Farsley Celtic hold their nerve to sink Marine and claim promotion
Farsley Celtic claimed the Evo-Stik Premier Division title and promotion to the National League North after holding their nerve to beat Marine 2-0 at Throstle Nest yesterday.
In front of a bumper crowd of 1,527, goals from Will Hayhurst and Jimmy Spencer saw the Celts claim their second promotion in three years, meaning they can now look forward to games against Guiseley and York City in the National North next season – just nine years after the old Farsley Celtic went into liquidation.
Farsley boss Adam Lakeland was overjoyed after the final whistle.
He said: “I’m so proud of everybody, the staff, the players, the supporters and [long-standing chairman] John Palmer,” he said.
“He saved this club, he put his life and so much money into trying to get it back, and I’m so proud that we’re the fortunate group that have managed to get back into the Conference North, it’s just an unbelievable day.
“We weren’t great today, it was very nervy, very windy, but we knew coming into it if we kept a clean sheet, we were champions.”
Celts captain Danny Ellis added: “It feels unbelievable, we set our target at the start of the season with an aim to win the league, and it’s been a tough season.
“We’ve been up there the last seven weeks and it’s just the icing on the cake. We’ve done it now, so it’s party time!”
Farsley took the lead just before half-time. Luke Parkin’s effort was deflected into the path of Hayhurst who rifled home from a tight angle.
Marine’s hopes of getting back in the game then took a blow, as Charley Edge lunged in on Adam Clayton, and received his marching orders for a second bookable offence, to no complaints.
The decisive second goal came with 15 minutes remaining, as Chris Atkinson played a ball over the top for Nathan Cartman to run onto, and he unselfishly squared for Spencer to slot home his 20th league goal of the season to send the home fans into raptures.
In the Evo-Stik East Division, Pontefract Collieries claimed second place and a home play-off clash with Ossett United on Tuesday night thanks to a 3-0 victory over Gresley with Michael Dunn, Vaughan Redford and Chris Jackson on the scoresheet.
Ossett finished off their league campaign with a 1-1 draw at Stocksbridge Park Steels.
Tadcaster Albion narrowly missed out on a play-off place despite hammering Lincoln United 8-3 because Sheffield FC grabbed a late winner in a 2-1 win at Brighouse Town. Town and Sheffield will meet again on Tuesday in the other promotion play-off.
Elsewhere, Pickering Town lost 5-1 at home to Loughborough, while Frickley Athletic went down 2-1 at AFC Mansfield.