Report | Farsley Celtic 1-1 Blyth Spartans | National League North | 21/22

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Vanarama National League North

Monday, August 30th 2021


Blyth Spartans were forced to settle for a point at Farsley Celtic after failing to capitalise on a number of first-half chances. 

Robbie Dale scored for the second game in a row but with several other opportunities to score gone begging, there was a sense of regret heading into the break. 

And so that proved as former Bradford City hero James Hanson found an equaliser for the hosts inside the final 20 minutes, where Spartans were reduced to 10 men after Cameron Painter’s red card. 

Michael Nelson named two changes from the 2-0 win over AFC Telford United for his side’s second game in three days.

The injured Nathan Buddle was replaced by Sean Reid, with Painter starting in place of Connor Thomson for his first Spartans appearance. 

It was a frantic opening with Spartans and Farsley overseeing big chances. 

A set-piece delivery by Nicky Deverdics was headed goalwards by JJ O’Donnell, with goalkeeper Tom Donaghy producing heroics to keep it out. 

Hanson then beat the offside trap to go one-on-one with Alex Mitchell, however he dragged his shot way wide.

Just as Jamie Spencer fired over Mitchell’s goal, Karl Byrne advanced up the other end – superbly finding O’Donnell in the box, whose header was kept out by the inside of the post. 

Blyth asserted their control – and dominance – however, and were left wondering how they weren’t in front inside the opening half-hour. 

Deverdics advanced into the area, found Byrne in space on the right but his left-footed shot was somehow diverted behind from Donaghy. 

The offside flag then came to Farsley’s rescue as Reid tapped home. O’Donnell, however was offside in the build-up. 

Donaghy was swiftly called upon again as he beat Deverdics’ left-footed effort from 20 yards away. Dale and Maguire then linked up with the latter heading over the crossbar. 

Deverdics volleyed over Donaghy’s upright before Spartans eventually broke the deadlock through Dale on 33 minutes. 

A ricochet set the Spartans legend free in the penalty area and he produced a calm finish into the right corner to breach Donaghy. 

Spartans were denied a quick-fire double moments later when Dale’s shot clipped off O’Donnell as the ball cannoned against the post.

Painter could have – and perhaps should have – marked his first start with a goal when he headed Deverdics’ sublime crossfield wide from close-range.

Nelson’s men took a deserved advantage into half-time but realistically, Blyth had enough opportunities to lead by much more. 

Nelson and co would have anticipated a better start by Farsley and that’s how it turned, though without initially causing too many problems. 

Luke Parkin won a corner after his effort took a knick off a Blyth defender before an unmarked Spencer volleyed over Will Hayhurst’s corner at the back post. 

On 54 minutes, Rhys Evans was introduced for his 50th club appearance – coming on in place of Byrne in a straight swap at right-back. 

Hickey limped off after taking a blow to his ankle, forcing Nelson into a reshuffle to accommodate substitute Connor Thomson on the left-wing. 

It was the opposite side where Spartans almost doubled their lead. Maguire hung a cross up for O’Donnell but he could only direct his header wide. 

Blyth were left to rue that miss and their first-half chances when Hanson equalised after failing to deal with Hayhurst’s corner. 

Things then went from bad to worse when Painter was sent off after colliding with Hayhurst in the air with 15 minutes to go. 

Blyth’s frustrations were furthered when Maguire saw a penalty appeal waved away after seemingly being fouled by Adam Clayton. 

Even being a man down, Blyth finished stronger and were intent on finding a winner. Thomson counter-attacked but disappointingly fired straight at Donaghy.

Farsley Celtic XI: Donaghy, Clayton, Barton, Bird, Wayhurst, McKenna, Atkinson (Longbottom, 80), Walton (Ellis, 87), Parkin (Richards, 69), Spencer, Hanson. Subs not used: Fialdini, Fox. 

Goals: Hanson (73)

Spartans XI: Mitchell, Byrne (Evans, 53), Reid, Lees, Watson, Hickey (Thomson, 65), Deverdics, Painter, O’Donnell, Dale (McKeown, 78), Maguire. Subs not used: McNall, Milburn. 

Goals: Dale (32)

Attendance: 717 

Referee: Dean Watson

Posted by BSAFC Admin