Farsley Celtic’s play-off hopes were severely dented as Hednesford Town made it nine games unbeaten on a wet and miserable day at Throstle Nest, writes Thomas Ritchie.
Goals from Joe Fitzpatrick, Danny Glover and James Lawrie saw Hednesford take the three points despite Ben Atkinson’s early opener in the 3-1 defeat for The Celts.
Frustrated Celts boss Adam Lakeland said:
“We’re making it harder for ourselves, we’ve been performing quite well and I’d say we played well again today but errors cost us. We’re drawing too many games this season and now we’ve lost ten, a lot of which have been closely contested.
“Ultimately, we’ve conceded too many goals, I’ve been saying it all season, the buck stops with me, I’m the manager and it’s my job to rectify it. We’ve got to find a solution and we’ll have to be on top, top form in our remaining games to give ourselves a chance.”
The Pitmen’s manager Rob Smith was delighted with his side’s win. He said:
“I’m delighted, Farsley are a good side, we’ve been starting games poorly which we did again today. The key to the game was getting the goal before half-time, and then we came on strong in the second-half.
“We stood off Farsley in the first-half but got tighter in the second-half, the lads have put a great shift in and it’s one of the most difficult places to come, so to get a win is great. We’re enjoying the ride at the moment and we’ll see where it takes us.”
Farsley started the game superbly and Hednesford shot-stopper James Wren had to be at his best to deny Isaac Baldwin and then Adam Clayton, before Farsley broke through in the sixth minute.
Paul Walker was at the centre of a brilliant team move and he slipped the ball through to Ben Atkinson who rounded Wren and slotted home into the empty net.
Adam Clayton then came to Farsley’s rescue as James Lawrie got in behind the Farsley defence and rounded McKibbin. But his effort was superbly headed off the line by Clayton.
From the resulting corner Isaac Baldwin was in the right place to block Jordan Graham’s clever back-heel on the goal line.
Midway through the first-half Dan Cockerline was denied by James Wren, receiving the ball from Nathan Turner before attempting an audacious lob that Wren pushed away.
Despite Farsley’s first-half dominance Hednesford drew level in added time, the referee playing an excellent advantage which allowed Joe Fitzpatrick to fire past Graeme McKibbin.
With just over 20 minutes remaining Farsley had a terrific chance to take the lead, Isaac Baldwin leading the charge and then finding Dan Cockerline, but his strike was blocked when he really should have scored.
Hednesford had started to stamp their authority over the midfield after the interval, and arguably deserved to go ahead as Jordan Graham led the counter and whipped in an excellent cross for Danny Glover to head home.
Ben Atkinson had Farsley’s best chance to equalise in the final 10 minutes, but Callam Mendez-Jones recovered well to make a terrific block.
The three points were wrapped up in injury time, as James Lawrie hassled Lewis Turner, and stole the ball off the Farsley defender before rounding McKibbin and finishing comfortably.
Farsley Celtic: McKibbin, L. Turner, Baldwin, C. Atkinson (Murray 81), Harris, Clayton ©, B. Atkinson, N. Turner, Cockerline, Cartman, Walker (Parkin 84). Unused subs: Wells, Trenerry.
Hednesford Town: Wren, Mendez-Jones, Curley, Fitzpatrick (Harris 70), Oji, Gatter, Graham (Bailey 84), Thorley ©, Glover, Lawrie, Fitzgibbon (Walsh 66). Unused subs: Butlin.
MOTM: James Wren