2012/13: Evo-Stik League First Division North – Farsley AFC v Cammell Laird
On my last visit to Throstle Nest back in September for the fixture between Farsley AFC and Ramsbottom, in a game which ended 1-1 and continued the home teams run without a win in the month, I commented that “…on this evidence, Farsley will have their work cut out to get amongst the play-off places, but their cause will be helped once the suspensions and injury situation improves…”
Well they certainly proved me wrong. After that game, The Villagers went on a run of six consecutive league victories, with home victories over Ossett Town (4-0) and Clitheroe (3-0) and four wins on the road at Garforth Town (3-1), Prescot Cables (1-0), Wakefield (5-0) and Goole AFC (3-0).
This impressive run took Farsley to second in the table prior to today’s home fixture against mid-table Cammell Laird. The Camels came into the game on the back of consecutive away wins after a 2-0 victory at Kendal Town in the FA Trophy (First Qualifying Round Replay) and a league victory at Radcliffe Borough (3-0). Therefore, Farsley knew that they were in for a game.
Given the form that Farsley were in, it was no surprise that they started confidently and in the opening ten minutes looked comfortable in possession and forced an early corner. However, The Villagers were caught cold on ten minutes when hesitancy in the Farsley defence allowed a through ball to fall to Jamie Henders who finished clinically past keeper Tom Morgan. This was only the second goal in seven league outings that Farsley had conceded and the players looked genuinely stunned and shell-shocked as they returned to the centre circle to restart the game. Worse was to follow for the home side when on seventeen minutes they found themselves 2-0 down. Steven Ferrigan fed Jamie Henders, who was lucky when his miscued shot ran through to Aaron Bowen, who slotted home. There was a half-hearted appeal from the Farsley defence for offside, but in reality they had been lethargic once more and were punished for it. It was not turning out to be a kind opening half for The Villagers, when experienced defender Mark Jackson was injured and had to be replaced by Sam Robinson on twenty five minutes. Farsley huffed and puffed to try and get a foothold into the game, but never forced Laird’s keeper Atherton into a serious save. Just when Farsley thought it couldn’t get any worse, on the stroke of half-time Aaron Bowen got his second when he skilfully headed in a strike from Mike Grogan. The home crowd was stunned as the teams went off at the end of the first-half with Cammell Laird 3-0 up and cruising.
It would have been interesting to have heard what Farsley manager Neil Parsley said to his side at the interval, but he made no changes as the teams emerged for the second-half. However, with an hour gone and little being created by his charges, Parsley substituted substitute Sam Robinson with Tom Dugdale. As in the first-half, there was plenty of endeavour from the home team, without a great deal being created in the way of chances. Finally on seventy eight minutes, Farsley scored when Adam Muller got wide and pulled the ball back for Adam Priestly to score from close range. This lifted the home crowd and they nearly had another goal to celebrate soon afterwards, when Muller lobbed The Camels goalkeeper Kevin Atherton, but Chay Dysart, made a spectacular over-head clearance on the line to retain the visitors two-goal lead. That was pretty much the last serious threat for Farsley and as the whistle went, Cammell Laird celebrated a third consecutive away win, whilst Farsley’s unbeaten run had come to a dramatic end.