AFC Telford expecting ‘no frills’ from Farsley trip

AFC Telford United must contend with Farsley Celtic ‘arrogance’ if they are to come away from The Citadel with the spoils, boss Gavin Cowan says.

Farsleys Danny Ellis celebrates after scoring to make it 1-1 during the Vanarama Conference North fixture between AFC Telford United and Farsley Celtic at The Citadel
Farsleys Danny Ellis celebrates after scoring to make it 1-1 during the Vanarama Conference North fixture between AFC Telford United and Farsley Celtic at The Citadel

Both clubs head into tomorrow’s National League North clash after two wins on the spin and in good form, writes Lewis Cox.

Cowan is aware there are ‘no frills’ involved in the trip to West Yorkshire outfit Farsley, who won 1-0 at Liam Watson’s Southport on Wednesday.

The Bucks are pleased to have a game to look forward to after a Covid-19 test for a member of staff this week meant the fixture hung in the balance.

But Telford were given the all-clear after a negative test and Cowan’s men returned to training at Lilleshall last night ahead of tomorrow’s trip, where the boss is expecting a difficult afternoon.

“The formation means they are good in the transition from back to front and front to back,” Cowan said.

“They are difficult to beat, physical and have an arrogance about them, which is credit to them – I don’t say that as a negative.

“They play a certain way that we’ll have to make sure we are ready for.”

The boss added: “You want that, at your home ground, it’s always hurts slightly more to lose at home.

“We’re going to their manor, there are no frills there, let’s put it that way – it’s one where we’ve got to roll our sleeves up and be at it.

“In this league, if we’re not at it by one per cent then we’ll get punished. There are fine lines playing a part.”

Cowan’s men were beaten at home by Farsley last December and, in January, threw away their lead at The Citadel as Celtic captain and defender Dan Ellis thumped a volley in from distance at the death after the Bucks should have put the contest to bed.

“They are a good side, very difficult to play against and beat. They’ve had quite a lot of draws, it’s going to be a tough test,” Cowan said of tomorrow’s hosts, who are eighth, four places and three points below Telford having played a game more.

“I was just watching their good win at Southport, it’s not easy to go to Southport and beat a Liam Watson team. They are in form and it’s going to be a tough test.”

Telford are in good spirits despite injury difficulties and this week’s Covid scare. Back-to-back wins against Bradford PA and Guiseley have the Bucks breathing down the necks of the three sides above them.

“It’s very early, I don’t want to be on this rollercoaster, in the first couple of weeks we were going to win the league,” Cowan added.

“Then the ‘Cowan out’ bandits were coming out and now we’re going to get into the Champions League again this week. We have to be on that steady incline of consistency and try not to get too excited.

“If tough times do come around again then we have to stay very focused on what we’re doing and believe it in. We’ve come a long way.

“If we can stay focused, keep chipping away at results and keep performances high – we’re very hopeful of getting some players back in the next couple of weeks, that’ll be huge for us.

“At the moment we’re somehow managing to get players out on the pitch in a team worthy of playing for AFC Telford.”

Jack Byrne (shin) and Dom McHale (hamstring) have fitness concerns while Henry Cowans, Shane Sutton, Brendon Daniels and Courtney Meppen-Walters are not ready to return.

“There was disappointment on Tuesday as we had a little bit of a scare and the game couldn’t go ahead, that was a blow as we had good momentum and wanted to keep that going.

“Now we have a little wait for the fans to come in but we literally cannot wait for the fans to be back involved.

“Just listening to your discussions there, even about cheering the referee ironically, I look forward to those moments coming back.”

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