Farsley Celtic deservedly took all three points in a Christmas cracker of a game that had almost everything.
Michael Coulson struck another dramatic winner from outside the box for the home side, emulating his heroics against Curzon Ashton a week and a half ago. It was a goal good enough to win any game.
The Celts created a number of chances and were good value for their lead. The game changed when The Celts went down to ten men following Ryan Watson’s sending off with over an hour played, but the Celts defended well and were grateful to keeper Zan Luk Leban for a stunning injury-time save.
The first half was a tight and cagey affair, but it was The Celts who had the better of the chances. The lively Dylan Youmbi was twice denied by Gloucester keeper Zack Jeacock, and Conor Branson’s header from the edge of the box also looped just wide of the right-hand post. Half-hearted Gloucester appeals for a penalty were waved away by the referee.
The game came alive in the second half, with The Celts on the front foot.
Youmbi had a shot blocked and Coulson’s follow up was saved by Jeacock. Minutes later Coulson muscled his way through on goal but the ball got stuck between his feet and he was crowded out by defenders before he could get his shot away.
Two minutes later and The Celts went close again. Tom Allan shot across goal and Coulson was a whisker away from sliding it into the net.
Moments after that, Coulson was in the heart of the action again. The ball fell to him outside the box and he hit a powerful strike which the goalkeeper had no chance of saving. Farsley thoroughly deserved their lead.
Youmbi, who caused problems for the Gloucester back-line all afternoon, was then denied again by his nemesis Jeacock in goal.
The game changed with Watson’s red card for a foul on 68 minutes. The game was later halted briefly by a power failure in a Farsley floodlight.
With an extra man the visitors came more into the game, but The Celts defended well. A late goalmouth scramble saw Farsley escape, and Leban came to the rescue with a superb save diving to his left in injury time as the Celts held out for a deserved win in front of 503 hardy souls.
The victory leaves Farsley in 12th place in the National League North, with 33 points after 23 games. We face a big festive double header against table toppers Scunthorpe over the next two games as we stretch our unbeaten run to eight games.