Injuries, suspensions and Covid hurt Farsley Celtic in Southport defeat

foggy Farsley Celtic
A foggy Farsley Celtic. Photo: John Baron

Words: Mark Rawlinson

An inexperienced Farsley side bowed out of the Buildbase FA Trophy at the Third Round stage, following a 3-0 defeat at home to Southport.

Celts boss Neil Ross was given a selection headache ahead of the game, with only seven senior players available to choose from. 

There was a large number of absentees from his first-team squad, with injuries, suspensions and positive Covid cases, an issue rocking football across the pyramid currently, meaning five players were given their first competitive starts in the Farsley first team.

New signing Amos Kabeya was joined by academy players Matty Ingham, Sam Drake, Reggie Ward and Louis Fialdini all making their first starts for the Celts.

And the result went as predicted on the pitch – Jordan Archer putting the Soundgrounders into a 24th minute lead. Further second half goals from Niall Wilson and Douglas Thame ensured their progress into the last 32 of the Trophy.

After Jack Bainbridge had headed just wide in the early stages, one of Farsley’s debutants, Reggie Waud, came very close to opening the scoring from a set piece. The forward, who has been on dual-registration with Maltby Main this season, saw his free kick from the edge of the box fly just over the target.

But the visitors did open the scoring mid-way through the half; Archer latched onto a long ball, drawing Tom Donaghy away from his goal, and the striker knocked it around the goalkeeper before firing home the opener. 

Donaghy had to act sharp to keep Dylan Vassallo’s shot out on the half hour mark, before Jack Doyle saw his effort hit the crossbar, as visibility got worse at The Citadel, with thick fog gathering on the pitch.

The Celts held out until the break – which was shortened by the referee to five minutes due to concerns about the foggy conditions. But Southport were given a penalty on 56 minutes when Tyler Walton tangled with Niall Watson, initially outside the box, but the referee pointed to the spot. Watson stepped up from 12 yards, dispatching the penalty low to his right.

And Port grabbed a third on the 69-minute mark. An initial header had been cleared off the line by Jordan Richards but Thame looped his header over Donaghy to put the result beyond any doubt.

And the afternoon got even worse for Farsley on 80 minutes, with Tom Allan’s ill discipline seeing him pick up a second yellow cards as he was sent off – another suspension which will test Farsley’s threadbare squad even further over the festive period.

Farsley Celtic: Donaghy, Richards, Hayhurst, Allan, Ingham, Drake (Fox 62), Turner, Walton (Alastall 72), Kabeya, Waud, Fialdini.

Southport: McMillan, Oliver, J Doyle, Anson, Tharme, Munro, Archer. Buckley-Ricketts (Carver 56) Vassallo, Watson, Bainbridge. Subs not used: Mason, Benjamin, Woods, Hmami, Edwards.

Attendance: 269


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