By John Baron
Football. Bloody hell!
Sir Alex Ferguson’s immortal words after his team’s late Champions’ League triumph over Bayern Munich in 1999 came to mind after Farsley Celtic secured a last-gasp win over play-off hopefuls Curzon Ashton.
The Celts were trailing 1-0 against Curzon deep into injury time – and let’s be honest, there was little suggest in the preceding 93 minutes that a stunning late comeback was on the cards.
Then everything changed.
Farsley’s new striker Michael Coulson nodded on a long ball into the path of skipper Chris Atkinson, who raced through and poked the ball past Curzon keeper Mason. The ball seemed to take an eternity to go in as the Farsley faithful held their breath. Would it hit a bobble and go wide? Cue glorious delirium in the Farsley end as the ball nestled in the corner of the net. Quite a finish from Akky.
We’d have taken a point there and then.
But the drama wasn’t over. In the 96th minute the visitors were reduced to ten men when Curzon’s George Waring was sent off for a foul on the edge of his own area.
Regular free kick maestro Ryan Watson had already gone off and debutant Michael Coulson stood over the ball. Surely it was beyond the wildest dreams of even the most ardent Celts fan that we could nick it with the last kick of the match?
Coulo struck a magnificent, Beckham-esque 97th-minute free kick into the top corner, sparking wild celebrations from players, management and fans. It was as sweet a free kick as you could ask to see and a stunning way to cap off a fine debut.
The persistence and fight shown in final four minutes of time added on speaks volumes for the never say die attitude of this group of players.
The previous 93 minutes were a frustrating watch. Coulson had the ball in the net on 11 minutes for Farsley but his delightful dinked finish was ruled out for offside. Farsley keeper Zan Luk Leban denied Story from point-blank range with a stunning save as the visitors got on top, and it was no surprise when they took the lead from Waring’s header in the 26th minute.
Storey then crashed a Curzon effort onto the crossbar after going through on goal. Then came Farsley’s best chance of the game just before half time. Coulson fought his way through to get one on one with Mason but his shot was down the barrel of the Ashton goalkeeper, with Dylan Youmbi completely free to his right.
The second half was a tighter and more even affair as The Celts stepped up a gear.
Zan Luk Leban made a superb flying save to prevent the visitors extending their lead – and then came the late late drama that will stay long in the memories of everyone who was there.