Report: Clitheroe FC 1-3 Farsley Celtic
By Thomas Ritchie
Report by Rob Winterbottom.
The Celts ended their pre-season with a record of played 9, won 6, lost 3, with the latest victory coming at Clitheroe.
Isaac Baldwin was nearly the hero and villain in the opening exchanges of the game as his back-pass was intercepted in the first sixty seconds of the game. Thankfully Clitheroe were unable to capitalise as Adam Clayton cleared. Then in the Celts first attack after two minutes, Baldwin got on the end of a cross, but his header skimmed wide.
This open start to the game continued as Farsley earned the first corner of the game on six minutes after Nathan Cartman’s snapshot was blocked for a corner. Just a minute later Paul Walker had an effort on goal as he drove forward before trying his luck from distance.
However, despite the Celts bright start, it was the visitors who took the lead after twelve minutes. Kisimba did well out wide and his pinpoint cross found an unmarked Declan Daniels, who clinically headed home. Farsley had a good chance to level five minutes later, as with Clitheroe unable to clear their lines, the ball fell to Walker, but his shot was straight at the home ‘keeper.
The Celts though did equalise on twenty-three minutes. Lewis Turner made a great break from the back which earned a throw-in deep in Clitheroe territory. From the throw Will Hayhurst crossed and Clayton flicked home the header. Farsley then took charge of the game, as from a free-kick two minutes later, Walker’s header on found Baldwin who from a tight angle fired goal-ward, only to be denied as the Clitheroe ‘keeper made the save. Another chance quickly followed, as a Celts shot from distance was blocked and dropped to Cartman, with his effort deflected for a corner. Finally, on twenty-nine minutes the pressure paid off. Ryan Watson had a header that the ‘keeper got a hand to which bounced down, with the Celts claiming it had crossed the line, Cartman thrashed it in to make sure and give Farsley a 2-1 advantage.
The game then went through a quiet ten minutes, before the next real chance came five minutes before the break. A Clitheroe cross found the lively Kisimba, which Ed Hall did brilliantly to push away. Farsley responded in the closing minutes of the first-half with Hayhurst getting down the wing on two occasions in quick succession, only to be thwarted by the Clitheroe cover.
Into the second-half and just four minutes after the break, a long ball was brilliantly controlled by Cartman with the resulting shot blocked by the retreating Clitheroe defence. On fifty-minutes the home team earned the first corner of the second period and really should have levelled as central defender Derek Ubah was left unmarked but headed over. Four minutes later the Celts had a great chance to extend their lead as they broke quickly, releasing Walker whose shot was pushed onto the crossbar by the home ‘keeper. Before the resulting corner was taken, Farsley made their first changes of the game, with new-signing James Spencer brought on. With the replacements on, the corner was delivered and after initially being cleared was put into the net by Cartman, only to be denied with the assistant flagging it for off-side. The Celts forward was again in the thick of it just after the hour mark, as he was bundled over in the box, however, the referee waived away the Farsley appeals.
As in the first-half the game had a ten-minute period when the game went into a lull and it wasn’t until the seventy-first minute that there was any sort of goal threat. From a wide free-kick, Celts skipper Danny Ellis had a header which Jack Higgins flicked on, but which looped up comfortably for the Clitheroe ‘keeper. The home side then had two chances of their own in quick succession, with Hall saving from Daniels, before the dangerous Kisimba fired over the bar from inside the box, as the game approached the last fifteen minutes.
New-signing Spencer then showed a glimpse of his talent in the seventy-ninth minute, holding up the ball well before playing a one-two with Ben Atkinson and curling his shot wide. Three minutes later Spencer was played in by Clayton, with the new-signing cutting inside and firing just wide of the left-hand upright.
This spell of Farsley pressure paid dividends six minutes from time as Ben Atkinson was played in and coolly slotted into the het for the Celts third of the afternoon. That was the last significant action of the game, as Farsley ran out 3-1 winners against Clitheroe to round off the 2018/19 pre-season campaign.
Farsley Celtic: Hall, Lewis Turner, Baldwin (59’ Chris Atkinson), Higgins, Ellis (c), Clayton, Watson (59’ James Spencer), Nathan Turner, Walker (70’ Ben Atkinson), Cartman, Hayhurst
Subs not used: Trenerry (GK), Bett