A stoppage time winner put Stalybridge Celtic through into the next round of the FA Cup in a game Celtic looked much more assured in.
Both sides started well, returnee, Liam Dickinson, had Bridge’s fist chance, but seemed rather surprised to find the ball at his feet in the six yard box, ending up firing the wrong side of the post. Ryan Watson opened the chances for Farsley at the other end, firing wide with the goal gaping. However, in the opening quarter of an hour, it was one apiece.
‘Bridge got the opener, after some good build up play, Matty Wolfenden cut inside and tried to blast through the crowd, hitting Aaron Burns. The ball rebounded to Liam Dickinson who looked more composed as he lifted the ball in over the lunging blocks into the back of the net.
Two minutes later and Farsley were back in it, a long throw was only half cleared as far as James Walshaw, and Farsley’s goal machine last season needed no second chances, with a half-volley with Joe Slinn unsighted until the ball was past him.
The two sides traded chances, with Walshaw not connecting with his next effort, whilst Liam Dickinson headed wide and another returnee, Aidan Chippendale, didn’t get the power for his shot, taking a deflection into Graeme McKibbin’s handy. Wolfenden headed over the bar as Celtic started to get the upper hand and pass smoothly and accurately. Alex Honeybal, Oliver Roberts and Paul Ennis all had half chances that went over the bar, whilst the travelling fans had to wait until just before half time to see another chance, Walshaw rolling the ball back to Slinn.
Bridge continued to be the better team after the interval, Burns and Dickinson both denied, the latter by a last ditch challenge at the expense of a corner. Paul Ennis got two chances, the first well saved, the second clearing the bar. Theo Bailey-Jones had the ball snatched off his feet at the near post and Liam Dickinson fired over.
Time was running out. Bridge were pressing looking for the winner, whilst defending the long hopeful balls from Farsley for Walshaw to run onto. After trying to pry open the defence several times, Aidan Chippendale pulled the ball back to Theo Bailey-Jones. There was the narrowest of channels, barely wider than the ball, but Bailey-Jones’s shot went straight down the channel into the bottom corner putting Stalybridge Celtic through and Farsley Celtic out.
Celtic still have to go to Farsley on Tuesday, but instead of the replay that looked likely, it will be the league encounter.
|10||Cartman, Nathan||> 90|
|11||Walker, Paul||> 74|
|12||Priestley, Adam||< 66|
|15||Parkin, Luke||< 74|
|16||Porritt, Adam||< 90|