Words: Mark Rawlinson
Images John McEvoy
Farsley missed out on the chance to earn a bonus Boxing Day present, after sharing the spoils with a 2-2 draw in a local derby at Guiseley.
The draw though did extend the Celts’ unbeaten run in the league to six games, maintaining their spot in the top eight.
An early Kaine Felix goal for the Lions was quickly cancelled out by a Will Hayhurst brace, but had the Celts been able to convert further first half chances, they could have left Nethermoor with all three points.
As it was Guiseley, attacking with the ever-strengthening gusts behind them in the second half, earned a point through Nathan Newall’s 67th minute leveller.
“I think we created enough chances to win the game comfortably,” admitted a frustrated Adam Lakeland, manager of Farsley, after the game.
“We probably should have been out of sight at half time, because I thought we were superb in the first half. We went behind to a disappointing goal on our part but I thought the players did great to recover and deservedly come in at half time in the lead.
“The wind has picked up massively while we were in the dressing room at half time and that meant that they applied a bit of pressure on us and in the second half we found it difficult to retain the ball.
“Having said that, I think we still had the best three chances of the second half – Will Hayhurst went through and smashed it wide, Jake Charles hit the post and Jimmy Spencer probably should have won it at the end.”
It was clear from the off that this West Leeds derby would be an open encounter, and the Celts could’ve taken the lead inside three minutes as Guiseley goalkeeper Brad Wade spilled the ball Luke Parkin, but the shot-stopper redeemed himself with a fine double-save to deny the forward and then Carl Johnston’s follow-up.
Then a minute later, the Rochdale loanee stood up well to deny winger Paddy Lane, who enters his second loan spell with Farsley from Hyde United.
Despite the early pressure on the hosts’ goal, it was them who struck first with George Cantrill picking out pacey forward Felix with an incisive through-ball, and he slotted past Steven Drench to give the league strugglers an eighth minute lead.
But Farsley were given a route back into the game on 22 minutes when Chukwudalu Molokwu tripped Parkin in the area and referee Aaron Bannister pointed to the spot. Hayhurst, back on penalty duties, stepped up confidently and converted down the left.
Wade was Guiseley’s busiest player in the first half as he then had to deny Johnston and Lane, as the Celts continued to assert their dominance on the game.
However he was helpless to stop Hayhurst bagging his and Farsley’s second of the encounter. Jordan Richards swung in a superb cross from the right which was met by an absolute thunderbolt of a strike from the left-back to put the Celts ahead.
Farsley continued to really pin the hosts in their half for much of the second half but couldn’t convert that into a third goal, which would have made the lead far more secure.
With ends switched in the second half, The Lions struck the leveller three-quarters of the way through the game. The ball was played in from the right and academy graduate Newall fired past drench from the edge of the penalty area, with a pin-point finish into the bottom corner.
Two minutes later, John Mafulu gifted the ball to Hayhurst after he miss-controlled. With a hat-trick beckoning for the 26-year-old, he fired just over the target, with an ever-narrowing angle to aim at.
Guiseley’s best chance to seal it came on 72 minutes when substitute Brad Nicholson crossed to Jon Wafula, but despite being allowed a free header, he couldn’t direct it on target.
The Celts almost bagged what would have been a deserved win, deep into stoppage time. Firstly Tyler Walton beat the offside trap before passing to fellow sub Jake Charles, but the striker saw his effort cannon off the base of the post.
Then in the third minute of stoppage time, Hayhurst found Spencer but the talisman dragged his shot wide, seeing the game end tied.
Guiseley AFC: Wade, Currie (Johnson 62), Cantrill, Lufudu, Molokwu (Nicholson 45), Jones, Felix, Mbeka, Wafula, Parsons (Haw 80), Newall.
Subs not used: Howarth, Okafor.
Farsley Celtic: Drench, Richards, Hayhurst, C Atkinson, Allan, (Barton 23), Clayton, Lane (Charles 75), Johnston, Spencer, Syers, Parkin (Walton 75).
Subs not used: Kelly, B Atkinson.
Referee: Aaron Bannister.