Defence is Farsley AFC’s best form of attack

Lee Connor
Lee Connor
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FREE-SCORING Farsley have shown they have the ammunition to shoot down Bridlington’s title challenge at Throstle Nest tomorrow – but boss Neil Parsley believes the secret of his side’s success lays firmly at the back.

Farsley booked their place in the Northern Counties East League President’s Cup final in emphatic fashion on Tuesday night, a thumping 5-0 victory over Scarborough taking their tally to 34 goals scored in their last eight games.

But it’s the goals ratio at the other end which currently has former Leeds United and Huddersfield Town player Parsley beaming, with his side having conceded just once since February 8 and having kept four clean sheets in their last five outings.

And Parsley believes if they can keep the door shut on Bridlington tomorrow, all the pressure will be on the east coast side and fellow Premier Division title hopefuls Parkgate as the season draws to a conclusion.

He said: “I didn’t single anybody out for praise the other night but I did compliment the back four and the goalkeeper for another clean sheet.

“We have conceded one goal in the last five games and I look at that column, me being an ex-defender, because I know we have players in that dressing room who are going to score goals.

“Three strikers scored against Scarborough and my two central midfielders scored. Lee Connor and Mark Jackson have also weighed-in recently with goals from the back from set-pieces, so I know we have goals all over the team.

“Going forward we are always going to create chances, but our goals against tally is healthy as well. We have been working hard as a team again to stop sides scoring and creating and that’s been the catalyst for a great run of form.

“We have won nine games on the spin and hopefully we can keep it going now.”

Farsley go into tomorrow’s match six points clear of Bridlington, but Gary Allanson’s men have three matches in hand and should they avoid defeat, their destiny will be in their own hands.

But Parsley believes the pressure is all on Bridlington to win at Throstle Nest.

Third-placed Parkgate – who are also six points behind Farsley with just one game in hand – would probably favour a draw, a result which wouldn’t leave Parsley too despondent.

He said: “I think if we avoid defeat this weekend, Bridlington and Parkgate will still drop points and allow us to win the title.

“If we win, psychologically it puts them in a position where they have to get results in their games in hand and that going into every game is a tough mental barrier to overcome.

“But it’s more important we don’t lose – I honestly think they need a win more than we do.”

Parsley is just hoping his treble-chasers – who have a League Cup third-round clash against Arnold on Tuesday week – have plenty left in the tank after their midweek exertions.

Ben Jones, from the spot, Gareth Grant, Simeon Bambrook, Dominic Krief and Mark Bett were all on target in the comprehensive victory over Boro.

Parsley said: “There were some good goals, in the semi-finals of a cup as well, and I couldn’t ask for any more from my players. They know they played well.

“Scarborough are no mugs. As I said before the game, we have had two difficult league matches against them, but the other night we murdered them and fingers crossed we haven’t used up all our good work, work ethic, energy and luck.

“If we reproduce that on Saturday we will have a positive result in the bag.”

Brighouse can do Farsley a favour tomorrow as they travel to Parkgate.

Nostell are at Arnold while Liversedge host Tadcaster Albion and Selby entertain Thackley.

Scarborough are at home to Armthorpe in a match which kicks off at 1pm to avoid a clash with England’s international against Wales.

In Division One, Leeds Carnegie visit Bottesford, Eccleshill play host to Teversal, Hemsworth welcome Shirebrook and Pontefract Collieries play Rossington at the Beechnut Lane Stadium.

Second-placed Yorkshire Amateur will be hoping to continue their promotion pursuit when AFC Emley visit Bracken Edge.

Glasshoughton can do Ammers a good turn as they host third-placed Barton Town Old Boys.

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