Report: Farsley Celtic 2-1 Leamington
An early Christmas present for the Citadel faithful as Farsley Celtic win 2-1, writes Warren Smith.
The game’s shape at first didn’t flatter Farsley, as the visitors from the spa town took the reigns in the early going as their away blue kit made an attacking flow, erring dangerously toward to the Farsley goal. Junior English, opposition number two, delivered some delightful balls as Leamington enjoyed themselves. It wasn’t long until it paid dividends for the visitors as they went ahead with Josh March blasting the ball down the middle for the opener. 0-1, Farsley with work to do.
Immediately after the kick-off home supporters anticipated a long afternoon as the visitors regained possession, launching another vicious attack. Elliot Wynne was able to keep out the effort, demanding more from the rest of the side at the same time. The battle cry reached out to Dave Syers, who energised our efforts — combining with Tom Ellis, Nathan Cartman and Luke Parkin, as the lads stirred – making a competition of the game.
The pressure seemed too much for the opposition to cope with. Leamington defenders took to foul play, which resulted in a spot-kick being awarded to Farsley, as Nathan Cartman was forced down by an unamicable tackle. A successful conversion from Will Hayhurst’s penalty levelled the game, 1-1.
With the scores level, the balance of play also sat finely poised. While the Christmas feeling loomed across the ground, spectators were treated to a scene from another biblical story as rival number eight, Joe Clarke, re-enacted the Resurrection of Christ, falling to the ground after a 50/50 non-vicious collision with Parkin. Luke ended up with a yellow, while in-character Joe was reborn by the booking, back on his feet. An aggravating action for the supporters who became disenchanted with the ref. The game slowed down and suffered a dip in quality, as the visitors either controlled with the ball with little end product or resorted to bullish tackles, stamping inconsistency over the contest.
The final ten minutes of the half did, however, enthuse the 350+ attendance, as Farsley were able to outplay the opposition, bossing the game with aggressive plays. Cartman notably struck a lightning bolt yet was narrowly saved by the keeper. Tempers rose as both sides demonstrated lairy behaviour with several fouls coming from Leamington, culminating in another penalty claim, yet went unawarded. The half-time whistle was blown shortly after with Farsley finishing the better side at the break.
Head coach, Adam Lakeland, clearly instructed fluid offence during the break, as the home side picked up where they left off in the second half, enjoying the now darkened skyline with consistent attack after attack.
Leamington was able to soak up the pressure, eventually able to apply their game plan for the half. They wanted to control the ball with little or poor effort on goal, relatively wasteful in front of goal while ceasing the game up by hassling for possession yet not being incredibly productive.
Farsley sussed that dead-ball situations were best to advance against Leamington who had seemingly been playing in neutral for large portions of the second period. The home side worked themselves back into the game, with an advanced throw-in starting a pivotal play. Many players scrambled for the loose ball, which eventually fell to Parkin after initial contact. Luke surged inward striking a venomous ball, straight into the right-hand corner well beyond the keeper. 2-1 to Farsley. The Green-and-Whites showed their emotion throughout the entire game, but no more when they came together to celebrate the goal, embodying the team spirit among the team.
Akeel Francis notably made an impact off the bench but was subject to an overzealous linesman who seemed to be paid on a commission basis towards the end of the match, given the times he flagged any Farsley advancing play. Leamington did have one last chance at the death but had the goal disallowed due to an offensive foul in the build-up.
The final whistle sounded with cheers from the crowd as Farsley Celtic crept up the table to seventh with the win, with the playoffs in sight. The win ensured the team have gone seven games unbeaten across all competitions.