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Report: Brackley Town 0-1 Farsley Celtic

Farsley became the first side to defeat Brackley Town at St James’ Park in league football this season, thanks to a hard-earned 1-0 victory today.

Adam Clayton’s first half goal was enough to earn Adam Lakeland’s side their first victory of 2020, as they saw off the fourth-placed side in the Vanarama National League North.

Lakeland handed a debut to goalkeeper Josh Barnes, a recent loan signing from Derby County, who impressed, with FC Halifax loanee Jack Earing also earning his first start.

“I thought he was generally on-point with his kicking,” Lakeland said about Barnes. “He just got us up extra 15-yards up the pitch, particularly in the second half when we were defending into the wind, it helped us get up the pitch a little bit.”

“As for the result, I’m delighted because Brackley are a good side and I think it’s only Chester that have beaten them here in the cup. For us to come here and get all three points is massive, and I think it’s a win that we needed.

“We were solid and organised and everyone put a real shift in, everyone to a man, we were very disciplined. Josh didn’t really have a save to make. We did a really good job at reducing their chances and we’ve pinched one from a set piece, which we’re very strong at and it’s a massive win for us.”

In a first half with few chances for either side, the hosts’ best opportunity came 16 minutes in as the ball was squared in from the left wing, but Glenn Walker put his shot wide.

Farsley looked lively in the opening half hour too and Ben Atkinson came centimetres away from heading his side ahead on 28 minutes, but flicked Will Hayhurst’s cross just past the post.

The lead was seized on 34 minutes as Jack Higgins glanced the ball into the danger area and fellow defender Clayton was in the right place to smash the ball past Danny Lewis to give Farsley the lead.

Shep Murozombedzi will have been disappointed not to trouble Barnes in the Farsley goal as he fired wide from a great chance in the early stages of the second half.

The hosts came even closer on 65 minutes as left winger Matt Lowe saw his effort smash the upright, as the Celts breathed a sigh of relief.

The play-off favourites continued to apply the pressure but poor finishing let them down again ten minutes later as Carl Baker wasted a great sight at goal by shooting wide of the target.

Farsley could have shut the game out on 78 minutes when Ben Atkinson picked up the ball on the edge of the area, but couldn’t keep his effort down from 18 yards, firing over the target.

The Celt Army defended staunchly for the final ten minutes to see out the victory, and claim the three points.

Brackley Town: Lewis, Myles, Franklin, Byrne, Audel, Dean, Lowe, Murombedzi, Daire (Smith 72), Armson (Baker 72), Walker (Fairlamb 84).
Subs not used: Maye, Langmead.

Farsley Celtic: Barnes, Richards, Hayhurst, Higgins, Ellis, Clayton, B Atkinson, C Atkinson, Spencer (Cartman 82), Walton, Earing.
Subs not used: Wynne, Regan, Bett.

Referee: Tom Kirk
Attendance: 440

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