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Report: Farsley Celtic 0-2 Fleetwood Town U23s

Farsley’s pre-season campaign ended in disappointing fashion, with a 2-0 defeat at home to Fleetwood Town Under-23s, writes Mark Rawlinson.

A lacklustre first half performance saw the Celts trail by two at the break following strikes from Chris Conn-Clarke and Barry Baggley and despite a revived second half performance, Farsley couldn’t pull themselves back into the contest.

Whilst Celtic boss Adam Lakeland was frustrated by his side’s sub-standard performance, he thinks the intensity of next Saturday’s season-opener at Hereford, coupled with the return of some of his key players, will see his side return to better form as they begin their Vanarama National League North campaign in one weeks’ time.

“It was a disappointing performance if I’m honest,” said Lakeland. “We just didn’t seem to be at it, right across the pitch to be far. I thought far too many individuals were way off the levels and standards that we expect.

“We’ve got a big week ahead of to get ready for the first game of the season and I think we need that game. There’s a point in pre-season where it peters out a bit and friendlies become a bit dead-rubbers.

“I’m sure that come the first game of the season, when there’s points on the line, we will be much, much better, and we will need to be.”

In a first half which saw few chances for either side, it was Fleetwood who created the most dangerous and it only took them 14 minutes to go ahead. Northern Irishman Conn-Clarke was fed the ball and he jinked around a defender before tucking his effort into the bottom corner.

And the visitors struck again just ahead of the break, as Baggley struck home the Lancashire side’s second from just inside the area.

After a first 45 minutes which saw the Celts struggle to create many clear-cut opportunities, they were more roused after the break and were unlucky not to pull a goal back on 52 minutes, when Jimmy Spencer pulled the ball back to Trialist No.11, but the winger couldn’t quite keep his shot down as it cannoned off the bar.

And around the hour-mark, Farsley had a flurry of chances as firstly Trialist No.7 pinched the ball from the feet of a Fleetwood defender to bear down on goal, but Rees got down well to his left to stop the shot.

Then on 64 minutes, Spencer wound up a powerful shot from the edge of the box, but it was turned behind for a corner by the Fleetwood goalkeeper. From the resulting corner, substitute Danny Ellis had his effort cleared off the line before Rees produced another excellent save, this time denying Trialist No.11.

But a few minutes later, Fleetwood could have been even further clear, however, the woodwork denied Cian Hayes’ effort from distance.

The final twenty minutes saw few dangerous chances for either side, as Fleetwood’s youthful side left The Citadel with the victory.

Farsley: Trialist, Richards (Fialdini 86), Hayhurst, Byrom (Broe 76), Syers, Clayton, Trialist (Ellis 62), Atkinson, Spencer (Waud 76), Parkin (Fox 86), Trialist.
Sub not used: Trenerry

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