THE STAKES are high for Farsley AFC in their game of the day at fellow high-fliers Curzon Ashton tomorrow – and Neil Parsley insists it’s a sign of things to come.
Both Farsley, in second spot in the Evo-Stik First Division North and Curzon, one place below them, take star billing this weekend in the game of the day, with Parsley’s side hogging the divisional limelight for the second week running.
Six days ago, Farsley handled the expectancy to claim a gutsy 1-0 win at another side in the business positions in the division in Bamber Bridge, thanks to Rob O’Brien’s second-half goal.
Now they must do it all again – and on several more occasions in the weeks ahead – if they are to turn a very good campaign into a great one with promotion.
Parsley, who is picking from strength for the trip across the Pennines to Curzon, who are just one point behind them in the table, but with five games in hand, said: “It’s the biggest game of the season because it’s the next one.
“I am sure the closer we get to the end of the season, the magnitude of the games will be more. But it is a big game and everyone in the league will look for the result.
“It’s a top-of-the-table clash and will be difficult, but it’s one we are looking forward to, nevertheless. Both of us are there on merit and let’s bring it on and see what happens. If we are anything like at our best, we will stand up and be counted against anybody in this league and won’t be far away at ten to five on Saturday.
“When we haven’t, that’s when we’ve dropped points.”
Farsley head into the game of the back of a superb 14-match unbeaten league streak stretching back to November 16, which has featured 12 wins – a number of them being handsome ones.
But in the past few weeks in awful conditions, Parsley’s side have been forced to grind things out and show the dogged side of their game in their pursuit of success, something which has been gratifying for the boss.
He added: “Conditions for the past two weeks have been poor as supporters can vouch for.
“It doesn’t make for pretty football, but you look for other ingredients in tough conditions and certainly my players had battling qualities to get the result and come out on top at Bamber.
“It takes all kinds of qualities to win football matches.
“If it was down to sheer determination and battling qualities, the players who represented Farsley last Saturday stood up and were counted.
“The group of players we have are a joy to work with.
“The camaraderie and desire to win games is fantastic and I hope, fingers crossed, they are rewarded in the right way, come the end of the season.
“If they are not, it won’t be through the lack of trying as right from the word go, even when things haven’t gone our way and its been bumpy, we’ve given our all. Hopefully at the end of April, they will get their just rewards. Elsewhere, Wakefield and Ossett Albion host Salford City and Prescot Cables. Harrogate Railway and Ossett Town go to Ramsbottom and Warrington.
In the Premier, Frickley visit Witton and Whitby host Rushall. Goole welcome Halesowen in the First Division South.
Scheduled games in the NCEL Premier see Nostell and Glasshoughton host Thackley and Liversedge in derbies.
Garforth, Brighouse and Albion Sports entertain Basford, Lincoln Moorlands and Athersley Rec. Tadcaster visit Maltby.
In the first division, Selby and Eccleshill welcome Dinnington and Louth. Pontefract Colls visit Rossington and Yorkshire Amateur host Knaresborough in a derby encounter. AFC Emley host Teversal.
All games are subject to the weather and fans are urged to check the various league websties for further details.