Farsley Celtic played out an entertaining 2-2 draw with local rivals Bradford Park Avenue in the first match of 2023, with the Celts making it four unbeaten in all competitions.
The match did not take long to burst into life as the Celts were awarded a penalty after just seven minutes when Andy Butler’s powerful header found its way over the Park Avenue defence and into the path of Jimmy Spencer.
George Sykes-Kenworthy took down the forward and Farsley were handed a golden opportunity to take the lead. However, Frank Mulhern’s spot kick was well saved by Sykes-Kenworthy to keep the score at 0-0.
The away side then found themselves in front on the 20-minute mark after Sam Fielding’s free-kick deflected off Jordan Preston and into the bottom left corner, wrong-footing Max Dearnley in the Farsley goal.
Russ Wilcox’s side responded perfectly and were level just six minutes later after Lewis Butroid found space on the left wing before pitching a perfect cross into the area which found the head of Luke Parkin, whose deft header found the bottom right corner to level it up.
Farsley continued to push on the front foot, and won another penalty on the half-hour mark as Mulhern reached Bobby Johnson’s free-kick before Sykes-Kenworthy with the former being fouled. Mulhern did not need more than two chances from the penalty spot, sending the goalkeeper the wrong way to put Farsley in front.
Things deteriorated for the away side even more just five minutes later, when Reece Staunton was shown a red card for a lunging tackle on Parkin, giving Avenue a mountain to climb in the second half.
But it was a mountain they did climb. Avenue made the perfect start to the second half after Will Longbottom found Jacob Blyth in the area, who struck a well hit first time shot into the top right corner to make it 2-2.
Despite the early goal, the second half would go on to be a quiet affair compared to the first with neither side coming remarkably close to going back in front.
Connor Teale came closest to claiming the three points for Farsley midway through the second period when his looped effort from inside the box floated onto the crossbar and over.
Sam Fielding then almost won it for the visitors in added time after a fast counterattack led to the midfielder firing a shot just wide of the near post.
Farsley created one final chance through Mulhern after the striker found space on the right side of the box, but fired a volley down the barrel at Sykes-Kenworthy before the final whistle blew for 2-2.
Farsley Celtic: Dearnley, Scales, Butroid, Johnson, Butler ©, Teale, Allan, Ubaezuonu, Spencer, Mulhern, Parkin (Syers 82). Unused subs: Turner, Assenso, Clayton, Wallace