved Ryan Watson’s volley from point-blank range at the far post, before he had to be at his best to tip Nathan Cartman’s effort wide following a terrific Watson cross.
Less than ten minutes into the second-half Farsley broke the deadlock, as Ryan Watson’s free-kick took a deflection off the wall and flew into the back of the net past a stranded Whitehouse.
Farsley began searching for a second, and after some neat play down the left Luke Parkin fired just wide.
Stafford’s only shot of the second-half came just before the hour mark, as Graeme McKibbin’s poor kick fell straight to Massiah McDonald, however his effort was easily saved by McKibbin.
Substitute Ben Atkinson could have sealed the victory inside the last five minutes when his powerful strike from just inside the box fizzed wide, after he was played in by Paul Walker.
The Celts had an excellent chance to add a second in injury time as Chris Atkinson’s clearance found Nathan Cartman who was denied by a good Whitehouse save, however Farsley were able to see out the closing moments for a deserved three points.
Farsley Celtic: McKibbin, Wells, L. Turner, C. Atkinson, Ellis ©, Clayton, Watson, N. Turner, Walker (Murray 88), Cartman, Parkin (B. Atkinson 79). Unused subs: Harris, Bett.
Stafford Rangers: Whitehouse, Vann, K. Westwood (D. Westwood 75), Morris, Brown, Craddock ©, I. Reid, Sherratt (L. Reid 79), Perry, McDonald, Thomas. Unused subs: Griffiths, Platt, Caswell.
MOTM: Ryan Watson