Report: Curzon Ashton 2-1 Farsley Celtic
It was an afternoon to forget for Farsley in East Manchester after they fell to a 2-1 defeat to Curzon Ashton.
A disastrous six-minute period early in the second half proved to be the decisive spell for the Celts, with goals from Dominic Knowles and Dale Whitham giving the Tameside team a 2-0 advantage.
Jimmy Spencer did half the deficit just after the hour mark, but a missed penalty from Will Hayhurst two minutes from time summed up the Celt Army’s disappointing afternoon.
“The missed penalty kind of epitomised the way things are going for us at the moment,” said Farsley boss Adam Lakeland after the game.
“Their keeper was man of the match by a distance, I know it’s a bit of a cliché, but if it was boxing, we would have probably knocked them out by half-time. We were completely dominant in the first half and by a distance, were the best team and we created some really good chances.
“I’m disappointed with the goals we conceded though. We were lacking a bit of height today with Tom Allan unavailable and then there’s nobody within two yards of Dominic Knowles, who scored. The second one is an error from Drenchy (Steven Drench), he’s held his hands up to that and it’s not like him to make mistakes like that.”
It took a long while for either side to start creating chances in the first half, with Tyler Walton’s cross to Jake Charles, who headed over the target on 18 minutes, the only dangerous opportunity in the opening half an hour of the contest.
On 35 minutes, Spencer showed great awareness to play Luke Parkin through one-on-one with Curzon keeper Cameron Mason, but the shot-stopper came out on top with the effort fired straight at him.
The pair linked up again two minutes later when West had sent in a low cross which was scooped up by Spencer, but Parkin shot wide this time.
The hosts’ best opportunity of the first 45 came four minutes before the break; a deep cross in found former Harrogate Town front-man Knowles unmarked at the far post, but he headed wide.
The Celts were made to rue another missed opportunity on 44 minutes, when a short corner found West. He scuffed his cross but the ball found its way to Jake Charles, however the forward’s strong shot was well saved by Mason.
Curzon managed to break the deadlock on 51 minutes in scrappy circumstances. A goal-mouth scramble gave Knowles the opportunity to find the target from just a few yards out, to put Steve Cunningham’s side ahead.
And then on 57 minutes, the lead was doubled. Substitute Dale Whitman let fly with a speculative shot from 30 yards. Steven Drench really should have made the save but instead the ball evaded his grasp and ended in the bottom corner.
To Farsley’s credit, it only took four minutes for the visitors to reduce the gap back to one. The ball was played into Charles, who forced a save from Mason, but he was only able to parry into his own six yard box and an alert Spencer was on hand to blast the ball home for 2-1.
And the Celt Army were handed a late lifeline when on 88 minutes, referee Darren Rogers pointed to the spot after Dave Syers had been pushed to the ground. Hayhurst, making his return from injury as a sub, stepped up to the plate, however his shot to the right was kept out by Mason, who guessed the correct way in diving to his left.
Then in stoppage time, Spencer twice saw a quick-fire double attempt saved by Mason, who had a truly inspired 90 minutes in the Curzon goal, before Ellis headed over the target in the final opportunity of the game. Curzon ensured their unbeaten start to the campaign remained, whilst Farsley continue to wait for their first league victory.
Curzon Ashton: Mason, Southern, Mahon, Poscha, Tharme, Turnbull, Harrop (Stokes 90), Evans, Knowles, Curran (Whitham 45), Stephenson (Obiyde 75).
Subs not used: Roberts, Hughes.
Farsley Celtic: Drench, Richards, West, C Atkinson, Ellis, Clayton, B Atkinson (Johnston 68), Walton (Hayhurst 68), Spencer, Charles, Parkin (Syers 68).
Subs not used: Kelly, Goldthorpe.
Referee: Darren Rogers