AFC Telford United 0 Farsley Celtic 2 - Report
Bucks manager Gavin Cowan doesn’t like the word ‘inconsistency’, but his team’s Jekyll and Hyde nature reared its head again in a home defeat where they played some of their best football of the season, but their goal touch deserted them.
After an opening 45 minutes where it seemed only a matter of time before the Bucks took the lead, the visiting Celtic side might have been forgiven for dashing out to purchase lottery tickets at half-time. A combination of good fortune and lack of composure kept the scores level, and as so often seems to happen, the Bucks were made to pay a heavy price.
Their frustration at seeing this game slip away from them also brought a red card after the final whistle for captain Ellis Deeney, who appeared to kick the ball at the visitors Will Hayhurst as he lay prone on the turf, earning Deeney a second booking.
It had all started so promisingly; with last weekend’s hat-trick hero Marcus Dinanga earning a starting place, the Bucks looked to pick up where they left off at Darlington last weekend. The opening 10 minutes were fairly even, with home keeper Matt Yates having to push the first goal-bound effort around his post from Akeel Francis. That was as good as it got for the visitors, as from that point onwards the home side took control of proceedings.
The Bucks midfield trio of Deeney, Adam Walker and James McQuilkin, the latter especially prominent, started to orchestrate some lovely attacking football, with Ryan Barnett giving full-back Tom Allan a torrid time on the Bucks right-hand side. That led to the Bucks first real opportunity, Barnett’s cross from the right headed against Kyle Trenerry’s crossbar by Marcus Dinanga from 10 yards.
That was the signal for the Bucks to really put Celtic on the rack, and on 15 minutes Aaron Williams should have put the ahead; McQuilkin found overlapping full-back Arlen Birch on the right of the penalty area and his smart pull-back was despatched over the bar from 15 yards, Williams getting underneath his shot.
There was a let-off for Celtic on 20 minutes when defender Allan’s own clearance struck his hand, referee David McNamara waving the appeals away. Dinanga then had a low shot turned around his post by Trenerry, Celtic’s sole reply in a largely rearguard action seeing Will Hayhurst clear the crossbar from 20 yards.
Dinanga had further efforts blocked or deflected as the Bucks remained in top gear, although it was defender Theo Streete who almost registered the opening goal, heading a corner down but just wide of goal in the 37th minute.
The half-time whistle must have sounded sweet for the Yorkshire side, who had withstood what the Bucks had offered, and the concern was that the Bucks might be made to pay for not scoring whilst being so much in charge of matters.
Those concerns looked horribly prescient just before the hour mark, when Celtic, who had started to ease into the game, struck from the best chance they created all afternoon. Right-back Jordan Richards, penned back in his own half for sixty minutes, got forward to strike a wickedly inviting cross that dipped beyond the Bucks defence at the far post for Francis to head down and in past Yates.
After expending so much effort for nought, there was a sense of deflation in the stands, and although the Bucks tried to redouble their efforts, finding more in the tank proved insurmountable. McQuilkin fired a shot over from distance and substitute Matty Stenson, on for Aaron Williams, did have one stinging goal-bound effort blocked, but the Bucks were no longer able to get behind Celtic with the ease they showed in the first half.
As the home side looked to commit more men forwards, Celtic looked more of a danger on the break, and they managed the game to a tee. From one of those forays forward, they added a second on 84 minutes, when Streete got the final touch to Will Hayhurst’s cross to put through his own net.
The contest was over, and tempers frayed at the final whistle; Bucks captain Ellis Deeney, already booked for dissent, was dismissed for his second bookable offence, sparking some unseemly scenes involving players from both sides.
The Bucks day had ended sourly, when it had all looked to be going sweetly.
AFC Telford United: Yates, Birch, Deeney (c), Walker, Lilly, Streete, Calder, McQuilkin (Daniels 84), Dinanga, Williams (Stenson 70), Barnett.
Unused Substitutes: Knights, White, Sutton.
Farsley Celtic: Trenerry, Richards, Allan, Higgins, Ellis (c) (Clayton 65), C.Atkinson, B.Atkinson, Hayhurst, Spencer, Francis (Regan 87), Parkin (Syers 87).
Unused Substitutes: Cartman, Bowyer.
Goals: Francis (57), Streete (84 OG)
Referee: David McNamara.
Assistants: Mark Billingham, Liam Corbett.
Sorry, we are not accepting comments on this article.